Guns: Changing the Dialogue

Abstract

A society cannot afford to allow 200 year-old beliefs dictate as to how it prepares for the future. The very fact that amendments were added to the Constitution of the USA testifies that the early leaders of our country understood this. Certainly any rational citizen would agree that the Second Amendment was conceived under very different circumstances of technology and population.


I grew up spending a lot of time in the woods. Did you know that around 1,000 people are accidentally shot by hunters each year? When I was a kid, a young man got out of his car during hunting season to relieve himself and a rifle bullet fell out of the sky and killed him. A high-powered rifle bullet wound is not pretty. As a Scout, we were not allowed in the woods for any hunting season. If cows were not safe from those “flatlanders,” certainly we would not be safe.

Today, there are many more people enjoying the outdoors and a lot more vacation homes nestled in the  woods. A typical rifle bullet will travel a mile before hitting the ground. Let me ask you, do you trust the average person to consider where their bullets go? Every gun owner I have talked to assumes the right to go target practicing in the woods. These are city people who are probably not aware of the fact that a house is on the other side of that grove of trees they used for a target.

Two many people in the woods, two many fires started by target practice and too many gun owners firing bullets that travel too far. This is not a rational situation.

Taking Them Off the Street One Gun at a Time

Thanks to the NRA, the dialogue is now based on the assumption that, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” The idea is that there is no way of actually banning guns because there are just too many of them.

Another is, “Guns don’t kill people; people do.” That is logically the same as saying “Cars don’t kill people; people do.” If we accepted that logic, then we would never have improved the safety of cars.

The Second Amendment says nothing about protecting unarmed citizens from armed citizens, so perhaps there should be a Second Amendment, Article One: Citizens have the right to know when another citizen is armed and if there are arms nearby.

This could lead to laws such as:

  • Right to carry is okay, but the person must keep the weapon visible at all times.

  • Buildings with weapons in them must prominently display a sign indicating that there are weapons inside and the type of weapon.

  • A gun remediation tax can be levied against guns and ammunition to help pay for hospital, therapy and counseling for gunshot victims as well as the cost of policing gun rights.

  • A requirement that Bullets cannot travel more than 1000 feet or penetrate more than a half-inch in plywood.

  • Hollow-point ammunition would not be allowed but a hunter would be given a permit to purchase a few (5?) long-rang hollow-point pullets with the purchase of a hunting license. (Return unused ammunition and/or spent cartridges after the season?)

  • Because so many people are shot in hunting accidents, clearly marked land would be set aside for hunting from which citizens without a hunting license would be banned for their own safety.

  • Target practice would be illegal except in approved ranges.

To paraphrase an old saying, eliminating guns begins with the first gun destroyed. The belief that there are just too many of them to do that is NRA propaganda that has frozen our society from action. Let us be candid. Gun dealers are no different than those villainous arms dealers selling guns to rebels in the jungle. Guns are only good for killing. Handguns are only good for killing people. The need to have and carry a handgun is born of fear. And the worst kind of person to have around with such killing power is a fearful person.

This is the 21st Century yet our gun mentality has not changed since the Revolutionary War.


Rational Gun Management

This page did not begin with the latest unnecessary death or even the latest massacre involving a gun. people will always find ways to express their anger or distress. It comes from my growing sense of insecurity when I venture out of the house, and also, a sense that my home is turning into a fortress as I add outside lighting, and with the latest gang activity, a new security system.

It is time that something changes.

When people complain about the government restricting their rights, my thoughts go to  the way others expressing their perceived rights has increasingly taken away my sense of security. The right to bear arms made sacred in the Second Amendment is really a green light for people to express their belligerence toward others with deadly force where once, there would have only been shouting.

Guns are only for killing and handguns are only good for killing people. Even hunting animals is problematic. I have done it and I can assure you that society can no longer afford such dangerous killing power in our now crowded world.

 Others agree with my views. There is a growing sense that the gun culture in the USA is no longer tenable.


Second Amendment is turning into dividing line between peaceful citizens and irrational gun advocates

Gun advocates have adopted a well-organized “all the rights, no restrictions” policy to resist any changes in law that might limit their ability to purchase and own any armament they wish. This includes weapons that are only useful for killing people and “protecting” themselves from the Federal Government. They are increasingly aggressive about this insistence on their Second Amendment rights as can be seen in the article: Father of Newtown victim heckled at hearing by Ken Dixon found at CTPost.com January 29, 2013.

The country is becoming polarized as citizens who would normally remain silent about their distaste for guns are beginning to speak out as witnessed by this post I found in a forum for an unrelated subject: “Neil Heslin, the father of a 6 year old boy, Jesse, who was shot at Sandy Hook was heckled at hearings from trolls from the NRA. Have they no decency at all? Makes you weep.”

This aggressive “From my dead hands” attitude and threats not to enforce new laws or to resist the laws while intimidating anyone who would seek reform is clearly, creating a divide in this country that will last a long time. Like global warming, updating of the Second Amendment is becoming one of those issues that must eventually be addressed, but that will be resisted by people holding their personal interest above the interests of the country.

