More Shootings…More Debates

More Shootings…More Debates

gun control

So I awoke this morning to hear of two more shooting tragedies. One in a school in Roswell, New Mexico, and the other north of me in Florida.

Let me be abundantly clear. My husband and I own firearms.

Am I a sharpshooter? Furthest thing from it.

Can I handle a weapon in an emergency and hit a target? Better believe it.

Do I have an understanding and healthy respect for the power of a gun? Absolutely. 

Should everyone own (and carry) a gun? Not if you will not be responsible as well as ready to take a life…because if you point a gun, you better be ready to fire.  And accept the consequences of firing. 

Of late, I have been involved in some heated debates over gun possession. There seems to be a viewpoint that every man, woman and possibly teen should be able to possess a gun with little to no restrictions. 

roswell

In the first case of Roswell, New Mexico, a 12 year old boy brought a sawed off shotgun to school, and shot two students. No one seems to know why. A courageous teacher got right in front of the boy, and convinced him to put down the gun.

So how does a 12 year old in New Mexico get a sawed off?

Not thinking that he got it at the local gun shop…it probably came from the parents’ gun cabinet.

After the Sandy Hook shooting, there was some discussion about letting personnel carry guns into schools, or having armed security in the hallways. So if the teachers had guns (which some folks are proponents of), would the situation have ended as it did?

I submit to you that there would have been a lot more death and bloodshed.

movie theatre shooting

In contrast, let’s look at the shooting in Wesley Chapel, Florida. The shooter, Curtis Reeves, is a retired police officer. He flipped out because the victim was texting in a movie theater.

Have we all been annoyed by that? Sure.

Do we feel the need to start a fight, then shoot someone? No.

I can script where this will go. His defense attorney has already claimed self defense at the bond hearing. The judge wasn’t having it and is holding him no bond until trial. Then what? Stand your ground. Again. Even though witnesses claim that the victim threw popcorn at the defendant, the defendant will claim he was in fear for his life (even though he started it), and that’s why he shot the victim Chad Oulson in the chest. I doubt this motion will be granted, especially in light of what the witnesses saw, and the woman that has come forward to say this defendant also harassed her during a movie because she was texting.

In all honesty, I will concede that gun control laws would not have changed the outcome of this situation, unless the defendant was found to be mentally ill at some point. He’s a former police officer, so he would fall into the category of someone who should be able to carry.

But looking at the extreme version of this. If the victim had a gun, then what? Shoutout at the movie theater? And what about people caught in the crossfire?

Too bad so sad?

All I’m saying is let’s be reasonable. If you need a permit to fish, a license to drive, and have to register to vote, why shouldn’t there be greater accountability for the ownership of something that, by its very design, is meant to kill? Why do we need to live in a society in which everyone needs to be strapped? 

There HAS to be a middle ground, between gun ownership, upholding the Constitution, and keeping citizens safe.  Let’s constructively talk about ideas, and respect that not everyone feels the same way about firearms.  

Please keep the victims in your thoughts and prayers….especially the 3 year old who does not have a dad anymore because he died for texting her.

oulson and daughter

Food for thought.

As always, I am up for a good debate.  

M.

3 thoughts on “More Shootings…More Debates

  1. f you need a permit to fish, a license to drive, and have to register to vote,

    Couple of points – First a permit isn’t needed to fish on your own property, a license isn’t needed in every situation and registration to vote is fundamental to show you actually belong in the group which is eligible to vote. I live in one county — I should not vote in another county’s election because I have no stake there.

    Next, we have to discuss what the courts ( you know this better than I) call Strict Scrutiny. Does the government have an overwhelming need to act that can not be met in any other manner, is it tailored as narrow as possible, etc.

    Given how few people are actually guilty or responsible for “gun violence” isn’t it a little hard to justify a licensing scheme for everyone (as an example)?

    Even if we assume each murder was done by a separate gun owner (mass murders really skew this) – 8,500 in 2011 (FBI UCR stats) out of the 45,000,000 gun owners that means 0.018% of gun owners committed a homicide.

    There HAS to be a middle ground, between gun ownership, upholding the Constitution, and keeping citizens safe.

    I agree but so many of the proposals — Licensing, registration, required classes, required insurance, local LEO approval etc — aren’t middle ground. Nor do many people want to consider we already are at the middle ground.

    In 1934, Fully Automatic firearms were made expensive to own, difficult to obtain and generally restricted. In 1986, citizen ownership of fully automatic firearms was prohibited for any firearm manufactured after 1986. Increasing the price, decreasing availability and further restricting our rights.

