Thursday, January 17, 2013

Gun Restrictions are Proof of Indifference

I didn't want to get into this on this site, but it needs to be said, and this site is me, so here it goes.

Below are a lot of questions gun-restriction/ban advocates and American citizens should be asking themselves today. It’s sad and frightening that I can only hear one question being asked, when it’s the least important question of all.

If you are in favor of what are commonly referred to as “common sense gun laws” but nothing more, let me offer this. In Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City and Washington DC these gun laws (and far stricter versions as well) have been around for years already, yet these are easily the most violent cities in America, per capita. Not forgetting that children were murdered in Newtown, which is the spark for this current gun-law-go-round, are you suggesting these laws are absolutely the only solution to the violence in America? Are you certain these laws will protect children from mass shootings? Are you certain nothing else will?
In 1994 the government, under the leadership of Bill Clinton, passed an Assault Weapon ban and magazine capacity restriction laws exactly like those proposed today. Have you forgotten Columbine? 1999, years after the ban was well established, children died in a school. Why is it, in nearly 15 years since Columbine, our leaders have made no significant strides to tackle the real causes of mass shootings and violence in general? Are you absolutely certain, when you look at America’s most violent cities, that guns are really the problem? What I am saying is, gun laws are band aides and I think it’s shameful that Americans aren’t demanding real solutions to our problems. And we haven’t just wasted 15 years. Even though the 1990s were our most violent years under the Assault Weapon Ban, in 1984 James Huberty killed 21 people in a McDonalds. Our government passed some crime and gun laws and mass shootings steadily increased from that point forward. Are you absolutely certain this time, gun laws will help heal this nation? In nearly 30 years, why hasn’t it worked? Why haven’t things changed for the better? For all our progression, for all our new knowledge, for all our advancements, why are people still violent, still mean, still suffering mental illnesses? Do you think things have improved in the last 30 years? Do you think it’s shameful to continue forcing ideas that we know won’t work, while at the same time ignoring the real problem when it’s the lives of our children at stake?
Are you aware that aside from guns, mass shootings mostly have mental illness in common? Considering our nation’s debt, unemployment rate, decaying morality, integrity, and personal responsibility, the only cause you can think of is firearms? Were you aware that so called “assault weapons” were not used at Columbine or Virginia Tech? Were you aware that so called “assault weapons” account for fewer than 10% of all firearm related deaths from year to year and often fewer than 5%?
If your response to what I’ve said so far is all guns should be banned, then you’re in luck. Many countries already have such laws. In these countries, if you protect yourself with a gun, you go to prison. In places like the UK, violent crime is higher than the United States. I guess the concept is, the criminals still run rampant, but at least you will survive an encounter with one. Are you comfortable living in a country that, by law, expects you to accept the very likely possibility of being a victim? Are gun-ban advocates suggesting all human beings are physically equal? Are you willing to accept being vulnerable to rape or being beaten, especially if you are smaller than the criminal? The next question is the toughest because the answer isn’t easy. Is human life so valuable that everyone should live in fear to protect it? Is it right that a government can strip its citizens of the choice to protect their own life, property or well-being, yet essentially admit it can do nothing else to protect those citizens? I am absolutely certain by owning a firearm, I am not infringing on anyone’s rights. I enjoy hunting and the shooting sports which, the last time I checked, is covered by my guarantee to pursue happiness in America. Are you saying, because you don’t think I “need” it, you are justified to infringe on my rights? I know that some criminals are much bigger, much meaner and much stronger than I am. Last time I checked, my unalienable right to “life” comes before the pursuit of happiness in the Declaration of Independence. These are core American values which formed the entire concept of what America is. Are you willing to give these fundamental rights up in the name of safety? Are you suggesting your personal safety is not your responsibility?
