My first response yesterday was to start writing a post much like this one will be. However, I felt that a time of mourning was needed. Not because I felt that now is not the time to discuss gun violence, but because I know the pro-gun lobby would throw up that idea. My heart goes out to the parents, relatives, friends and families touched by that tragic event. I mean them no disrespect in anything I may say here. That said, this tragic event needs to have some meaning.
I know my perspective will upset a great many Americans. I will not mince words. I am anti-gun. As a trained martial artist I have a good knowledge of guns and their potential, good and bad. It is my experience that they do more harm than good.
I am not going to say that the Second Amendment should be abolished, though I would cheer heartily if it were. But it is high time that we begin to put forward ways to get some controls and regulations on firearms and ammunition.
I am not so naive as to believe that guns cause violence. The violent nature that we have in America is at the heart of the problem, and does need to be addressed. However, I think it is equally naive for gun owners to believe that guns do not assist in the seriousness of the violence. In cases like Newtown, it is called “gun violence” for a reason. Guns are involved and it is time for gun owners to own up to that fact.
I have had many pro-gun folk tell me that we cannot regulate guns for one of two reasons. Either because arms are permitted in the Second Amendment, or because regulations do not work. I have one response to both of these.
We regulate freedoms all the time. In fact, we regulate the Second Amendment and I am sure most gun owners agree with the regulations that we do have. Unlicensed individuals are not allowed to own hand grenades, bazookas, anti-aircraft guns, cannons, tanks, and a whole host of “arms.” It could be argued that arsenic, a poison, is an arm and no one is allowed to keep a barrel of it in their backyard, and I am sure that most people are happy for that. TNT, C-4, and a host of other explosives are also arms, but are happily regulated. Hell, in some states you can’t buy a firecracker, but you can buy a gun. The argument that regulations do not work is ridiculous and clearly proven wrong. The argument that we cannot regulate or control a freedom, such as the Second Amendment, is also clearly proven wrong. Try shouting “fire” in a crowded theater and then tell me about regulations of freedoms.
It is way past time that we regulate high capacity magazines and various types of arms that serve no everyday purpose such as hunting, target shooting, or basic self defense. As mentioned earlier, we already do that with large swaths of arms. It is time to re-examine the list of what is permissible. It is past time for gun owners to admit that guns are dangerous tools and that they play a roll. Gun owners need to not only accept, but agree that regulations are a necessary thing for such potentially deadly items.
We regulate cars. Still, people jump through the hoops and drive around proudly in their car. We regulate drugs. Still people get the life saving drugs they need. If gun owners want anti-gun people like me to stop shouting, “Ban the guns,” then they need start pushing the NRA to start pushing Congress to pass common sense regulations. It is either that, or they need to pound their chests loudly every time another Newtown happens.
To those who say regulations won’t work, I will say that you have no proof. Sheriffs in the old west found their towns got safer if they made people leave their iron or leave the town. However, I will say that I have no proof that regulations will help. But to continue to do nothing, to not try anything, to stand the ground and say that nothing should be tried is the same as saying, let’s allow it to happen again.
Enough is enough.