07 January 2016

What gun "debate'?

This so-called debate about guns goes around and around, with everyone repeating ad nauseum every quaint aphorism which we already have heard.  It’s become like the old “Queen For A. Day,” where an applause meter determined the winner.  Nobody seems willing to sit down and talk.  That included Congress.  The President.  The NRA.  Gun people.  Anti-gun people.  Churches.  You.  Me.  

I have to wonder, what you Lyndon Johnson have done.  To him, results were what counted, and results meant lasting compromise.  Some of the compromises he straw-bossed still exist today.  (Remember Medicare?)

Can we begin by acknowledging the sincerity of those against us?  Not that they are right, just that they are sincere.

The President doesn’t like guns.  He genuinely believes that restrictions on guns will do more good than harm.  He does not present this as a being competing interests and he doesn’t say how he figures that the interests compare.  He - and Mayor Bloomberg, and other “liberals” - do not see the issue as a mommy-government protecting people who cannot protect themselves or as a plot to take away the rights of the people.

That may be the effect, but they don’t see it that way.  Can we at least acknowledge that?

The NRA and pro-gun people genuinely see this as a matter of the rights of a free people to protect themselves.  They believe that the same or less restrictions on gun will do more good than harm.  They do not present this as a being competing interests and they do not say how they figure that the interests compare.  They don’t want anarchy, school shootings or anybody to be shot when they are minding their own business.

That may be the effect, but they don’t see it that way.  Can we at least acknowledge that?

Both positions are based on fear.  Fear is good.  Fear is built into us genetically.  It’s how to respond that people disagree on.

“The only answer to a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”  Wrong.   But AN answer to a bad guy with a gun MAY BE a good guy with a gun.  It totally depends on the circumstances.  When is a good guy with a gun not the answer?  What are the numbers?

“The police will protect us.”  Well, they will try. Not perfectly.  How often do the police fail to protect us?  What are the numbers.  

If firearms are in homes and in law-abiding citizens holsters, the people are more secure from one standpoint.  They are less secure from another standpoint.   What are the numbers?  What are we willing to risk as a society?  And are we willing to let people make up their own minds?  

Gun people - like me - keep beating ourselves up over stupid shit.  West Virginia will probably pass a right to carry concealed without any license.  Any way you look at it, that is terminally stupid.  It's as bad a putting a chainsaw in my hand and tell me to go a-timbering.  I'll return with at least one limb missing.  We want to see firearms at gunshows.  Hell, I like gunshows.  There’s one in Morgantown this weekend, and I plan to go.  Most people who have tables at gunshows sell guns.  Only some have a Federal Firearms License.  Duh. You go to a gun show to sell guns to strangers.  You should have an FFL.  What’s the big deal?  When I buy or sell a gun to someone I know or make or receive a gift, it’s a hobby, not a business.  Is it hard to understand the difference?

Gun people - like me - hold onto the notion of how great a 100 round magazine or a 50 round mag or a 30 round mag.  Pure stupidity.  We do so because the anti-gun people want no semi-automatic weapons or very small magazines.  We are ALL unwilling to say, well 15 or 20 should be about it.  Then, we’ll be “weak.”  That’s not weak - that’s called a compromise.

Until we are willing to sit down and quit demonizing each other, nothing will get solved.


1 comment:

Bob Amos said...

I agree for the most part. Limited restrictions upon the possession, use and display of certain types of guns (so-called assault rifle and machine pistols are in my view, required. However, ownership of sporting guns and pistols for self protection should be open to those who qualify by education and age and prohibited to those who have through convictions for violent crimes or judicial determination been denied the right to own, possess or use a firearm. I realize that a judicial determination can sometimes be erroneous and that rapid fire weapons with large magazines have their uses. I also realize that not every attempt to regulate firearms will be successful but doing nothing gains nothing.