Gun control. Two words that tend to strike terror into the hearts of people that own guns. Every so often, the debate flares up and causes people to question whether the Second Amendment of the Constitution is going to be erased. It’s back again, and it’s one that’s going to get ugly.
President Barack Obama is bringing the issue to a head with plans for gun control in the wake of the horrific school shooting last month in Connecticut. He believes restricting guns will put fewer guns on the street and reduce the risk of another massacre like what we saw unfold on national television. Yes, it will reduce the number of guns on the streets, but not the risk. Why? Because making guns illegal will not make guns disappear.
Let’s look at other examples of what happens when we tell people they can’t have something. At one point in our history, we tried to prohibit alcohol, even going so far as to pass a constitutional amendment. That didn’t stop people from getting liquored up; they just did it secretly in speakeasies. As a result, we passed another constitutional amendment fixing that mistake.
Currently, we’re seeing the tide turn on marijuana. Once thought to be the most dangerous drug ever, more than a dozen states, including my home state of Arizona, now allows the plant to be used for medical purposes. The stakes have been raised even more by two states legalizing it completely, although there’s still the question of whether it’s really legal, since federal law still outlaws it.
As I’m sitting here writing this, I’m listening to the president talk about how background checks will make it easier to keep guns out of criminals’ hands. If guns were only available in gun shops, that statement could be valid. However, there are plenty of guns sold illegally, circumventing current regulations. All gun restrictions will do is keep law-abiding citizens from having a tool to defend themselves.
Instead of blaming the gun, let’s look at whether more can be done to better protect our schools. To do that, we need to look at why schools are the choice of many to cause such mass devastation. Would someone with an AR-15 try to blow away a meeting of the National Rifle Association? No, because there would be plenty of citizens legally armed to fight back. The same holds true for a federal courthouse, because there’s security in place with guns to fight back.
It’s sad that we have to think about whether our schools are safe, but it’s part of the society we live in. Schools, especially smaller ones, are a target of choice for cowards and lunatics because these people know that many schools do not have armed guards or others with guns that could fight back and reduce the number of casualties. Instead of restricting guns, let’s get law-abiding citizens who have guns in places that need defending.
If President Obama paid attention to what was going on in the nation that he leads, he would see that many gun owners already take steps to make sure they are responsible with their weapons. They take training courses. They go to firing ranges to practice their aim so that, if some armed intruder invades their home, it doesn’t take 10 or 20 shots to take said intruder out.
Every time we see or hear about a school shooting or some other mass tragedy, we feel a loss of innocence. When it happens, we try to find a way to rise above it and figure out how to keep it from happening again. Gun control—an oxymoron when you think about it—will not keep the next school shooting from happening, because criminals and the deranged will find ways around laws. President Obama’s plan will not prevent future loss of innocence, but it will result in a loss of civil liberty.