Wednesday, September 06, 2006

About a month ago I wrote my feeling on how the term “Pro-Life” needs to apply to much more than just being against abortion. Most of the reaction I’ve gotten has been very positive. It has even been published on another web site, Peace Takes Courage. One thing has taken me a bit by surprise. Of all the criticism I’ve gotten for that essay, it has almost all been focused on one issue, gun control. It wasn’t abortion. It wasn’t capital punishment. It was gun control. Sometimes the unexpected reaction can force you to think on your feet. I have done that. So here’s a bit more about gun control.

I know why people want guns. They’re afraid. They fear criminals and the government and everything other thing that makes them uneasy. They fear harm to themselves and the one’s they love. I’m not naïve enough to think that guns aren’t one hell of an equalizer. They are. A weak man with a big gun can do a lot of damage and end the lives of far stronger men without much work. The bad guys all have guns to. So us good guys got to have them as well. Fear is an effective motivator.

I also don’t think it will work to outlaw guns. The United States’ citizens are already more heavily armed some countries’ armies. So there is no real practical way just short of fascism to get rid of all the guns. What I would like is better licensing and control of guns. You need a license to get married or go fishing. You need training and a license to drive a car. Why shouldn’t you have to be licensed and trained to carry a piece of machinery that can end a life in the blink of an eye?

I don’t think guns are evil. I own a gun. It’s an old double barrel 20-gauge shotgun. It used to belong to my grandpa and then my dad. Now it sits in my closet. It hasn’t been shot in about 20 years. I guess it’s a family heirloom and it stays with me. But it sits in my closet with no ammunition. So guns are not evil, they are merely tools. They can be used for things like hunting and target shooting, which I have no beef with. Other tools like baseball bats and hammers can kill to. Yet I don’t want special licensing for them. It’s just that guns are such efficient killing machines. To kill someone with a hammer takes quite a bit of effort, to kill someone with a gun only the motion of one finger. So we must recognize this potentially lethal nature of guns and take it very seriously. If you must wear a seat belt to protect yourself while driving a car (which is horribly paternalistic but the topic of another entry), then why shouldn’t gun owners be required to take measures to protect themselves and others?

Of course anyone who wants gun control gets the 2nd Amendment tossed at them, so I must discuss it. The 2nd Amendment reads as follows, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” Now always keep this in mind, there are no absolutes in out freedoms. Freedom of speech is limited. Freedom of religion is not unbounded. So why should the right to keep and bear arms? Why should anyone not in the military have access to a .50 caliber weapon or an automatic weapon? Why does any one need to carry a concealed weapon?

I’m not so full of myself to think that this will end the criticisms people had of my original essay. But this is what I think and as always you’re free to disagree.


Blogger blingin_hippie said...

i <3 that article of yours.

&& thx for commenting on my meager blog.

6:35 PM  

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