In the aftermath of the horrific shooting in Oregon, the President and the press jumped into action demanding more gun control. Politicize it! More expansive background checks! Limit availability! Hold gun manufacturers accountable! Something must be done!
But honestly, to address the problem of gun violence, we only need to do one thing.
Encourage more Americans to protect themselves.
Only about one-third of Americans own a gun. (http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/one-three-americans-own-guns-culture-factor-study-finds-n384031) Why don’t the majority of Americans avail themselves of the right to bear arms, a right protected by the Second Amendment? The reason is…..fear. The progressive left has been teaching Americans to be afraid of guns and gun owners for decades.
I was afraid of guns for most of my adult life because I knew nothing about them. I was afraid I would accidentally hurt myself or someone else. Hunting wasn’t for me either. The culture of America seemed to echo and confirm my fears.
Look at the language in legislation and the media. For example, they make “semi-automatic” sound scary by how they say it, but it simply describes a single action weapon. You still have to pull the trigger for each shot. Fully automatic weapons have been outlawed for civilian use since 1934.
“Assault weapons” is another frightening term. Most often, it refers to a semi-automatic rifle that is loaded by a magazine (rather than placing each round in the barrel) and has a pistol grip and shoulder stock. Some “assault weapons” are handguns. Sometimes state laws include other features in the definition. This is all basic weaponry, not specialized combat issue. Why the word “assault?” It is a scare tactic to keep the American people afraid of guns.
When I learned about guns and how to protect myself, my fear dissipated. My respect for the proper handling of weapons increased exponentially. I read. I talked with gun owners. I went to the range and learned to shoot. I took classes in gun safety and the law. I got a concealed carry weapons permit. I am no longer ignorant about guns, and I am no longer afraid. I am prepared. You need to be too.
Education is the key. More Americans should be armed, not less. America will then be a safer place.
The Second Amendment is based upon our God-given (yes, God-given) right to protect ourselves and that includes the right to own guns. The founders believed that the greatest protection we have to ensure our liberty is an armed citizenry. History has shown us that when a government confiscates citizens’ weapons, no good can come of it – Nazi Germany comes to mind. President Obama even hinting that confiscation is an option should send chills down the spine of every American.
We have the right and responsibility to protect life and liberty from any, including the government, who threaten to take them from us. Does this mean every American should have a gun? Of course not. Americans understand that there are some citizens with mental or physical disabilities who should not own guns. The courts have a process to review and limit their rights. Others have lost their gun rights due to a felony conviction. Limiting someone’s ability to own a gun in these and similar circumstances is only logical.
Dr. Ben Carson has rightly observed that if we analyze the characteristics of these violent criminals and the settings in which these shootings occur, we will be able to find ways to limit them. Eliminating most gun-free zones and arming more citizens come quickly to mind.
Knowledge will remove our fear of guns, the fear that is exploited by those who wish to control guns and control us. It is time for Americans to stop listening to the fear-mongers and educate themselves and their children about the truth of the Second Amendment and our right to bear arms.
It is a serious responsibility to own a weapon, and one must think long and hard about being willing to shoot another person. All life is valuable, but we must be willing to stop aggressors from taking innocent human life. If someone like the man in Oregon was threatening me, my friends or family, I would not hesitate to shoot him.
No matter what restrictions the government puts on guns, bad guys – bad guys who have mental illnesses and bad guys who are perfectly sane – will get guns and use them for evil purposes. We, the people, have the right and responsibility to protect life and liberty. Education, not legislation, is the key to reduce gun violence.