When it comes to the issue of gun control, I find my thoughts to be highly conflicted.
I was raised in a family with guns. We were taught to respect them and that they were not toys. We were taught that we were not to touch our parents’ guns unsupervised under any circumstances. When we were supervised, we were taught the proper way to handle them. My family still loves guns for hunting and collecting. They are responsible gun owners. They’re the “good guys with guns” we hear so much about.
I personally, do not have any guns in my house. I simply don’t feel the need. I inherited a gun from my father, but let my brother hold it because I knew he could take care of it much better than I could. He’s much more of an enthusiast than I am. But I guess the enthusiasm didn’t take hold with me. Guns are not something that I’m frightened of, but neither do I feel a need to own one.
So when the talk of gun control comes up, I’m conflicted. I can see why further regulation of guns would be considered onerous to people who have not, and would not, do anything wrong with their guns. It is a matter of liberty taking a backseat to safety, which is not always the best course. I get it.
But on the other hand, I look at all the violence out there being perpetrated with guns, and I don’t see any other way to curb it. I see mass shootings and high crime rates and the fact that we are the only first-world country that seems to have to put up with these things on a monthly, weekly, daily basis. Something has got to give.
There are plenty of good guys with guns–but there are plenty of bad ones, too. And if we have the means to differentiate between the two, and prevent such violence and bloodshed, why not take it? Further, I don’t buy the simplistic explanation that only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun. Just because you know how to handle a firearm does not mean you know how to handle a combat situation. And that’s what a shooter situation is. We have people that train, and train, and train for these situations and have to re-up their certifications in it. A CHL just doesn’t cut it for me. Further, I worry that law enforcement will have a hard time differentiating “yahoos with guns” from “good guys with guns” from “bad guys with guns.”
I don’t believe in the confiscation of firearms–but then again, not a single politician that I’ve heard of has proposed that. Some common-sense regulation does not seem that unreasonable to me. But then again, it doesn’t directly affect me, does it? I don’t own a gun, nor do I plan to in the near future.
So, yeah, conflicted.
The way of the gun is a path of respect. You must respect the power that firearms bestow upon their owners. You have to treat guns with respect and ensure that their power is never unleashed on accident or against innocents. Increasingly, I’ve come believe that gun control is a way to show that respect to the gun. It’s society’s way to respect the power of guns to destroy, a power that must be respected if they are to be kept.