The subject of Gun Control came up on Facebook prompting (additional) thought. Some time ago I wrote, “I do not believe in Gun Control“. I still stand by those words but we always hear the argument that making more laws is useless because it is the criminals who obtain unregistered guns and the criminals are the problem. But … all guns start out as legal. Because of the greedy, the careless the incompetent or the stupid, they end up in the hands of the criminal or the otherwise law abiding person who will use them in a criminal or careless manner. It has also been argued that some are smuggled in from foreign countries but of course that is a source for the criminals that comes from the greedy, seeking to make a profit without regard of the victims. It makes no difference as to the source, we should try to prevent these people from obtaining the guns in the first place or by making them responsible for the guns after they relinquish control in an irresponsible manner be it intentional or accidently.
But, “they” say the laws will not be obeyed and so why punish the law abiding citizens with more laws, It was Kahlil Gibran who suggested in “The Prophet” that we make our laws to justify the punishment of Criminals, not to prevent crime. That may be true but should we then do away with all law? After all, some will disobey them. I think not. We can at least try to protect the honest and the law abiding.
We claim to be more civilized than the times when every man carried a weapon at all times and I would like to think we are. No, it is not a perfect world but maybe we could work toward perfection instead of throwing up our hands and declaring every man for himself. Times change and we, hopefully, work towards a more civilized state of existence. I, for one, place my faith in the prospect that our lives are not in constant danger and I will not live in fear of being assailed and harmed. And I do not chose to be judge, jury and executioner of criminals. I will simply try to stay out of danger and leave it to the law enforcement people to do their jobs. Some may think that to be foolish and unrealistic but may I point out that I am over 81 years old and I have never been robbed nor am I dead … and I got to 81 and beyond without having a gun to protect myself. Some may call that lucky but I call it Faith.
The trigger for this discussion was a picture of a boy getting a toy assault rifle for Christmas. I was dismayed. Not that I didn’t play with guns when I was a child. I did. But I don’t think that we should be encouraging the idea that we can solve our problems with guns and killing those who oppose us. This seems to be the very attitude that is tearing the inner city of Chicago apart. Should a civilized society be encouraging such thought? I, personally, think not.
Sure, go ahead … do your hunting and have your sport with shooting. Hone your skills as a marksman. Enjoy your collection of interesting and historic weapons. But accept responsibility of your weapon and activities. It is as much a moral responsibility as a legal one. Accept registration and the regulations of transfer of ownership of the weapon. Accept the need to show your ability to secure and use your weapon safely and responsibly. We do this for our automobiles, can we do less for weapons which are even more dangerous if misused.
But … one thing … don’t tell me that you need a gun to protect yourself from the government. That is sedition and treason. I recommend self deportation to Syria. That’s the way they still need to do things there. Those may be harsh words but let me see if I understand the concept of the way things are … We had our revolution to throw off an oppressive British king and his soldiers. Back in 1776 we established a representative government which was “Of the people, by the people, and For the people”. The people, us, were to elect representatives to make the laws and do the governing. In other words, we are self governing. It is each of us, we, the people, who are the government. So, do we shoot ourselves? We hold elections to select the people who will govern the way we want them to govern. The basic idea seems to me that we are not to shoot them if we made a mistake in selecting them. Instead, we use the ballot box to correct our errors. Sure, it doesn’t work perfectly. What does? Does that mean we should quit trying and start shooting people? Look at the words of Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg. Our form of government has been tested by the (un) Civil War and has been found to be good and sustainable. Let’s stay on that path.
In conclusion I reiterate that I don’t believe in gun control but I do advocate self control first and laws for people control second since people seem reluctant to use self control. After all, the only reason we need laws at all is that people do not use self control.