Thursday, April 4, 2013

Guns Don't Kill People

Once again, my silent writing self has been pulled from lethargy to respond to a Facebook post I have been receiving from numerous sources.  Many of the posters are people I love and respect and I refuse to engage in FB political conversations as I have seen too many of them deteriorate into nasty exchanges.  Here is the picture that has been posted:
Okay, this is a clever piece, meant to point out the ridiculous assumption that a gun could actually kill someone without a person involved.  In other words, the point that I DO get is that a gun, in and of itself, should not be blamed for the mayhem we have in our current society.  And right, spoons don't make people fat.  But here is another example of misplaced blame:
Yesterday I placed my car in the driveway, full of gas, key in the ignition, ready to go!  While I was gone, many other cars had passed and children had played in the street and even pedestrians were not killed or hurt. 
I think my drift here is obvious, so I won't belabor the comparison. Yet who among us argues about the need for licenses to drive, an age limit, driver's ed classes, speed limits, traffic lights, safer cars, airbags, drunk driving laws, road signs, insurance, laws about uninsured motorists, jail terms for those who, even unwittingly, kill or maim innocent bystanders.  Just this last week, we here in Seattle were heartbroken by a family being mowed down by a drunk driver while crossing the street. And today we have another example.  There is a hue and cry to make and enforce tougher laws, requiring ignition locks on cars to keep the impaired from driving, harsher sentencing in DUI cases, better signage and crosswalks on the busy street.  And how do we justify a law that requires us to wear seat belts?  Aren't my civil liberties being attacked by that law?  Is it enough that a seat belt law saves lives and saves taxpayer dollars in medical costs?  NO ONE suggests taking cars out of the equation, just as many sane and rational people do not suggest removing all of society's guns. But we are a society that makes laws when one person's liberties impact the life and liberty of others!

What continues to baffle me is that we are unable to bring that same rational thinking and conversation to the issue of guns.  Why do I have to read stories like the one in today's Seattle Times? Here's a quote:
Each year, lawmakers quietly tuck language into spending bills that restricts the ability of the federal government to regulate the firearms industry and combat gun crime.
It’s the reason the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can’t research gun violence, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) can’t use data to detect firearms traffickers, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) can’t require background checks on older guns.
Since the late 1970s, more than a dozen provisions have been added to must-pass spending bills with no hearings, no debate and no vote, in a way that’s designed to circumvent the usual legislative process. . . .
Congress has approved stand-alone bills on firearms before, but as Capitol Hill becomes more acrimonious, lawmakers have attached measures to other bills. A provision allowing owners to bring guns into national parks, for example, was tacked onto a bill outlining restrictions for credit-card companies.
What will it take for our country to wake up to the fact that the rules around gun ownership and use could stand some tweaking and still allow gun owners to co-exist with the rest of us?  I'm not ready to give up my car, but I will respect the laws of the land and do whatever I can to protect the lives and liberties of everyone else while using my car!  Is it too much to ask gun owners for the same respect?


  1. Well said, Terry. I've see the same post - clever... but it totally sidesteps the heart of the debate.

  2. Using your analogy as a baseline, then the left's argument about weapons means we should remove all sports cars since they are involved in more motor vehicle accidents and are frequently the culprits of violating speed laws. Oh and teen/twenty-something males should certainly never ever drive cars since they are most frequently involved in speeding accidents. The solution car "violence" is all wrong. What should be happening is that laws should limit production and selling of sports cars in America as this will prevent DUI deaths.

    See how I've used liberal logic and tied back deaths by auto accidents to DUI even when the majority of those aren't all related to DUI? It's stupid logic.

    And who says that all gun owners ARE violating your liberty and your life and aren't respecting you?

    I get that we need better regulation of guns. But the solution is not limiting guns or taking them away from law abiders who would follow the rules no matter what they were. Let's face it. Laws aren't written for good people. They are written for the people who do what they want.

    A majority of Americans would agree that violence using guns (or any other weapon) is a problem. However most (I repeat MOST) shootings are not situations like Sandy Hook -- which is a fairly random occurrence. Most shootings are by gang members and outlaws who don't care what the laws are. It's a sport to kill or hurt people. It's not as simple as "friends don't let friends drive drunk" and taking away the keys.

    And another thing: Do you really believe that the vast majority of gun owners do NOT respect the laws of land or aren't interested in protecting the lives of other humans? IF you do, that's false.

    Most gun owners I know are law abiding citizens who follow the laws, and certainly go out of their way to protect you, your life and your liberty by abiding the laws around guns and safe/appropriate usage. They aren't pointing the barrel of the gun in a school at little children nor are they holding it to your head while they violate you/your property. They are good people just like you who just happen to own a gun.

    Until the left stops looking at shootings as a gun-toting, red-neck problem we're never going to find a solution.

    Getting good people to obey more laws isn't the solution. What is focuses on enforcing laws against gang violence, racial hatred, guarding our borders and putting harsher sentences for people who have illegal weapons or commit violent acts. (And then, I would agree -- take away the key!)

    Most people on the right (myself included) agree that we need better gun laws. What gets us fired up is when liberals start taking freedoms away. You're taking away our freedom while disguising it as an anti-violence law.
    And that, my dear, is a slippery, slippery slope.

  3. We must agree to disagree I fear. Thank you for your thoughtful response. Sorry I can't thank you personally :-)

  4. Well written and reasoned, Terry.

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