As everyone knows, there was another school shooting here in the States last week. This one was particularly bad, as 20 first-graders were killed.
I don't know if it is due to this fact, or the rise in social media; -or maybe a bit of both, but the gun control argument has really gotten intense this time.
And the NRA has shut down it's facebook page and kept completely schtum. Apparently, this is in keeping with their policy.
But I have things I want to say to the leadership and members of the NRA. I have questions I want to ask. I'm not the only one, I know. And as I can't ask them on their turf, I will ask on mine. This isn't restricted to NRA members, of course. Any pro-gunner can feel free to jump in with answers.
I want to say first, that I do respect your second amendment right to be available as an armed militia.
(or maybe this image was more what you had in mind?)
So you can use your weapons to rise up against an unjust Government.
(Yep. I can totally see how a handgun, rifle and especially a semi-automatic would have helped out here. Um-hmm.)
Or maybe you just want to protect your home and property, as a Facebook friend of mine posted (direct cut & paste here -no changes from me):
"Oh dear! Defending myself or my family from intruders is not a DEADLY ACT! What is wrong with some of you people that are against guns? They can PROTECT ALSO!!!
Anybody else I guess that does not RESPECT my right to defend myself or my family with a use of A gun for protection and wants to DELETE me because of that ....Feel free to do so...It will not hurt my feelings... Because someone DELETED ME because of my right to PROTECT MY FAMILY.... I thought in debates LOL there was suppose to be a RESPECT ISSUE...Guess not!"
(So it's a matter of respect, apparently. OK.)
But I have a serious question for the "pro-gunners" out there: If I told you that in order to save the life of a child, six years old; you needed to make some concessions. Go think of a six-year old you know or knew. Think of his or her friends. Now to save that child, would you be willing to:
- Place trigger locks on your guns?
- Use a gun safe in your home?
- Give up access to semi-automatic weapons?
- ...or high-capacity ammo cartdriges?
- Take a gun safety test?
- Carry a permit?
- Get re-certified every few years? Would you do that?
- Submit every adult in the household to a full background check?
- What about a mental health screening for you and every adult living in your house (repeated every few years)?
- How's about a 6-month wait period? Would you be up for that? (No? how about 3 months?)
If you answered "no" to any of those questions, think back on that six year old and ask yourself what is so important about that point you are unwilling to concede, that it is worth their life?
And now put yourself in Nancy Lanza's shoes and know that the six-year-old in her case was NOT imaginary. Several six year olds died on Friday, as did several others, including Nancy herself and her beloved son.
Nancy was a pro-gunner, I am sure. However if she were around to express an opinion today, I wonder what she would recommend? And please don't say that it will never happen to you; you're trained and take all precautions. I'm sure that's what Nancy would have said.
But the unthinkable happened to her.
And the problem with the unthinkable: you can't expect it, can't plan for it, you can't think it! So you have to take precautions against it. Just in case.
Because it may be your right to own a gun, but it is also everyone else's right to not get shot, unless they happen to be invading your home at the time, of course.
We need to pass a test, carry a license and insurance in order to drive a car, because cars can cause damage and take lives if used improperly. Why don't we have the same basic precautions on guns, which are much more dangerous in the wrong hands?
And on the "We need more guns to protect outselves against guns" argument, I will say this. If I have a gun and I attack you, and you have your gun to defend yourself, what are the chances that at least one of us is getting shot? Pretty darn high.
However, if I don't have a gun and I attack you, and you don't have a gun to defend yourself, what are the chances of us getting shot then?
There might be angry words and a blow or two. We may hate each other forever and curse when we see each other. But we will both still be alive to do it.
And despite the fight we just had, I'd rather see you alive.