Locked & Loaded on Gun Control
Since the Sandy Hook tragedy there has been nothing but bickering over Gun Control. This is a valid argument although neither side of it has much ground to stand on only because neither side has presented their case in such a way that it doesn’t come off as childish squabbling. This is part of why America has got to the point that grownups have no clue how to behave as adults. Both sides appear to be nothing more than a bunch of overgrown brats who were taught from the moment that they could walk that the world is THEIR oyster and that nobody’s feelings, except their own, mattered. This has led to the point where we have constant stalemates on many topics so we are going to toss the poppycock to the side just so we can make a decision on how each side really weighs out.
Growing up I was raised in a house with guns so at about 8 years old I was taught how to respect, clean, & shoot guns. I thought this was the coolest thing in the world because my stepfather had instilled enough trust into me to think I would be responsible enough to do so. I was often asked if I wanted to learn how to hunt but I always declined all invitations to do so as I never seen it as serving a true purpose since we live with grocery stores & restaurants on every corner. Do not get me wrong I am not saying that hunting does not serve a purpose in terms of keeping certain animal populations in check but we don’t need an AK-47 to go squirrel hunting either. However there are certain high-powered guns such as a .300 magnum that you need for bear hunting that citizens in Alaska need in order to keep their property safe enough for their children to play outside in the backyard. Does someone in San Francisco need a .300 magnum to keep their backyard safe enough for their children? No probably not as most wild animals in San Fran are just rabid 49er fans. This is no different than folks who live in rural settings in places such as the 4 Corner States who have an absolute need to hunt bobcats but people in Dallas have a much lower threat of attack from bobcats because that is an urbanized area where bobcat habitats have all been but wiped out. So what may be good or even necessary in one place may not hold the same merit elsewhere.
Guns are banned in several metropolitan areas such as New York City that carry a maximum of 15 years in prison with a minimum of 2 years for having a legally registered & loaded gun, inside the city limits. Even if the gun is from Indiana just as former Marine Corp gunner Ryan Jerome found out. Here is a man that was trained by the United States government to use a gun and the State of Indiana seen fit to issue him a concealed carry permit as he had no criminal history to bar him. However, because the information he received online was inaccurate, he is now facing serious criminal charges. You may be sitting there thinking that Mr. Jerome must have been doing something suspicious enough to prompt a search of him. However you would be wrong. He was in New York City to sell $15,000 worth of jewelry and as he was attempting to enter the Empire State Building he approached a security officer to ask him where he may check his gun. The security officer, only doing his job, called the police to report Mr. Jerome. I don’t know about any of you but I know if I had $15,000 worth of jewelry I would feel a need to have some sort of firearm too since a person will rob you for the $36 in your pocket ANYWHERE, let alone that much jewelry. Fact stands that Mr. Jerome broke the law and must now face the consequences for doing so. Is it fair? Not in my opinion. However, at the same time I am not the one who demanded or wrote that law for New York City nor do I have to enforce it on the streets or courtroom. Was it demanded for a genuine reason such as gang violence or to detour criminal activity? I would bet so but unfortunately for Mr. Jerome he too is now a “vile criminal” with a Scarlet Letter that he must now live with the rest of his life not to mention that after those 2 years of prison time are up and he is released from incarceration to go back home to Indiana he must relinquish his right to a gun where he will be unable to have one so that he may protect himself or his home. Now of course the District Attorney has the choice to dismiss those charges but should the D.A. office choose to proceed Mr. Jerome absolutely must do a minimum of 2 years as that is the law regarding a minimum sentence which means there is no lighter punishment other than the 2 years regardless of how anyone feels.
When the shooting at Columbine happened there was an immediate outcry for tougher regulations to purchase guns nationwide. This was something that no doubt needed to happen as those young boys were able to just walk into the stores to purchase all that they needed for their infamous killing spree. The concern over how easy it was for that to happen was more than justified at the time. The outcry from Sandy Hook is not as justified. The weapons used were NOT purchased by the shooter. They were stolen from a law abiding citizen that had done every possible thing that was asked in order to legally have them. Yet we still have people who try to demonize her in the same breath as the murderer, that we all know to be her youngest son. She too tried to teach him how to be responsible with guns but he made the decision not to be responsible nor to abide by the law. He made a conscientious decision to do what he did that fateful day.
