Monday, March 4, 2013

Our Guns

The founders of the United States knew a thing or two; they  lived it.  They saw what happened when Church and State were one; people died.  In their minds, the wall between Church and State had to be impenetrable, so they gave us the First Amendment.  They also knew that the best deterrent against tyranny was a well armed civilian population.  Those thoughts gave us the Second Amendment; our founders were a smart bunch.  However, even after a landmark Supreme Court decision of just a few years ago, we still have people that think the Second Amendment needs further interpretation.

That Supreme Court case and its definitive decision is known as The District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), or simply the Heller Case.  The court stated that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual, law abiding person the right to keep and bear arms.  In other words, in the USA, people who do not break the law, who are not convicted felons, can have guns, many guns.  And the court's decision made it clear that a well regulated militia has nothing to do with the National Guard.  It's all about the individual person's right to have firearms.  As a law abiding citizen, taxpayer, and life member of the NRA, that Supreme Court ruling suits me just fine.  Unfortunately, when a tragedy hits our country that involves one or two wackos with a gun, the anti-gun folks and their media allies start their engines.

The anti-gun groups want people to believe that all firearms are evil, so they should be banned.  That is fuzzy logic with a big dose of fear thrown in for extra leverage.  Evil is something that resides in the mind of an individual, not an inanimate object.  A hammer, screwdriver, ball point pen, knife, and a gun are all inanimate objects.  When in the right hands and properly used, these things help produce constructive results.  In the wrong hands, all of them can be used for deadly purposes.  When a man wants to be a carpenter, but keeps hitting his hands in stead of the nail, you take the hammer away from him and then tell him to find other employment; you do not take away the hammers from the other carpenters because that guy kept hurting himself.  And people have been killed by hammers, screwdrivers, knives, ball point pens, and guns.  But the fear mongers only want to ban guns.

The anti-gun crowd talks about other countries that have banned guns; maybe those people should move to those countries.  After doing so, they will discover that only when the government, police, and criminals have guns, they become easy targets of opportunity.  Thinking that we do not need firearms because we have the police to protect us is just as silly as thinking that because we have firemen, we have no need for smoke alarms and fire extinguishers in our homes.  Every law enforcement officer that I have talked to told me straight up:  We cannot protect you, there are not enough of us.  Get a gun, know how to use it, and know your rights.  It would be a rare indeed to hear or see that reported in our media.

The media seems to enjoy taking the tragedy of innocents and spinning it out of control.  It bombards the public, day after day, with these tragedies, reporting on the most gut-wrenching details.  But it is a rare thing for the media to report on an incident where a person successfully defended himself, his family, and his property with a gun against a malevolent interloper.  And these actions happen daily across the USA.  When was the last time the media did news piece on gang violence in our major cities?  Criminals killing other criminals with illegal firearms?

It is almost impossible for a criminal to legally purchase a firearm.  So, criminals sell illegal firearms (think black market here) to other criminals.  And if guns were banned, that is where anybody would buy one; the illegal black market.  Now, the sales of illegal firearms between criminals is just as rampant as the sale of illegal drugs is to junkies.  The point - criminals always will have access to firearms; they have no use for the order of law that governs a civil society.  Obviously, more gun control aimed at law abiding citizens is futile.  What must be done is a re-write of our current gun laws; we have so much duplicity.  And, have law enforcement go after the illegal gun traffic that thrives among criminals.    

                                                    Copyright @2013 Terry Unger      

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