There is something about a firearm that evokes the frontier spirit in my soul; the Colt revolver or the Winchester rifle that conquered the West. My inner “man” identifies with the notion of teaching my son how to safely and properly use a gun. It’s a rite of passage in our country and one that I hope never ends.
In my view, firearms…guns…are works of art. The photo accompanying this blog is an example of form meeting function in a way that appeals to the eye. Granted, if your life has been horribly affected by guns, the beauty of the object is not seen. And therein lays the dichotomy. At what point do we personalize the gun? Is it an inanimate object or is it a living organism, capable of wreaking havoc in our society?
As clichés go, I find this one pertinent to the discussion: “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. This should be self-evident, but clearly it is not. Politicians routinely invoke the human qualities of evil in firearms to suit their political needs. The term “Assault” weapon is a prime example. In California, a weapon is classified as an “Assault” weapon simply by the addition of a handle in some cases. Yes, the handle protruding from the bottom of the stock has somehow turned this tool, this instrument, into an adjective…into an “Assault” weapon. The spin is ridiculous yet we have accepted it as fact without argument.
I am sensitive to the destruction carried out by these tools by individuals either innately evil or mentally ill. But let’s be clear. The weapon did not commit the crime, the individual did. I am not aware of any case in history, where an inanimate object committed a crime…or a homicide. Responsible gun ownership and handling eliminates the danger. We do not allow 3 year-old’s to drive cars. We should not allow irresponsible people to own guns…or criminals. How that is ultimately accomplished does not diminish the fact that a gun is a tool. It does not have feelings or prejudices. It is not alive.
I submit that until we stop the labeling nonsense we will never get a handle on reasonable gun laws or effective punishments for criminals.
Yes, I know that a mass murderer is much more likely to kill effectively with a gun then with a knife…but I respond by asking you what tool was used to kill so many in the biggest mass murder in our history, 9/11? And what damage does an automobile do when its crazed driver plows through a crowd; or the fundamentalist suicide bomber strapped to the teeth with explosives?
I am a firm supporter and believer in the second amendment. I am also a registered Democrat and a former (see a previous post) member of the N.R.A. I believe that as a law-abiding, responsible citizen, I have an inherent right to protect my family. As such, until my government can guarantee that firearms will not fall into the possession of criminals and my local sheriff’s department will guarantee a ten second response time to my 911 call, that I have a responsibility…to responsibly protect myself and my family. It’s really just that simple.
I love guns…I am not going to apologize for that. I will ask those of you who think that’s a crazy statement to consider my argument. Is it any different than saying “I love ’65 Mustangs”? Both are inanimate objects capable of mass murder.
All I’m asking for is some common sense in a debate sorely lacking any…