There was a time when cool heads and sane reasoning were present in public discussions about difficult and heart-wrenching issues. There was a time, but that time seems to be a distant memory. Today, it is all about emotion, personal preference, paranoia, fear, and half-truths or outright fabrications being advanced as the absolute truth and reality. There was a time when each side of an issue was able to advance their theories, ideas, and concerns, and those were debated with a measure of respect to the dissenters. There was a time, but today is not that time.
This will possibly not be received well by some and possibly alienate people on both sides of the issues I will mention. Yet, I will dare to give my two cents worth, and my opinion may or may not be the view of those reading. I still believe in the inalienable right of Freedom of Speech and Thought. We do not all agree on anything and never will. We all have preferences and form our views based on those preferences, often more than the facts.
Few things, if any, are more tragic than the senseless and needless slaughter of children. I have not lost children, but have lost a wife, parents, grandparents, friends, and those I served with to death. I can only imagine the pain, horror, and inability to even think experienced by those whose children have been slaughtered due to violence of any kind. No parent should ever have to bury a child and no child should have to fear for their safety. But that is not the world we live in.
We need comfort, not rhetoric. We need compassion not the politicization of every tragedy that occurs. We need to allow the wounds of the hearts of those suffering from tragic loss to heal without being inundated with the diatribe of various activist groups seeking to enlist adherents to their cause. Allowing no crisis to go to waste may be politically expedient but it is not humanely or morally right.
Let us wade into the troubled waters of some issues, the first being the so-called Assault Weapons. I feel compelled to address the term – “Assault Rifle.” I realize that not being a firearms expert or manufacturer of those items may leave me lacking in understanding or ability to articulate the issue in a way that can be easily understood. However, I must try.
What is an Assault Rifle? Is the AR-15 an Assault Rifle? NO, it is not! The name AR does not stand for Assault Rifle or Automatic Rifle as many seem to believe but stands for ‘ArmaLite Rifle.’ ArmaLite is a company developed in the 1950s. The rifle was designed by Eugene Stoner. The company was started by George Sullivan, a patent lawyer who worked for Lockheed. It is not and has never been an Assault Rifle but a semiautomatic firearm requiring the trigger to be pulled each time a round is fired.
An Assault Rifle, in the truest sense, requires it to be capable of being fired as an automatic weapon, such as the M16, Stoner Machine Guns, and various other military weapons. There is a requirement of licensing that is strict, costly, and difficult for a private citizen to obtain, possess, or use a fully automatic weapon in America.
Those who fear guns and want all firearms banned fear the way the AR-15 looks. They seem to have no comprehension of how it operates and that it operates in the same manner as do the many semi-automatic rifles used for sporting and hunting in America. The AR-15 was not designed for the sole purpose of killing humans, as the president declared. It can be and is used for hunting by many and is used as a sporting rifle by many.
With the millions of firearms and ammunition rounds in the possession of private citizens in America, a reasoned analysis would be that the firearms themselves are not the root problem, else there would be few people living now. The root of the problem is the human using the firearm. Yes, I said it! Guns do kill but only in the hands of someone wanting to kill. Guns, by themselves, do not any more than an automobile in the hands of a person impaired under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Let me rock the boat and declare what I have been declaring for decades. The root problem is SIN! Yes, I said, SIN! It is the human heart and the mindset of the individual. It could be mental health issues. It could be uncontrolled anger, which is in itself a mental health issue, but also a spiritual and moral one. It could be a knee-jerk reaction to someone wounding the pride or hurting the feelings of a person who believes that no one should ever offend them. We have conditioned a full generation to believe they have the right to never be offended or made uncomfortable. It could be for many reasons, but the problem is the individual and reflects society’s failure on many fronts, but banning firearms will not and cannot solve the problem.
If we ban everything used in committing a crime or mass murder, what will we have left in society? Do we ban automobiles because an intoxicated person killed others? Do we ban automobiles because, in an act of rage, terrorism, or evil a person drives an automobile into a crowd killing innocent people? Most would insist that is unreasonable, but when it comes to the scary-looking firearms that are most prolifically in the news, the demand is to ban them.
Did the prohibition of alcohol work? No! It was the impetus or catalyst for organized crime, bootlegging, and black markets to gain prominence. People who wanted alcohol, though banned, were able, at a price, to obtain the product. Do you think that the person desiring to harm others will be deterred by a ban on guns? Before you insist, if it saves one life it is worth it. Let us apply that to everything ever used in harming another and see if that makes sense.
Shall we carry the banning everything argument to its extreme? Do we ban the male penis because of unwanted pregnancies? Do we ban spoons and forks because some are overweight? Do we ban water because people drown in water? Do we ban medicine and doctors because of malpractice and abuse? Where do we draw the line? Yes, I am being facetious and ridiculous in those questions, but the reality is we cannot legislate our way to morality or safety that comes from the heart.
Now, to address those on the side of defense of our second amendment rights, I am one! To act irrationally and in a show of arrogance to break out our AR-15s and other firearms and carry them openly in protest marching on the State Houses only fuels the argument of those seeking to bank them. You have the right to keep and bear arms! That is a right our forefathers and the founders of the Republic demanded to be recognized. You have the God-given right of self-defense. I do not need to terrorize those who are terrorized by the thought of a gun by making that kind of open statement.
I am sure some will take exception to that position and say, “But I have the right!” You do! I do not argue that and defend that right. You have the right to choose to sleep with every other willing male or female in town, but does that make it a good choice or a right choice? You have many rights that you can do, but just because you can does not mean you should. Sometimes we need to be wise as serpents and pure as doves. Sometimes we can, through our show of restraint, demonstrate that we are responsible gun owners and possibly negate the fears of the emotionally fearful.
We have some of the most stringent gun laws and gun control mandates in various states and cities in America that remain the most violent in the nation if not the world. I am a licensed gun owner and have a permit to carry a firearm undisclosed. Yes, I could openly carry, but I choose to carry concealed. I do so for two reasons: I do not want to cause any anguish or concern to those around me over my display of a firearm and I do not want to become a target for a potential terrorist. My reason may or may not resonate with you, but it is my logic, and I am comfortable with it.
If banning guns would make everyone safe that would be one thing, but it will not, any more than banning automobiles due to misuse or airplanes because of terrorist use, or any other tool used to harm others. We need to deal with the root problem, and it is my view that we need to Return to God and Return to Building Strong Families with a mother and a father in the home who train the children rightly.
We have a problem but blaming the gun is not the solution!
God bless you and God bless America!