Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The flip side of the gun debate

So here' s the story of a man who took a picture with the family and Santa Clause loaded with supposed guns and armaments.  OK, strike one against prudence, no matter what the props actually were.  But here's the bothersome part:

They [that is, the law] came to get him. Took him away in irons. Fingerprints. Jail cells. Humiliation. Cops confiscated the weapon. Turned out to be a BB gun. And it wasn’t exactly “pointed” at his baby; careful examination revealed only that the baby was in “close proximity” to the toy. Close enough to be arrest-worthy. Charge-worthy, too. They’re holding him without bond on “Child Endangerment.” Authorities reasoned there could have been a “substantial risk of physical harm.” 
Now that's a problem.  That's why many who are gobbling up guns at gun shows are doing just that.  It's that growing trend of the government seizing more and more power to control more and more of our lives.  It's that segment of the population that would gleefully ban guns tomorrow if they could.  It's the not-too-difficult link to establish between those yelling 'ban the guns' and those yelling 'hurrah for the HHS mandate!'  It's realizing that those who have complained about our growing police state, our government run amok  and our federal law enforcement agencies overstepping bounds are right - but they're also right when it comes to this issue as well.
As for those who spent the last ten years post-9/11 reminding us that Ben Franklin said you have to be an idiot to compromise your liberty for safety, the same applies now.  Those who have dropped that quote a thousand times who now say it's time to compromise liberty for safety are, in some ways, the most dangerous players in the debate.  For it's clear they are operating less on reasoned approaches to the debate and more on knee jerk reactions and high strung emotionalism.  
If we really, really want to get to the heart and soul of gun violence in America, we'll look at reality, facts, stats, and all such things.  We'll discuss, talk, question   We'll be honest that yes, there probably are some kooks, freaks, and dangerous people who worship guns as gods.  We'll also admit that there are others who may seem less freakish  or less kooky, but are every bit as dangerous as they see gun control and elimination as the first step toward a bright new future where they call the shots. 
The best thing is to look at what the problems are, to learn lessons from things like our reactions to 9/11, and make sure we don't repeat past mistakes.  We certainly have no time to demonize anyone and everyone who dares question our open and friendly discussions about the topic.  If the victims of Sandy Hook, Aurora, Columbine and Virginia Tech, all the other mass killings, and all the other killings that go unnoticed except by those who are devastated by the losses are to be honored, it will be by finding the best solutions, not the ones we always wanted anyway, no matter what the problems happen to be.


  1. here here! I think a lot of people (at least me) would be fine with the debate if it was at least held honestly.

    This is also why... ok, here's what I think Mark Shea doesn't quite get.

    Say we implement his idea(s) for gun control. Let's also assume it backfires horribly. The problem? Laws are almost NEVER overturned or retracted from the books. Instead they're just tweaked. It's usually something like "Oh _ didn't work? Well we'll just need to make another law and then it will work!" And the pattern repeats, and new laws keep getting added bit by bit until... bam! Suddenly you find freedom gone.

  2. I'm absolutely fine with the debate, and if we could figure out a way to protect the children and reduce gun violence I'd be all for it. Right now, however, it looks like it's mostly 3 parts emotional reaction, 2 parts preconceived agendas, and 99% effort focused on things that won't end up making much of a difference, and could end up causing more harm than good. I chalk that up to learning nothing from what everyone says we should have learned after 9/11.


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