    Will any gun control advocate consider loosening that requirement if we gun owners accept required training? None that I have talked to.
    So we get no compromise, just further restriction…..where is the middle ground there?

    Let’s constructively talk about ideas, and respect that not everyone feels the same way about firearms.

    I agree. I often purpose constructive ways we can reduce violence, including gun violence –only to be told they only want to talk about gun control.

    My ideas:
    1. Improve education – remove the political correct garbage from being taught in schools, let the families teach morals and ethics. Schools should teach math, science, technology, grammar — skills and knowledge that prepare kids for careers without another 4 years of college (the first year teaching them what they should have learned in high school.

    2. Reduce unemployment by reducing the administrative and tax burden on businesses, especially small biz. Tons of paperwork that really just gets filed, intrusive inspections, regulations that strangle productivity, etc — reduce (note that word) the burden so owners can spend more time making stuff — and hiring more people.

    3. Get rid of most of the ridiculous drug laws– Prohibition failed in the ’20s, isn’t it time we admitted we haven’t done any better on the War on Some Drugs? This alone would go a long way in reducing violence — especially gun violence where dealers have little recourse to the courts or police.

    4. Strengthen the family — this is one that is going to be tough sell — by reducing government social net. Tooo many people are substituting a government check for the other parent. Two parent families consistently have been shown to be an asset to society.

    5. Empty the prisons of non-violent offenders (especially drug possession see #3) and keep violent offenders in jail. Provide effective rehabilitation training and education. If they re-offend, keep them in jail. Most murderers have a least a felony arrest if not conviction on their record prior to the homicide.

    Are those the kind of constructive ideas you are looking for?

    1. In a nutshell? YES YES and YES!!! A few points:

      Like I have said before on this blog (and elsewhere), people have more common ground than they think. But, if you stay stuck in “my way or the highway”, we as a people will get nowhere. Personally, my husband and I own guns. But we are responsible. Not everyone is. I don’t believe any civilian needs a fully automatic weapon…that takes all “sport” out of hunting. I would support gun ranges having an area where you can store and target shoot with automatic weapons, but I don’t think it should be in a private home. A shotgun? Sure. A handgun? No problem. But you have to be accountable.

      Addressing your ideas:
      1. Improve educationABSOLUTELY. An uneducated country is a dead country. The countries that are now players on the international stage have invested a great deal in education. But I disagree, there is a place for basic morals in school. Especially if the family is unavailable or unable to teach that topic. Don’t have to go crazy with it; but kids need to understand that there are consequences for their actions, and that they are responsible for their fellow man/woman.

      2. Reduce unemployment by reducing the administrative and tax burden on businesses, especially small biz. YES

      3. Get rid of most of the ridiculous drug lawsYES

      4. Strengthen the family — this is one that is going to be tough sell — by reducing government social net. Tooo many people are substituting a government check for the other parent. Two parent families consistently have been shown to be an asset to society. Small problem…we can’t force people to marry. We can’t force people to stay together. Nor should we. And I think the number of people who are having babies just to get a government check is very low (based on my experience in working within at risk neighborhoods).

      5. Empty the prisons of non-violent offenders (especially drug possession see #3) and keep violent offenders in jail. Provide effective rehabilitation training and education. If they re-offend, keep them in jail. Most murderers have a least a felony arrest if not conviction on their record prior to the homicide. YES YES YES YES!!!

      Are those the kind of constructive ideas you are looking for?

      For sure! Like I said…common ground exists between all of us. We just have to take the effort and look for it.

      Have a great day!
      M.

      1. Not everyone is. I don’t believe any civilian needs a fully automatic weapon…that takes all “sport” out of hunting.

        Can I ask you about this?

        First, fully automatic weapons are not used in hunting. Second, the rate of effective fire in regards to hunting wouldn’t make a difference. For example, the M-4 (military version of AR-15) has a semi-automatic rate of fire of 45 rounds per minute or fully automatic at 90 rounds. Does doubling the rate really matter?

        What fully automatic weapons are good for is the same reason the Military uses them. Given that it is possibly (but hopefully never probable) that the Military could be used against citizens; shouldn’t they have the same level of weaponry?

        The British Colonists (Washington, Franklin, etc) used weapons almost identical to the government soldiers (redcoats) who were trying to oppress them.

        So why shouldn’t you or I — we are responsible — be able to own fully automatic firearms?

        Saying no because criminals misused them is like saying we should have to walk because of drunk drivers, right?

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