Thursday, March 7, 2013

#128 - Bang, Bang You Shot Me Down

First, let me say I have never owned a gun, and I have no desire to ever own a gun. Next, let me say I have no interest in having all guns outlawed, nor do I have any interest in having all weaponry legal for private ownership.

I have fired a gun on a couple of occasions, even hitting what I was aiming at on the second of those. I understand the attraction of guns and of owning them. Even though I do not hunt, I think I understand the allure of tracking and bagging your prey.

I think I even understand the desire of some to have a gun in the house for protection. At the same time, I understand my own limitations which come up somewhere way short of being able to have a gun in my home.

What I do not understand is the twisted logic of some of those screaming the loudest in the current and latest chapter of the debate over gun control. Perhaps if they could simply listen to themselves they would see how ridiculous they sound.

Case in point: the people who argue that guns don't kill people, people kill people and then argue against universal background checks to perhaps keep guns out of the hands of some of these people. These are the checks that might keep a few of people from killing other people because they would no longer be able to walk into a gun show, spend a few minutes looking around, then walk out having bought a gun because the seller was not required to check them out in any way, shape, or form.

Many of these same people argue against firearm education and safety training, as if it's my God-given right to be a fool with a gun, accidentally shoot myself and perhaps shoot someone else in the process. After all, what's a little collateral damage between friends (Dick Cheney, anyone?)

We require renewable licenses to drive a car and open a business. Schools now offer drivers education, and some religious faiths provide instruction prior to marriage. You have to take a test before getting a driver's license, but there is no such requirement for buying or owning a gun.

The most vocal gun advocates all but scream that such requirements will lead to only criminals having guns or that they won't stop criminals from having guns. What a load of horse manure. If your sole argument is that having a law won't stop people from breaking it, why have any laws or limits? Why not simply have anarchy?

Among other things, laws provide societal boundaries and help life move in an orderly fashion. No, speed limits and traffic signals don't keep some people from speeding or from running red lights. But they do help to minimize those things and make roads a little safer for everyone else.

Universal background checks, firearms training, renewable gun registrations won't keep determined criminals from getting guns, but I believe they will help to minimize such occurrences and perhaps allow for better tracking of weapons used to commit crimes. And they may help to keep things a little bit safer for the rest of us.

Let me end as I started. I don't own a gun and have no desire to own a gun. If you want to own a gun, fine, that is your Second Amendment right. But remember that the Second Amendment includes the words "well regulated." All I ask is that gun ownership finally be "well regulated" instead of the haphazard mess we now have.

If you want to own a gun, make sure you are qualified to have a gun, and that requires a little more than simply having the money to pay for one. Get adequate training in firearm use and safety. We might both rest a bit easier.

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