Sunday, December 16, 2012

Tragedy and Gun Control

I wasn't originally going to write this blog post yet, but my Twitter, Facebook and Google+ feeds are blowing up with gun control ranting on both sides.  On one side is the "OMG BAN THE GUNS" and on the other side is posting of articles about people getting killed with other thing like hammers and then the person asking, "So where is all the crying for hammer legislation?"  First, my prediction: Nothing will change.  The second this happen, every strongly pro-gun person dug in for a battle even before it started.

Ok, so here is my position.  I am fine with people owning guns.  I don't own any, and I have only gone shooting once in my life (trap shooting with a shotgun).  If I did decide a buy a gun, I would choose either a handgun if I felt the need for self-protection or a shotgun if I was mostly buying it for sport (trap shooting).  I am also more moderate in my pro-gun stance in that I would be perfectly fine with the assault weapons ban coming back into place and strict licensing and registration being required for ALL firearms.

Some of the....crazier...people I know would put up VERY strong protest to that because then "the government knows who owns the guns so they know who to go after first."  If our government and political climate were more similar to that of a country that can execute you only for your religious beliefs, I would buy that argument.  If things really did start to get that bad, there would be signs that started ahead of time and those super paranoid people would probably "bug out" at that point anyway and go into hiding.

As for the the right to bear arms, it doesn't say what TYPE of arms you are allowed to own in the constitution.  Does the right to bear arms mean you should be able to buy an AR-15?  How about an F16 with heat-seeking missiles?  It is currently almost impossible to purchase an automatic weapon and not too many people scream about that, so what does an AR-15 buy you instead of a normal hunting rifle, shotgun or hand gun?  I know people who have already started buying several guns (before this recent incident) because they were worried "Obama's gonna take our guns" (which also shows a gross glossing over of the fact that Congress would have to pass something first before the President can sign it).

I am also somewhat conflicted about my opinions on requirements such as trigger guards and gun locks.  If someone has a legitimate concern for public safety and have a gun as a result of that, they wouldn't be able to respond quickly to an intruder.  But if a child lives in the house, I am MORE in support of such devices though (or a small bio-metric gun safe that can be opened quickly).

Regardless, guns and gun control is a very complicated issue that strongly divides our nation.  Personally, I think we should try and solve things like the fiscal cliff before we worry about gun control.  I have no problem with the discussion occurring, but having it occur now won't accomplish much.  Nothing happened after the Congresswoman in Arizona was shot.  Nothing happened after the movie theater shooting.  Nothing happened after the mall shooting just weeks ago.

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