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Another Side of Gun Control



As the tragedy of Sandy Hook, Newtown Connecticut is fading from the front pages, the issue of gun control marches forward.  And, in respect to what might have been, what could have been prevented, in the wake of all this, the answer is nebulous.


For certain, serious measures to ensure that tragedies of this nature are less likely to repeat must be taken…to the best of our collective will.  In the aftermath of 9/11, we knew that we could not disarm potential terrorists, but we could make access to airplanes considerably more difficult than before.


A big inconvenience to the general flying public?  Yes.  But we did what we had to do.  In this day and age, it is virtually impossible to enter a public court house while armed with a gun or a knife.  Can’t we make our schools as secure as a courtroom?   


What we can do is make it more difficult for errant individuals to gain access to gun ownership in the first place.   Mandatory background checks, yes.  Apply these checks universally, to include all gun shows.  Hold registered gun owners accountable for securing their individual weapons, just as parents who allow their children access to the liquor cabinet are held responsible.


But the answer is not to further penalize legal gun owners. This is akin to punishing the entire class for the transgressions of one errant student.


Oh, I know.  Nobody really wants to take away my guns.  They don’t even want my semi-automatic rifle.  They only want our 30-round magazines, in exchange for, say, a 10-round limit. 


Yeah…for now.


But, as sure as I can read world history, and from what I’ve seen become of this nation through the decades, I can tell you that there will always be ever-creeping restrictions on individual liberties.  Today, it will be the magazines.  Tomorrow, it will be the rifle.  And sooner or later, the gun—any gun—will go the way of the cigarette.  [I don’t endorse smoking, but the means of restricting smoking—in sneaky little stages, over time—serves as an illustration as to how they will eventually take our guns.  First, smoking was banned from restaurants.  People conformed.  Then came the bars.  Patrons smoked outside.  Next, it is public areas, such as the city park.  Before long, the smoking ban will invade the individual home.


In hopes of clarifying gun ownership to a growing population of those who view guns as the culprit, we are not a “gun culture,” as so many zealous anti-gun advocates would have you believe.  To those of us who grew up around guns, they are a tool—like a hammer, a power saw, or any of a number of potentially dangerous implements.


To dub a large segment of the nation as the “gun culture” paints a misleading portrait of the America outside of major cities.  But it makes for good journalistic copy…especially when the motivation of the writer is to play into the media’s sense of a growing anti-gun sentiment.