Perhaps we can teach them to hunt with a camera.


Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords launches new gun control initiativeBill Theobald, USA TODAY, October 9, 2015

From the Americans for Responsible Solutions website:

Dear fellow American,

Two years ago, a mentally ill young man shot me in the head, killed six of my constituents, and wounded 12 others. Since that terrible day, America has seen 11 more mass shootings – but no response from Congress to prevent gun violence. After the massacre of 20 children and six of their teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary though, it’s clear: This time must be different.

Americans for Responsible Solutions will encourage elected officials to stand up for solutions to prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership by communicating directly with the constituents that elect them.

Join us today, and tell your elected leaders that Americans are demanding responsible solutions to reduce gun violence.

Giffords and Kelly: Fighting gun violence Gabrielle Giffords and Mark Kelly, January 8, 2013


A conservative lie about the usefulness of the second Amendment:

“Stockman pledged. ‘The president’s actions are an existential threat to this nation. The right of the people to keep and bear arms is what has kept this nation free and secure for over 200 years. The very purpose of the Second Amendment is to stop the government from disallowing people the means to defend themselves against tyranny. Any proposal to abuse executive power and infringe upon gun rights must be repelled with the stiffest legislative force possible.’

Comment: In fact, unless citizens are able to keep and maintain tanks, rockets, drones and who know what other high-tech weaponry, it is a logistic impossibility for an individual or even a private militia to ” defend themselves against tyranny.” The Second Amendment was written at a time of muskets and wars being fought from behind trees. Today, the Second Amendment would look more like … well, more like the rest of the Constitution.

It is time for citizens to begin the long process of riding this country of guns and making it safer for the majority of us who now live in fear that people will shoot us if they feel we have somehow wronged them.

From: “Steve Stockman Threatens To Impeach Obama Over Gun Control Push,” by Nick Wing, The Huffington Post, 01/15/2013, Updated: 01/15/2013


These people are not here for the  citizens:

The NRA has been highly critical of the video game industry following the elementary school shooting in Newtown that left 26 dead and sparked a national debate about guns and school safety.

Now: The National Rifle Association, exactly a month after the shooting at Newtown, Conn., has released a branded target shooting game deemed suitable for kids ages 4 and up.

Comment: Any kind of killing tool like a gun no matter how it is used, goes against everything that we are learning about our spiritual selves. Even so, it is important to separate one’s view of gun owners who only uses a gun to hunt (there is a better way to manage the heard) or for protection from bears and snakes (there are better technologies like pepper spray). The issue here is people who want to own many guns, some of which which are only for killing people–lots of people.

Considering the two-sided arguments from the NRA and their followers, this is really an argument over ideology. The NRA is not behaving like an organization that is really interested in the safety of citizens. It is clearly only interested in owning guns.

From:NRA releases free target-practice app—for ages 4 and up,” by By Liz Goodwin, Yahoo! News, The Lookout.  01/15/2013


People killed in hunting accidents:

According to the International Hunter Education Association, approximately 1,000 people in the US and Canada are accidentally shot by hunters every year, and just under a hundred of those accidents are fatalities.

How Many People are Killed or Injured in Hunting Accidents?,” by Doris Lin, About.com Guide, Ask.com


“Wielding a gun increases a person’s bias to see guns in the hands of others, new research from the University of Notre Dame shows.”

Holding a gun makes you think others are too, new research shows,” by Susan Guibert, Notre Dame news, University of Notre Dame, March 19, 2012


What we expect of gun advocates: guns at any cost!

Defense Distributed, headed by gun advocates, is releasing blueprints of a 3D gun online — a plan New York Sen. Chuck Schumer slammed as “stomach-churning.”


A Plan to Protect Unarmed Citizens

The Second Amendment says nothing about protecting unarmed citizens from armed citizens, so perhaps there should be a Second Amendment, Article One: Citizens have the right to know when another citizen is armed and if there are arms nearby.

This could lead to laws such as:

  • Right to carry is okay, but the person must keep the weapon visible at all times.

  • Buildings with weapons in them must prominently display a sign indicating that there are weapons inside and the type.

  • A gun remediation tax can be levied against guns and ammunition to help pay for hospital, therapy and counseling for gunshot victims as well as the cost of policing gun rights.

  • Bullets cannot travel more than 1000 feet or penetrate more than a half-inch in plywood.

  • Hollow-point ammunition would not be allowed but a hunter would be given a permit to purchase a few (5?) long-rang hollow-point pullets with the purchase of a hunting license. (Return unused ammunition and/or spent cartridges after the season?)

  • Because so many people are shot in hunting accidents, clearly marked land would be set aside for hunting from which citizens without a hunting license would be banned fore their own safety.1

  • Target practice would be illegal except in approved ranges.

  1. How Many People are Killed or Injured in Hunting Accidents?” by Doris Lin, Ask.com.

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