It would seem the anti-gun logic is, if you can just manage take the tools away from criminals they will suddenly become kinder, gentler citizens, give up their unlawful ways and contribute in a positive way to society. And apparently, addressing the causes of criminal behavior, perhaps the conditions contributing to crime and mental illness, is completely rash. Does this strike you as sound logic? Total firearm bans turn law abiding citizens into criminals if they do not turn over their property to the government. Give us your property or go to prison. You are of the opinion that sentence does not sound like tyranny? Isn't the unwarranted search and seizure of property also protected against by the Constitution and its Amendments? And if you aren't in favor of gun bans, why are countries with gun bans so often cited as shining examples during times like these? It might also sound absurd to suggest that we punish criminals for their behavior. Is it unreasonable to say that people who directly and purposefully violate America's fundamental rights are therefore forfeit of American rights? Aren't our rights specifically dependent upon living by and upholding them?
And what about this “needing” certain types of firearms? It would seem some Americans still haven’t figured out that the Second Amendment doesn’t have anything to do with hunting, sporting or self-defense. These are all unalienable rights covered by America’s fundamental guarantee to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. Self-defense is my responsibility and right. Sport and hunting are not just about my right to pursue happiness, but my right to simply feed myself. By saying a person doesn’t “need” a certain type of firearm are you suggesting there is nothing and no one to fear in the world? Have you forgotten 9/11? Do you still believe our government can protect you when thousands of people died in a single day on American soil? Is World War II so far in the past that it has no relevance today? Do you believe there are not thousands of disarmed people in the world being slaughtered by tyrants in 2013? The Second Amendment specifically protects “military style” firearms because these are the only firearm with which we can legitimately combat foreign (or domestic) threats. People who think this means gun owners want rocket launchers, tanks and nukes are confused. A firearm is something an individual can use against an aggressor and has the means to keep and maintain without specialized tools or knowledge. I’m not suggesting the world we live in doesn’t involve threat of weapons capable of causing massive casualties. I won’t try to draw a morality line in the sand for you on this issue, because no one can.
Furthermore, as a gun-ban advocate, what do you actually know about firearms and their associated laws, and do you believe that you should be allowed to strip fundamental American rights based on ignorance? Often we hear arguments like, these weapons are not designed for hunting or self-defense or sport. Are you aware that all of these statements are false, or worse, blatant lies? All firearms, every single one of them, was designed for ending human life. Therefore, all firearms are “military style” weapons if your concept is that taking human life is a military function only. Before firearms existed, the creation and perfection of black powder was pursued to end human life. The argument exists because of the complete misunderstanding of firearms, not because it actually has any merit. Do you actually know anything about the shooting sports? If you do, do you find it somewhat confusing that gun-ban advocates insist “military style” weapons are not used in sporting events, yet they are the most popular firearm in the most popular shooting sports today? How is it logical to suggest something designed for ending human life is inappropriate for self-defense? Isn’t that a contradiction? Why do gun-ban advocates insist these firearms (the AR-15 specifically) and their associated ammunition are not for hunting when they are among the bestselling firearms in the country, widely used for varmint hunting and fire a cartridge designed specifically for varmint hunting? Our military modified this varmint cartridge for its purposes, not the other way around. Are you aware that this cartridge is not considered powerful enough (and therefore not allowed) to hunt large game such as deer in most states? 
The most important question of all; is it time for real meaningful change in America, or will we continue pursuing band aides? Do you actually care about the violence and mental illness, or do you just want to feel better until the next tragedy comes along? Should we continue punishing and stripping the rights of law abiding Americans, or start punishing criminals instead? For decades America has done nothing to change the societal cancer growing in our neighborhoods, homes, schools and cities. Passing gun laws, whether you like guns or not, is the same as doing nothing and it always has been. What’s more, I believe many gun-control advocates are disingenuous liars who, by taking meaningless gun-control measures, prove they don’t even care about public safety or the decay of our nation. Until the public takes a genuine interest in the fate of America, we can expect the decline to remain steady.


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