You cannot dip your toe into the water of guns in the U.S. without offending someone or some group. Nevertheless, I plan to do so here. I offer these words to open the discussion. Increasingly, evidence and events insist that we have this discussion about guns and gun control. Even extremists should be open to discuss the subject objectively. Here's my try...
It usually begins with the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It does NOT state what most gun advocates say it does. Here it is exactly as written, every word:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
OK, that's it. It is clear that it refers to a "well regulated Militia." In 1776 a well regulated Militia were colonists who kept their guns at home and were then called upon from time to time to come out and fight like a rag-tag army. There was no military draft. There were no camps where soldiers were trained. George Washington simply called out average colonists to bring their rifles to fight the British and be the American militia.
The closest thing to an equivalent today would be the National Guard. That would be today's "well regulated Militia."
Instead the National Rifle Association [NRA] and other advocating groups have twisted this to somehow get it to mean that every Tom, Dick, and Harry has the right to carry a concealed hand-gun to church, while shopping, on a train, etc. The Second Amendment says absolutely nothing about that...Nothing!
Today, when you have to be screened to get a license to drive, any nut can purchase a gun of any kind, and carry it on his/her person, even when an intense argument prevails. And that gun can be automatic, and can have a clip in it for additional, fast-repeating bullet-firings.
We have the hunters lobby joining in this crazy fight. And we have those who fear the government, stating that somehow the government is out to disarm you and take away your freedoms. What? And therefore your six-shooter can no longer protect you against the government's nuclear arsenal, the government's tanks, the government's aircraft carriers? Huh?
Many, when they read this blog, will yell that I want to allow the government to take away your guns. Wrong! I am not asking the government to intervene. I am asking you to begin to think like a responsible adult, a civilized human being, a rational citizen.
This is not the ideal way to bond with your youngster. To take him out and teach him how to shoot one of the most timid and innocent animals in the world, a deer. Huh?
But if we do not go into the woods to kill deer they will multply and over-run us? Huh? We have easily regulated all kinds of wildlife. Nobody wants deer prancing around urban backyards. That is easy to handle. Telling little kids that it is good to kill innocent wildlife with a gun is crazy.
This month we are again headed for a record killing of police by using guns. Where does it have to go before we wake up? Isn't there enough evidence and carnage for us to rethink our priorities in this area?
We are not using our guns at home to protect ourselves, we are in the vast majority of cases using guns to kill a friend or relative.
In most of the Western World it is the U.S. that kills more people per capita with guns, has more police shot by guns, has young people committing crimes with guns, and is the most war-related nation in the entire world. Can't we at least discuss this like responsible adults?