At the news of the shooting at the Republican congressional baseball practice I began a post one way and then another incident happened and it seemed to reinforce in me an understanding of why so many people support the right to keep and bear arms (and that sometimes reluctantly includes me).
But first, my initial reaction:
Automatic assault rifle gun fire at a Republican baseball practice, several injured, including the majority whip. And yet the Republicans (and many Democrats) still feel they must be absolutists against sensible gun control. I mean they are locked into that position because they depend upon the support of the gun lobby and citizens who are in no mood to compromise on the Second Amendment and their belief that it guarantees every man woman and child the right to pack automatic weapons. Never mind that the Founding Fathers could not have foreseen the advance in weapons technology centuries later and that the Second Amendment speaks more to a citizen’s army than simple citizen gun ownership.
But still, I support the Second Amendment. And for now I will go along with the notion that the consensus seems to be that it does indeed give citizens a right to tote their own guns. However, the courts have allowed some forms of gun control nonetheless.
I don’t have an answer as to how we on the one hand preserve our right to keep and bear arms and on the other how we protect ourselves from mad men with weapons that spray hundreds of rounds per minute.
Some suggest that if we all packed weapons like on those old TV westerns the nut cases would not be so emboldened. First, I doubt that. They are nuts, remember? Secondly if we all packed guns, given the temper of the nation now — you have been out on the interstates? it would be mayhem, more than it already is,
(At the congressional ball practice the congressmen and others at least had some Capital Police on hand who bravely faced the gunman and shot him dead, even though they were outgunned in firepower. And isn’t that horrendous that bad guys often have more fire power than our police?)
No I don’t have an answer. But I do know the free flow of automatic weapons primarily benefits the arms industry and is a detriment to our personal safety.
And then there were those two animals out of a Georgia prison who murdered two guards on a prison bus and escaped, going on a rampage of carjacking and one incident where they terrorized an elderly couple. Finally with the help of two citizens — two civilians as it were — with their own firearms, they were apprehended. As I read it (and the reports seemed to be somewhat vague) the two were lying face down held at gunpoint by the good citizens when the police arrived.
If you saw the photos of those two desperadoes you might agree with me that there was something chilling about them.
The police cannot be everywhere and see everything all the time and we would not want it that way. But with animals like that on the loose it could be a comfort to be armed thanks to your Second Amendment rights.
Still, there is a likelihood for it to backfire, so to speak. You cannot be wide awake all the time and it might not be legal nor practical to have a firearm on your person at all times. Often the bad guy, the intruder, is likely to get the drop on you.
And we often have incidents in which innocent people, often young people or lost foreigners, are shot when a homeowner misperceives a threat.
So this uniquely American notion of every citizen’s right to keep and bear arms often presents a conundrum.
I can only say: preserve the Second Amendment, support reasonable gun control, and stem the flow of automatic weapons.
I did not go into gun safety. There are so many tragic incidents of children getting their hands on firearms and accidentally shooting themselves and others, often siblings. And far too many of these incidents happen in households of policemen. But there are a lot of deadly dangers we all face every day. But yes, gun safety courses for all ought to be a requirement of gun ownership.
One more note: I think in the incident where the citizens apprehended the escaped convicts the bad guys had lost their stolen weapons at that point.