My Thoughts: Gun Laws & The Second Amendment

It’s been such a tough couple of weeks, with emotions running so high and the agony of what happened in FL weighing heavily on us all. The loss of these beautiful people is unbearable to fathom and because it hurts all Americans so deeply, the intensity of the conversation is at a level I have not seen before. The level of anger coming toward us as gun owners and Second Amendment supporters is incredibly high. I know that it is tough on you and that it can be extremely difficult to know how to respond.

Personally, I respond with empathy to the feelings of others and to be as articulate as I can be in sharing what I know and believe. I am choosing to take advantage of opportunities wherever I can to educate Americans on the truths of firearms, the Second Amendment and on what I believe are the core issues that we must address as a country. Yes, this includes entering the lion’s den of the mainstream media and cable news. I don’t participate in an attempt to influence media outlets, but rather to try to inform the viewers, the regular American, and to try to introduce facts and thoughts to expand their level of understanding on the issues. It’s tough, I admit and very risky but the threat to our rights is more significant and stronger than ever before.  Trying to educate the people in “the middle” I believe, is my way to best work to protect and preserve our rights.

I would like to share with you my thoughts on the complex issues before us. These are my personal thoughts, and I don’t share them to make them yours or to represent anyone other than myself. Perhaps it is a bit of my therapy or my attempt to clarify my talking points as I try to educate others. In any event, here you go!

The Gun

My opinion, which is supported by FBI Statistics, is that gun laws don’t work. It isn’t about the gun. It’s about the person behind it.  There are Modern Sporting Rifles (MSR), such as AR-15’s in the hands of millions of Americans across the country, and yet a rifle (all types combined) is used in only 2% off all murders. The lack of knowledge of this firearm is extreme in both those that push for anti-gun laws and sadly, those that support the Second Amendment.

The Media

For years now, the media and politicians have repeatedly been educated on the truths and facts of the AR-15, yet they choose to continue to intentionally inaccurately describe this firearm and its capabilities to influence Americans to support anti-gun proposals. The news media is supposed to educate and inform its viewers and allow them to form their own conclusions, but instead, it feeds and manipulates them towards their preferred outcomes. This is a very scary thing.

The Government

The lack of our government’s ability to keep us safe is alarming. The failures of the FBI, local law enforcement, schools, mental health facilities and others to act upon the very clear warnings and tips are extremely troubling and demand serious investigations and immediate actions to ensure such failures don’t happen again. Honestly, these failures reinforce the need for Americans to be armed for their protection. Clearly, we can’t depend upon them to keep us safe.

Where are the cries, protests, and demands this be addressed?

NICS

I find very concerning, the incompetent use of the very system that is in place for keeping these guns out of the hands of dangerous people. NICS, The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (Which exists because of the NRA something most people don’t know)  is the system used to process background checks on firearms purchases. Here are some very concerning numbers:  48,000 felony gun purchases were identified through NICS, only 44 of these were prosecuted!  ONLY 44! How can that possibly be? Additionally, 38 states are not entering complete felony data into the system. We can’t identify and stop a felon from purchasing a gun if they aren’t in the NICS system.

Where are the cries, protests, and demands this be addressed?

More Gun Laws

I do not think that the time to make permanent legislative decisions that impact not only hundreds of millions of Americans and potentially infringe on a Constitutional right should be made in such an emotional state. Legislating and governing this great country must be done objectively and based on facts and truth.

Before greater restrictions are imposed on law-abiding, respectable Americans, (who by the way are the only ones that will follow any new laws introduced), our government must effectively utilize the tools and enforce the laws that are already  in place to keep guns out of the hands of those who should already be prohibited from obtaining them.

Schools

If our overall goal is to keep schools safe, our focus should be on securing the schools themselves. As it stands now, they are not hardened or secure in any tangible way from these attacks. If we wish to keep schools safe, we need to fortify them and treat them as the priority they should be. Think of the efforts, dollars, and drills that go into fire prevention in schools? A child hasn’t died in a school fire for more than 50 years, yet we continue to do everything we can to prevent one. Shouldn’t we have the same determination in their security?

Where are the cries, protests, and demands this be addressed?

Here is a great article and definitely worth reading:

Active shooters in schools: The enemy is Denial

Priorities

We place armed security in our banks, jewelry stores, airports and transportation terminals, rock concerts and football games.  We protect our politicians, athletes, and entertainers and we don’t protect our most precious children with the same? The monsters committing these atrocities know that they are gun free zones filled with people that have no real method of defense or protection, making them a soft and attractive target. These cowards aren’t going to go somewhere where they know someone or something may stand against them.

Where are the cries, protests, and demands this be addressed?

Society

We have experienced a shift and now live in a world that glorifies violence, not only in games, movies, songs, television, etc. but also in headlines. We are becoming a people desensitized to the horrors and truths of violence, and we see these gruesome scenes played out in our schools and on our streets.  The breakdown of the American family and increase of violent mental illness is taking its toll on our country. We have so few tools and methods to deal with these, and so the degeneration just continues.

Where are the cries, protests, and demands this be addressed?

At what age?

Men and women may serve our country in the military and vote at the age of 18. Two of the most important things a citizen of this country can do. If they are adult enough to risk their lives for our freedoms and adult enough to vote for those that are responsible for running our government, then they are adult enough to own a gun responsibly. They are either kids or adults; it can’t be both. There are more than 120 million responsible gun owners, a large percentage of which are young people. Don’t all of the men and women between 18-21 have the right to self-protection?

The Second Amendment

The Second Amendment of our Constitution exists for our protection against a tyrannical government and the self-defense of our God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I have been mocked publically for stating this truth as if I am a “nut” for thinking I need protection against our very own government in this day and age. The Second Amendment is about protecting our future, and it acts as a mighty deterrent to prevent tyranny.  I find it interesting that those that call our current president a tyrant and warn that he is like Hitler don’t have a different view on the Second Amendment?

We must be cautious and objective and look at the entirety of an issue before legislating an inalienable and constitutionally protected right. A constitutional right is an entirely different thing than government legislated privileges such as driving a car or purchasing alcohol.

Do we really want solutions?

As you can see, there are so many complicated issues that we as a country must deal with. We all want the same things – people that shouldn’t have guns not having them and for all law abiding and innocent people to be safe and free from harm.

I believe people want the quick fix and to “feel better.” They want and need to feel like they “did something” to make it stop. Although just like everyone else, I want the murder of innocents to stop. There is no quick fix. We may want to think more gun laws will do it, but they won’t.

We must fight this urge and be willing to dig deep into the complicated and painful issues that are at the core of these problems. It will be difficult and will take a very long time to accomplish. If we truly want it to stop – we must be committed to solutions, no matter how hard or how long it takes. To do anything less makes us complicit in the next tragedy.