The post where I make folks mad

Reading the paper this morning, I found myself gnashing my teeth together as one of the columnists went on a not-too-sublte attempt to promote tighter gun regulation. To prove her point, she used both anecdotal evidence as well as the column by an anesthesia resident in New York (if I remember correctly) to talk about how no one who has ever been shot ever fully recovers. Her point was that there are always lingering wounds, some physical and some emotional. While she didn’t beat the reader over the head with an anti-gun message, the thrust was there and it started me thinking.

Yes, yes, I know it’s dangerous when I start thinking this early in the morning. It is especially so when it is about a topic I feel passionately about.

So let’s start out with the basic statement that I have no problem with the gun industry, the NRA or anyone who responsibly owns and learns to use any weapon, be it a pistol, rifle or bow or something sharp and pointy. We should have the means at our disposal to protect ourselves. If someone breaks into my house, I should have the right to protect myself if it is not feasible to retreat. If someone is trying to harm my elderly mother, I shouldn’t have to wait for the police to arrive before action is taken. That might be too late.

But let’s face it, this country has already tried the “let’s ban something” route on more than one occasion and has failed miserably. Prohibition is the first example that springs into most people’s minds. The government decided to get into the morality business — or maybe I should say get more into it — and decided liquor wasn’t good for us and banned its production, importation, transportation and sale. What happened was it simply went underground and not that far. Organized crime got into rum running and speakeasies opened. People who would never have thought of breaking the law — hell, of even speeding or jaywalking — started making beer in their bathtubs, etc. The legislation was a failure and a farce and folks gave a wink and a nod to.

In short, it didn’t work. People wanted it and they found a way to get it.

Then there is the so-called war on drugs. The purpose of this was to make it as close to impossible for people to get illegal drugs. What happened was that the user and the low level dealers were prosecuted but the “brains” behind the drug routes and distribution networks were rarely captured, much less prosecuted. Drug use was not curtailed, much less stopped. Again, if someone wants something badly enough, they will find a way to get it.

Do that mean I believe we should sell guns to anyone who wants one?¬†Part of me says hell no and yet another part of me says it doesn’t really matter. If someone wants a gun badly enough, he will get it. However, if I have to say one way or another, I have no problem with running a criminal background check. I do, however, oppose putting someone on some list they don’t know about ala the “no fly” list for nebulous reasons they can’t defend against because, duh, they don’t know about it in the first place.

Nor do I feel it is the business of my doctor or my dentist to ask if I have a gun. It has nothing to do with the strained muscle or yearly check-up I’m there for.

As far as I’m concerned, if you can pass the background check — and that should be limited to have you been convicted of a violent offense — then you should be able to buy a gun. You should then get the training needed to handle it responsibly. Then you, as the resonsible gun owner, should be able to conceal carry.

But this post isn’t about whether we should conceal carry or not. It is about realities and the reality of the situaion is that a ban on guns, any type of gun, won’t work. Human beings are nothing if not adaptive and those who want a gun will find one. All the ban will do is create an even larger black market for guns than already exists. So, instead of trying to take guns out of the hands of those who don’t abuse them, why don’t we look at more effective ways of dealing with those who use guns illegally? How about making it more difficult for them to find a location where they aren’t afraid of being drawn down on by those they want to make victims of? Instead of advertising “this is a gun free zone” — which is nothing more than saying “oh, shoot me now” — note that this location welcomes gun owners? It might not stop every crazy who decides to go out in a blaze of glory but it will make some of them stop and think.

I don’t know about you, but I would rather have a gun to protect my family with than a cellphone. I guess I could throw the cellphone at the perp and then run like hell but that will, at most, be a temporary distraction. Or I could ask the perp to wait until the police arrived. Yeah, I’m sure that will work. NOT! So, for those of you who have been so loudly advocating a ban on guns, ask yourself these questions:

  • How long does it take for your 911 call to be answered?
  • How long does it take for the police to respond to your call once the 911 operator has taken the information?
  • What are the chances you or your loved ones will have survived unscathed the encounter with the armed burglar or addict looking for money for a fix until the cops arrive?

Now ask yourself one more question: Are you willing to put the lives of your loved ones at risk just because a very small minority of gun owners use their weapons in a manner any sane person would not?

I don’t know about you but I will do whatever it takes to protect my family. I do not want my ability to do so lessened because I can’t get the same weapon legally that the crook can and will get through illegal means.

 

5 Comments

  1. For that matter, most deaths caused by guns happen in areas with strict gun control laws (like Chicago).

    The Criminals get guns anyway and very often don’t get punished that hard for using a gun in their crime.

    1. Yep. Even when there is the punishment enhancement, like in Texas, where they are supposed to serve at least a third of their sentence, it never works out that way. Or at least that’s the way it seems.

  2. However, if I have to say one way or another, I have no problem with running a criminal background check.

    I think background checks are the wrong way to go about the “keep guns away from felons” issue. They put a burden on the rest of us, even if only a little one of having to wait while this is handled, rather than on the wrongdoers. Punishing the innocent rather than the guilty. That’s even leaving aside the issue of false positives where a person is wrongfully denied. Indeed, I know a person who had that happen a “false positive” on a NICS check that denied the purchase of the gun. But in addition to that, police showed up with a warrant as a result to search his property for other guns he owned because the check showed he was a “prohibited person”. The matter was eventually straightened out but was part of why I am skeptical that background checks don’t do more harm than good. (Any bets on that reporter denied for a history of domestic abuse will have anything similar happen to him?)

    Instead, my thought is that if a person can have his or her 2nd Amendment rights restricted via due process–and I agree that they can–then cannot other rights be similarly restricted? Like, say 4th Amendment rights? So if a person is a convicted felon make him and his property subject to search at any time for any reason or no reason more than the whim of the searching officer. Find an illegal (for him) gun in that search? Lock him up and throw the warden away.

    Leave the rest of us alone.

  3. I see my local senator has decided that her political career in the state is over. She was one of the hosebeasts that introduced legislation to restrict our civil rights without due process. Not that it changes who I may vote for next time, as I’ve already written of her party. Unfortunately we’re stuck with her for another couple of years. It’s really too bad the GOP couldn’t have run someone so utterly unlikeable for that seat 4 years ago. They could have run just about anyone other than who they did and would have won.

    And if any other politician thinks due process is an undue hindrance to government, I’ll point out to any and all that person is unfit for office.

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