As we process and respond to the tragedy in Connecticut, one things the news media keeps saying is we should have more “discourse on gun control”. For those of you that know me, you know that I own firearms. I’m a firearms instructor, active in firearms-friendly legislative activism at the state level, a novice competition shooter, a state-licensed armed guard, and yes, an NRA Life Member. I teach Boy Scouts how to shoot. I own guns. I carry a gun more often than not (when I’m not working, that is). I’m well versed in firearms law as it pertains to individual ownership and carry (because anyone who carries a gun needs to be).
There is lots of talk about gun control on a daily basis. I try to tune much of it out, because my father once taught me something about wrestling with a pig. Sometimes, I attempt to have reasonable discourse – often it ends with folks who like to profess tolerance and acceptance telling me they are sick of arguing with me, and that they shouldn’t have to “tolerate” my kind. I always find that bit ironic.
Some of the discussion lately has gone so far as to suggest drastic restrictions on gun ownership – like the bans in the UK and Australia. News flash: The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld that the Second Amendment does, in fact, grant residents of this great country the right to keep and bear arms. If you truly want to discard the Second Amendment, I urge you to reconsider. The framers gave us 12 amendments as a proposed Bill of Rights to cover issues not addressed entirely in the Constitution (11 of those were passed as amendments, and the 12th would drastically increase the number of members of the House of Representatives, so it’s probably just as well it hasn’t passed).
Any argument that could be used to justify the repeal of the 2nd amendment could be used to justify the repeal of any of the amendments. I would fear for our country if it comes to this. What would life be like without freedom of the press, or freedom of religion? What about the protections against unreasonable searches and seizures? If we see the Second Amendment gutted, how long until we have “papers, please” checkpoints and searches throughout the country?
There’s a parable that is attributed to Martin Niemöller, a Lutheran minister and outspoken opponent of the Nazis:
First they came for the socialists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.
This particular parable speaks volumes to me because I AM a Jew. Yeah, I’m even a member of JPFO, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (http://jpfo.org/).
For my Law Enforcement and .mil friends – if you haven’t heard of the Oath Keepers (http://oathkeepers.org/oath/) , I’d strongly encourage you to look into the group. Many elected and appointed public servants SWEAR to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” Oath Keepers profess “Not on our watch!” They say they will refuse unconstitutional orders, such as firearm confiscation, or the unlawful detention of Americans.
And what of lesser measures? We had an “Assault Weapons” ban for 10 years. There is no real evidence it made a difference in firearms crimes. All it did was raise market prices for things like “pre ban” magazines and firearms. Registration? Well, why does the Government need to know what guns I have… unless it is a prelude to confiscation? On top of that, once they have the information, no good can come of it. The number of times that law enforcement has successfully used registration data to trace firearms in crimes is statistically insignificant.Now What?
I’m all in favor of discussing mental health, and “keeping the crazies from getting guns”, to quote something I heard on Facebook. I’m not convinced that more gun laws are going to make a difference in preventing another mass shooting event.
One thing that many of these shootings have in common is that they occur in areas where firearms have been prohibited. Add to the fact that several recent events have been stopped, at least partially, by folks lawfully carrying concealed, and I am having a hard time understanding arguments in favor of restricting concealed carry.
As for incidents, look no further than the Clackamas Town Center shooting last week. 2 Dead, 1 injured. An individual carrying a concealed firearm says he drew down on the shooter, but held his fire because he didn’t have a clear shot. The shooter than retreated and took his own life. In the Tuscon shootings, one of the civilians that ran TOWARDS the shooting to help was carrying a concealed firearm. Since that psycho was already restrained, he didn’t need to use it.
Oh, and I’m assuming most of my readers have already seen the “RUN. HIDE. FIGHT. Surviving an Active Shooter Event” video. It’s linked here anyway (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5VcSwejU2D0). Look at 0:58 in the video. The Section 30.06 Trespass warning is clearly visible. (http://law.onecle.com/texas/penal/30.06.00.html). The video illustrates the point that shooters often choose Gun Free Zones. On top of that, we are told that, as a last option, we should fight with improvised weapons – like chairs and fire extinguishers. Why must they be improvised? Oh, that’s right – we’re in a GUN FREE ZONE. So why does the shooter have a gun, again? Oh – he’s not really concerned with violating one MORE law, given that he’s planning on KILLING a whole bunch of folks. From what it sounds like, that’s exactly what at least some of the Sandy Hook staff did. And they paid for it with their lives.