There are many tragic tales of parents waking up in the middle of the night to see someone creeping past their bedroom door, reaching for their gun, & shooting them dead only to find out that it was their child sneaking in past curfew. This led to many people buying gun locks for the trigger or guns being kept in gun cabinets. The argument that ensued was about how much time it took to unlock the trigger guard or the gun cabinet. The same logic used in that debate is the same as it is now about a ban on guns and calling the police. If a person intends to do you harm they will have done it and left by the time the police show up. Slow police response time is impacted by many variables including but not limited to their location when the call comes across the scanner, traffic, weather, lack of available officers, etc. Whenever we call the police we feel that our situation is the most pressing at the moment as we have no clue as to what else may be happening elsewhere. I heard a sheriff in Kentucky giving a speech a few weeks ago where he proposed this question to a firm believer on gun control; “if your wife is in harms way of a person with a gun do you want her to have a gun in her hand or a cell phone with the police on it?”. The gun control believer answered “a gun” of course.
Another point in the Gun Control debate is that of Nazi Germany. Fact remains that Hitler did not have a gun ban in place. In 1928, a full 5 years before the National Socialist Party led by Adolph Hitler took power, a ban of certain types of guns was placed on the country of Germany. In 1938 Hitler had the law reworked and he actually gave the citizens of Germany more gun privileges. He lowered the legal age limit to own a gun from 20 to 18, removed the prohibition from owning one gun to increasing it to three, prohibited criminals, gypsies, vagabonds & those with mental handicaps from owning guns as well as non-German citizens. Since Jewish people were not recognized as German citizens then they were not allowed to own guns which is why pro-gun owners point to Hitler as a reason for no Gun Control. It is no secret that Hitler may very well be the dirtiest scoundrel to ever live but there are times he is unjustly vilified in ways that he was not guilty of being such as when Americans tend to point the finger at him to make him worse than what he actually was because we find it easier to just categorize things we do not agree with in a category with that dirty rotten snake so we can make our side seem a bit more righteous.
A lot of gun owners speak of protection from a tyrannical government as a way to justify keeping high powered rifles. That is the right that is theirs from the 2nd Amendment. Is there more of us than there is of them? Without a shadow of a doubt. However it doesn’t matter if we have a small army of 2,000 skilled militiamen armed to the teeth with AR-15′s, AK-47′s, and whatever else. It isn’t like we have a scud missile. Andre Benjamin in the song “Babylon” by Outkast said; “while we ranting and raving bout gats, (man) they made them gats. They got some shit that will blow out our backs from where they stay at”.
Every year people get killed from drunk drivers while other people still drive legally drunk without ever being detected by authorities. Is alcohol banned? No. Have cars been banned? No. Are our kids better educated about drunk driving in Drivers Education than our parents were? Yes. Do teenage kids still drink & drive? Yes. Are there less fatalities from drunk driving from laws passed? Absolutely. It is no secret that knowing is half the battle, as we learned from G.I. Joe, and that if you know better then you do better. We must educate ourselves so that we don’t get stuck in a place where we are dependent on others to know what is best for us. With every measure & law passed the cliche of, “if we can save only one life then it is worth it” is always used. They never say that the law or measure will save all lives but only hope that it saves just one. No matter how many measures or laws are passed we still lose loved ones every year regardless of how stringent the law recently passed was, so we ask for more to be created. This obviously does not & will not work. Being educated on a subject or learning from mistakes however does work. We must accept responsibility for ourselves & our actions before anything will work. This is why so many people elect to stay home and celebrate New Years or watch the Super Bowl instead of going across town to a party because they know that they can drink as much as they want to without having to worry about a D.W.I. They accept responsibility for their actions as well as think about the consequences beforehand. Criminals refuse to do either. Just because you don’t get caught doesn’t make you any better than the person who does get caught since you are JUST as guilty.
As I stated earlier my stepfather taught me about guns but I didn’t mention anything about my mother. She owned her own gun even after her & my stepfather divorced. Did I know where it was, how to get to it, and how to use it? You better bet your sweet life I did. I never made a move towards it though because I never had to (most importantly) but no matter who made me angry I never seen it as an option either. She taught me that there is a reason the 1st Amendment comes before the 2nd Amendment as I should be responsible enough to use my brain before I do my hands. Which leads me to another lyric from Andre Benjamin in the song “ATLiens” by Outkast; “I put my glock away as I got a stronger weapon that never runs out of ammunition so I am always ready for war”. Another important lesson I learned from my mom in that aspect was just because I don’t like to eat asparagus, or see a need for it, doesn’t mean I have the right to go into the neighbor’s house and tell them that they can’t eat it just because I don’t like it.
*Update: Former Marine Corp gunner Ryan Jerome reached an agreement to where he would be allowed to serve 10 days of community service as well as pay a $1,000 dollar fine.