Let’s Be Reasonable

Yesterday turned out to be yet another day where someone decided it would be a good idea to take their weapon or weapons to a crowded public place and open fire.  Let me be very clear here…it is not a good idea to do that.

I don’t know what possesses people to go out and commit such heinous acts and alter the lives of so many.  Yesterday’s shooting left two innocent people dead, plus the shooter.  He could have saved everyone else the pain and suffering and just taken himself out first.  He was clearly a coward.

Of course, in the immediate aftermath of something like this, responses go one of two ways.  One way is that people come out screaming that all guns should be banned.  The other way is people come out screaming that more people should be armed.  Neither is the right response.

I am all for the protections provided by the Constitution, and that includes the Second Amendment right to bear arms.  While I don’t necessarily think that the Second Amendment is meant to have people arm themselves with a wide variety of weapons, including AR-15s like the one used yesterday, I also do not think that all guns should be banned.

Let’s be reasonable here.  When used by and for responsible purposes, a gun is no more dangerous than anything else.  I know a lot of people who grew up with guns all around them, and yet never used one to shoot another person.  By the same token, if the entire food court at the mall where the shooting happened was carrying a gun yesterday, and half of those people pulled their weapon and fired, how many more lives would have been lost?  While we all can sit here and think that we are all expert marksmen and would have easily been able to take out the shooter without collateral damage, most of us are fooling ourselves.  In the heat of that particular moment, anybody short of a Navy SEAL or other special forces unit is likely to miss on the first shot, increasing the odds of a higher number of fatalities.

Banning guns outright would not be effective, either.  There is no telling how many guns are in possession of private owners, and it would be next to impossible to round them all up.  And let’s be serious here, if somebody wanted one bad enough and they were banned, the person would find a way to get their hands on one.

Gun control and gun rights are delicate topics.  Neither side wants to give an inch.  Gun control is more than just wanting to ban all guns; it is about trying to place standards on what types of guns people should reasonably own.  Is it reasonable for someone to own a military-grade M-16?  Probably not.  And gun rights is about more than people wanting to run around like it is the Wild West; it is about maintaining protections guaranteed in the Constitution.  It can be argued whether or not, in the 21st century, the language “well-regulated militia” is outdated and really does not apply to private ownership.

 

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