Tag Archives: assault rifle

Gun Control – Apparently, There Is No Middle Ground

I posted an article on March 15th, asking the question if there could be middle ground on gun control.  Gun Control – Can There Be A Middle Ground?

I got the response that I pretty much expected, mostly from those that believe the 2nd Amendment is about protecting one’s home.  One person commented that he has the right to protect his family in the way he deems most effective and responsible and there is no debate about it.  He went on to say that the founding fathers understood the right of self-preservation.

The 2nd Amendment reads:  “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

It’s purpose was to prevent the New Federal government established in 1789 from disarming the state militias and replacing them with a federal army, a concern that was relevant for a few years during the birth of our country but is irrelevant in current times.

It’s more of a firewall to prevent anyone to take total control of the country in absolute power.

If there is one thing that I want to make clear here, it’s that I, in no way shape of form, want to repeal the 2nd Amendment.  In fact, keep your guns if you want to since most likely, the only way guns could be taken away are from your “cold, dead hands.”

A question I ask of every citizen of these United States, NRA members and anti-gun proponents, black, white, Latino and any other people I fail to mention is this:  Do you want to make schools and universities a safer place for this country’s upcoming generations?

I would expect that many of us would agree that all want to make schools safer.  Ok, we have a starting point.  However, the diverse directions that each side want to take to reach that goal is so far apart that it has caused a freeze in reaction…and kids in the schools are caught in the middle.

David Hogg, a survivor of the Stoneman Douglas High School Shooting in Parkland, FL, has become a gun control advocate and activist against gun violence since the shooting.  He has been targeted by several right-wingers such as Laura Ingraham (mocking Hogg for being rejected by several colleges for his GPA), Frank Stallone (saying Hogg is getting a little to big for his britches and that someone in his (Hogg’s) age group is dying to sucker punch him and perhaps most insulting was Ted Nugent’s rant in where he stated that Parkland survivors have no soul and are liars.

What I can glean from this is these people don’t want to try and find a solution to keep schools safer.  They are deflecting from the subject by making outlandish and insulting statements to muddy the waters.

This is not going to be an easy solution to come to.  Both sides have very strong arguments as to what needs to be done.  Some want to allow teachers to carry guns and others feel a ban on assault style weapons is in order.  Also, there are the lunatic fringes on both sides, those who want to have everyone carry a gun and those who think the 2nd Amendment should be repealed.

The NRA (National Rifle Association) calls itself the country’s longest-standing civil rights organization and are the proud defenders of history’s patriots and diligent protectors of the 2nd Amendment.  It’s a non-profit organization that is tax exempt, not a status that I feel for an outfit so closely tied to the firearms and ammunition industry.  And since they only specialize in 2nd Amendment issues, I find it hard pressed to consider them a civil rights organization.

I end this by saying I won’t see a solution to this in my lifetime.  Just like I doubt I will see racism in this country come to end or powerful lobbyists no longer controlling elections and political issues.

Gun Control – Can There Be A Middle Ground?

This isn’t going to be a rant about gun control nor is it going to be a rant about 2nd amendment rights.  It’s a fruitless argument since neither side is willing to compromise to come up with an equitable solution.

I am neither a proponent or opponent about one’s right to own guns.  But to be fair, I must point out that I do not own a gun and have no desire to.  I have lived a pretty good life without them and have never been in a situation that would be considered life threatening.

I have hunted…in fact there are many good memories going deer hunting with my father as well as pheasant hunting with my dog Snoopy.  Still, toward the end of my hunting phase, I began to feel that I had too much of an advantage over the animals that I hunted and decided that it just wasn’t fun anymore.  And that was my choice

Choice.  That word when it comes  to guns is a huge  obstruction when it comes to the issue of guns.

What brings me to voice an opinion about this was the mass shooting that took place in Parkland, Florida last month as well as the nation-wide walk out that elementary and high school students participated in.  As a sign of respect to the victims of the shootings, many of the protests lasted 17 minutes in deference to the 17 children that were killed.

What do the children want?  They want to be safe in their schools.  They want to know that there is little chance they could be killed.

Since 2013, there have been over 300 school shootings, about an average of one per week.  And while proponents of the 2nd Amendment and the NRA will try to point to mental health issues are the root cause of these shootings, the proponents of gun control will point to the availability of assault rifles to be the root cause.

As for arming teachers, my biggest fear in that came to fruition when a teacher discharged a weapon in a California classroom.  No one was killed but three students sustained minor injuries.  However, no call to a student nurse or paramedics took place and the teacher continued with his class.

The teacher was instructing the students about gun-safety and was about to show students how to disarm someone.  While I applaud the class, there are several questions that come to mind:  If a real gun was to be used, why would live ammunition be allowed?  In fact, why would the gun need to be loaded at all if this was a demonstration?

What I don’t understand is the attitude of gun owners about any of this.  They say it is within their right to own any type of gun they wish.  I don’t begrudge their desire to own guns.  But I think the interpretation being used is a little far-fetched.

The exact wording of the 2nd Amendment is:  A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) was adopted, having been ratified by three-fourths of the states.

Lets look at the phrase “well regulated militia” for a moment.  In the context of the 2nd Amendment, proponents of gun ownership use this loophole to own guns for the security of a free state.  It does not talk about security of one’s home nor does it talk about self-defense.  And in 1791, when the Bill of Rights were ratified, the founding fathers were taking into consideration the weapons current for that time.

Can there be middle ground when it comes to gun control?  I think the chasm between the two camps is too far of a gap.  The NRA, as the student demonstrations were taking place, posted on Twitter of a black rifle emblazoned with the American flag with the caption of “I’ll control my own guns, thank you.”  A pretty heartless indication of how the NRA feels about students getting killed.

The NRA, many of the Republican Party and owners of guns will try to tell you that many of the school shootings are a mental health issue.  Anti-gun groups and many Democrats will say that it is the availability of assault-type guns that are the culprit.

Why can’t both sides be right?  I think first and foremost, both sides can at least agree they don’t want to see students being killed.  The loss of a child is perhaps the greatest fear of any parent.

Not too long ago, there was a posting that came across my Facebook with a picture of an assault style rifle with the question “Why do you feel the need to own this type of gun?”  While I didn’t respond to the question, I did read some of the responses and many of them had the same sentiment.  It wasn’t a question of need as more of a question of want.  Others posted saying they wanted them for home protection.  Still others pointed to the 2nd Amendment said they could have them.  I really doubt the founding fathers took into consideration a weapon that has the capability of 12 to 15 rounds per minute.

All that is necessary to begin a discussion on this is for both sides to see there is a need for it.  Start with the fact neither side wants to see children killed in schools and go from there.  Both sides need to stop being blinded by what both sides perceive to be show stoppers in finding a resolution.

But most of all, no solution can be reached until both sides can agree to talk with each other.

Without a civil discussion, both sides are going to be at risk of losing what they hold dear.