Editors Note: He’s back. Mr. Houseful that is. This time he is discussing his stance on the very hot topic of gun control. Given the happenings of last week, I think that it’s fair to say that the violence in our country is getting out of control. No matter what side of the line you stand on, discussion is good. Action in favor of preserving lives is better.
To write or not to write? That is the question. To stand or not; to give or not; to volunteer or not; to care or not. These are your rights. I’ve kept silent regarding the whole gun debate because it is extremely hyperbolic. It can be unbelievably frustrating to reason one side with the other to reach any kind of compromise… heck, even a consensus. There are tragedies all around us, and whatever the “source” you choose to stand behind or champion, doesn’t change the fact that there are tragedies. I’ve heard tons on both sides, both unrealistic, unreasonable, and down-right stupid. It is exhausting. It is sad. It is hurtful.
Truth be told, I feel bad for my honest, safe, responsible gun owners out there. I can understand how frustrating this has been, and will continue to be. The people who don’t quite understand who you are and what you’re all about; lumping you in with the gun nuts and overall weird and loony. I can understand how you may feel attacked when people turn to you with anger after someone gets on national television and mentions how Dr. King would agree that arming slaves with weapons would have ended slavery. Moronic! I get it. Since we’re being truthful, I, one day, plan on being a gun owner. I’m sure as my wife reads this part, her eyes will get big, but it’s true. [Editors note – my eyes did NOT in fact get big. I’m a farmer after all. Using tools to feed ourselves isn’t an issue in this house.] I really want to go hunting one day. There is something natural about the thought of it. I look forward to hunting and gathering my own food. I’m looking forward to that day. So… as a possible future gun owner, I don’t want the bad publicity either. It makes me look bad when all I want to do is buy a rifle and a few rounds get a duck, a deer, and maybe some pheasant, and call it a year. I get it!
This post is for all non-reasonable gun owners and non-owning sojourners. How do you know if you’re unreasonable? Here’s a test. If you think the answer to curbing gun violence is to add more guns, you’re being unreasonable. If you believe that arming slaves would have ended slavery, you’re being unreasonable. If you believe that comparing gun deaths to auto deaths is a good litmus test of the amount of regulatory oversight needed on guns, then you’re being unreasonable. Speaking of which, forget the test. Let’s assume you are reasonable, but just really angry at this particular issue. After all, people who don’t own weapons are proposing legislation to infringe on your right to keep, carry, purchase, and utilize your weapon. No one likes to be told what to do with their stuff. Again… I get it! But do me a favor, shelve your anger for a moment, and take a few steps back to where the rest of us are. There’s a good view here where the rest of us are. You’re a bit too close to the issue to understand what people are concerned about. You’re in a good place. It’s comfy here. Now let’s begin.
I’ve heard this argument that somehow because there are more automobile deaths than there are gun deaths every year we should do x, y, or z about them as well. If you share this point of view, you’re looking at this issue the wrong way. The problem isn’t with the quantity. I will preface this by also saying that, despite the statements made by the proponents of the legislation, these new laws probably won’t reduce the amount of gun-related crimes or deaths year over year. Truth be told, that’s really not the purpose either. Your question now is “Then why have them?” I’ll get to that. Okay, where was I? Oh yes, not about quantity. I’ll explain by giving another scenario. How many planes were hijacked in this country year over year for the past 20 years? How many people attacked individuals on flights using Swiss army knives or box cutters or nail files year over year for the past 20 years? How many people brought liquid explosives aboard planes and detonated them in flight year over year for the past 20 years? I could keep going, but I think you get where I’m headed. The issue isn’t the number of deaths caused by “G”. it’s the threat of deaths/harm caused by “G”. We’ve totally changed the way we have to travel, redesigned flight decks, retrained flight attendants, reworked emergency plans, coordinated across more agency for something that, compared to gun deaths every year, is negligible. The reason the masses are up in arms is because they’ve reached their limit. Sandy Hook was their 9/11 awakening. We looked past the postal workers in the 80s and 90s, the D.C. sniper, Columbine, Northern Illinois University twice, Virginia Tech, Gabby Giffords in Arizona, Aurora, Colorado, The temple in Wisconsin, and the countless other violent offenses that we’ve grown accustomed to winking at when reported on the news. The nation is fed up. You should be too. These idiots are giving you and me in the future a bad name.
As I stated earlier, the new legislation (whatever it turns out to be), despite popular belief, will probably not significantly reduce the amount of gun violence in this country. The main reason is you can’t stop some people from being stupid. You can’t legislate idiocy out of people’s behavior. However, you can legislate a little common sense, and that is what some of these laws aim to do. These common-sense laws I think we can all agree should be enacted. The red tape that the ATF has to operate around should be removed. Background checks should be mandatory no matter the venue or method (including owner to owner. If I have to do it with my automobile, how much less for you with a weapon?). Yearly registration for weapons (this one I haven’t heard proposed, but again, if they’re weapons… I’d like the records to be up to date). Gun shops should be required to keep up-to-date clear inventory and sales records (because of the ATF red tape, this is a problem). I’m sure there are others. We can debate the whole Assault weapons, high-capacity magazine issue some other time, but I think this is a good, reasonable starting point. Remember, we aren’t trying to take your guns. We’re just trying to make it harder for the idiots to be stupid with them.