The anti-gun hysteria that has pervaded the United States is highly unfortunate, and what’s more unfortunate is that it came from a place of exacerbated fears stemming from actual atrocities. It used to be that firearms were such an integral part of the American culture, that students could literally bring them to school, and no one would blanch.
Older men in my family oftentimes told me of how it wasn’t unusual to see rifles and shotguns in the back windows of trucks in a school parking lot. Mike Rowe told the Washington Times a similar story, only he and his buddy actually brought a German sniper rifle to school. The administration’s reaction to it?
In so many words. “Cool!”
“We walked in the school, had the gun over my shoulder, walking down a crowded hall and the principal saw me and said, ‘Hey, what do you have there?’ And I handed it to him and said, ‘It’s a Mauser. Check it out. It’s an old German sniper rifle,’” Rowe told the Washington Times.
“He said, ‘Bring it by the office when you’re done. I’d love to look at it when you’re finished,’” Rowe recalled. “That’s 1979 or 1980. Where I grew up, we saw the guns in the back of the truck. They were there in the gun racks in the high school parking lot.”
Rowe noted that guns haven’t really changed all that much since, but the attitudes sure have. This can be attributed to school shootings to be sure, but a a large part of the blame can go to the hysterics surrounding the object itself and not the mental issue the shooter was having.
“I think most things are down to mental health. I think a lot of giant issues get missed because we confuse the cause with the symptom,” he said, noting it’s “terrible judgement” to just dismiss the mental health issue out of hand.
“I think there’s something in there with gun control and the whole conversation around guns. We’ve had guns in our culture from the beginning, and it hasn’t become an issue, really. These mass shootings haven’t become a thing until relatively recent years,” he added.
For Mike Rowe, gun control isn’t something he tends to view kindly, as the Washington Times tells it:
Gun control is a personal issue for Mr. Rowe. He made headlines in 2016 after taking to social media to explain how he awoke one morning to the sound of a drone hovering outside his bedroom window in San Francisco. While still in the buff, he grabbed his shotgun and went onto his porch with the thought of blasting the high-tech interloper.
But he hesitated and considered the big picture: He could be arrested for discharging a gun within the city, and the drone could be recording him for all the world to see as he stood there naked while pointing his shotgun. He lowered his gun, went back inside and eventually wrote about his dilemma on Facebook. The post went viral.
Rowe said that he’s in favor of reasonable gun restrictions, but passing laws in order to make ourselves feel safer isn’t stopping the shootings we see in the headlines, and adding more will likely not make it any better.
“It probably feels good to pass laws in the wake of a tragedy, but it’s worth looking around and saying, ‘What are we giving up as a result?,” Rowe told the Washington Times.
Rowe said at the end of the day, he liked the feeling of having something that could help protect he and his family so effectively.
“Even though I didn’t pull the trigger and shoot the drone out of the sky, and even though I would have felt a lot more comfortable with clothes on, it was a great feeling to have the Mossberg 500 in my hands and looking up at a kind of intruder. And I’m not comfortable giving that away,” he said.
Rowe is absolutely correct, and I might add that the anti-gun hysterics generated by organizations like Everytown, or politicians like California vice-Governor Gavin Newsom only endanger more people.
According to stats, 98.4 percent of the mass shootings that have occurred in the United States happen on gun free zones. Since most schools are gun free zones, this leaves the most vulnerable among us completely open to attack.
An armed and educated society, however, seems to work out for everyone’s safety. Numbers from the State of Texas that listed the number of crimes committed by gun owners showed that they’re statistically safer than Great Britain, which legalized guns completely.