MARK POPE: Which ‘control’ is better than gun control? [OPINION]
Which ‘control’ is better than gun control?
Let’s start with full disclosure. I’m a conservative who is ambivalent about gun control. I know, Second Amendment Rights. Any consideration by conservatives for gun control is taboo. I don’t know about you, but the senseless gun violence has me longing for what politicians call “effective common sense gun laws.”
There are numerous common-sense gun laws currently on the books. The problem is that criminals, terrorists, and yes, mentally deranged people do not abide by laws; hence, laws do not solve problems. Legally purchasing a gun should be a monumental task because acquiring a gun on the black market is relatively simple. But should we ban automatic weapons? People who desire an automatic weapon for evil purposes will go to whatever extreme to get that weapon, including using the black market.
We must also consider the clichés about guns, such as “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Then there is the language in the Second Amendment about the right to bear arms and a well-regulated militia. Liberals say that the language in our Bill of Rights dealing with the right to bear arms is antiquated, outdated, and passe’. We now have an organized, government-run military, so there is no reason for a well-regulated militia, the liberals say. Whoa Nelly, hold your horses, I say to the liberals.
The right to bear arms was included in the Bill of Rights by wise men who knew that Americans might at some time need to be armed to fend off an oppressive, overbearing government. We’re already seeing this in some non-military government agencies. The early leaders who founded our representative republic knew that in addition to foreign invaders, and domestic criminals, there was a strong possibility that the U.S. government could grow so overbearing that the only way to prevent such an occurrence would be to take up arms and fight the oppressors. This notion is what drove our nation into its fight for independence from England.
Nonetheless, I am still sickened by all the murder in this country, whether it be a one-on-one shooting or mass murders such as what recently happened in Florida. With freedom comes a price. If all Americans have the right to own a gun, then it will be easier for those persons wanting to commit evil acts with a firearm to do so. The First Amendment has limits – shouting fire in a theater – and so should the Second Amendment. Strong, efficient background screenings are essential to mitigating gun violence. An outright ban on automatic weapons gives the advantage to criminals who would then have exclusive access to automatic weapons on the black market.
The problem with gun violence in our society is that respect for life is dwindling more and more with each passing year. The genesis of the lack of respect for self, and thus for life in general, go back to LBJ and the “Great Society.” Johnson’s social welfare programs made it easy to go on the government dole, and blame others for one’s problems. Drop out of school and languish . . . the government will take care of you. Have a baby out of wedlock at an early age . . . no problem, the government has you covered.
And of course, our society has grown more and more soft in its approach to life. Got a problem or a challenge in life . . . it’s somebody else’s fault. And so it has “progressed” through the years, to the point that we now have the Grievance Industry. Many disgruntled persons are angry at the world which they believe has failed them, so they act out with gun violence.
The only way to stop mass shootings is to have armed sentinels at any and all places where large groups of people congregate – schools, concerts, shopping centers, and so on. We must fight gun violence with persons trained to take down a mass murderer. I know it’s not a pretty or poetic solution, but some things are messy and require an equally messy and expensive solution.