Some people actually say that instead of placing more restrictions on firearms or making them hard to get everybody ought to have access to them so they can defend themselves — the police are not and cannot be everywhere all the time. But I don’t think we want a wild western movie shootout atmosphere. It is both impractical and absurd and a frightful prospect. In many instances the innocent would be killed in the process with all the flying bullets and poor shots.
We can’t stop all killings by banning or controlling guns, because people use other weapons from knives to their bare hands. But we certainly should curtail the sale of semi-automatic or automatic weapons. That seems to be the weapons of choice for these mass killing shooters, such as the one in Connecticut yesterday. He was armed with a semi-automatic weapon or weapons. UPDATE (12-16-12) The victims were said to have suffered fatal wounds from a semi-automatic rifle.
And as far as the populace needing to be armed with the latest in military style weapons in order to defend themselves from the government (supposedly their right under the Second Amendment by some folks’ interpretations), I am just as concerned or scared of armed civilians or militias as I would be of a tyrannical government. Mob rule is no comfort to me.
Years ago I had two small children in school. Today I have grandchildren in school. With the rash of school shootings and mass shootings in other venues, to include shopping malls and churches, I am concerned that we as nation are not doing enough to protect our children and all of us from the evil doers and just plain crazies. We can never stop all of it, but with the relatively easy access to horrific weapons that spew out hundreds of rounds per minute we are all but asking for trouble.
The people who make these weapons must have no conscience. And my last name is Walther, a well-known name in guns, especially automatic or semi-automatic pistols (no relation to me as far as I know). These weapons were originally designed for military use. There is no justifiable civilian use. Yes I know, target practice. But we should not allow the free flow of these terrible weapons that endanger the lives of our citizenry and our small children, such as those in the Connecticut school (and I believe some or many of the children were kindergartners — not sure, the story as I write this is still unclear).
The gun lobby, who I believe really serves the interests of manufacturers and others in the gun trade, plays on the emotions and prejudices and fears of gun owners. Many of them see a conspiracy to disarm them and take away their freedom. The gun lobby has a stranglehold on the politicians of the various persuasions. The people as a whole might well be for tougher restrictions on guns, but the politicians have found it convenient to sidestep the issue or often fall all over themselves to prove what lovers of the right to keep and bear arms they really are. Keeping their cushy jobs is more important to politicians than risking re-election (another reason I am against the idea of political life being a profession).
I am having second thoughts on the Second Amendment or the right to keep and bear arms. I actually don’t know what to think in that regard. I know we have a strong tradition is this country of being ready to defend ourselves from both foreign invasion and the invasion of a tyrannical government. But that is small comfort to me as a former parent of small children and a grandparent of children.
We need responsible leadership to help us through and get something done on this issue.
But anyone who is afraid of the NRA or the gun lobby does not qualify.
Here is my just previous post on the issue: https://tonywalther.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/despite-gun-tragedies-i-think-the-second-amendment-provides-us-some-protection-from-tyranny-but-it-requires-a-lot-of-individual-responsibility/