Tag Archives: gun control

To a Nobler Way of Life

I have been going on lately about guns and violence and hatred and anger.  All of this has been in the back of my mind for quite some time now, with all the growing violence, not only in America but throughout the world.  I was reminded of it most forcibly once again last week by the awful mass murder in Newtown Connecticut, a horrible and destructive event beyond the pale of human comprehension.  And again today I was reminded of the insanity of our world with the remarks of Wayne LaPierre of the NRA who said “”The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,” I believe that I am a relatively good guy and I know many good guys just like me, in fact, most of the world is made up of good guys who don’t want to have to defend themselves with a deadly weapon.

I have already spoken, in an earlier blog, to the statement that many in the gun lobby have made that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”  I have said that while that statement is somewhat true the fact is that a person with a gun can kill many people in the time it would have taken them to kill a single person without a gun.  I could go on but I have previously discussed this issue.  We need to be thinking beyond the act of violence and looking toward a way to bring it to an end.

What is this force that makes us think this way?  We, the people who tout “freedom” as a way of life shouldn’t have to fear for our lives, the lives of our loved ones and children.  And, “freedom” was never intended to mean free to do whatever you please.  Oliver Wendell Holmes said “Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose.”   I say, “Your right to own a gun ends at the point where you become a danger to me and my family.” But, we shouldn’t have to argue these points.

There has to be a better way.  And, there is.  If we are all going to live together in freedom without fear that we and our families are in danger we are going to have to change the way we think about things.  I don’t want to always be quoting the Bible as a source of what I have to say but this quotation is particularly poignant in this situation.  The statement was made by the Apostle Paul but it can be appreciated by people of all faiths.  He says “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.”

I propose along with Paul that we as a people begin to look toward a nobler way of life.  Let us cease our hostility toward one another.  Let us look for the good in all situations rather than looking for the bad.  In everything let truth pervade our speech and our dealings with one another.  Let us all look to do the admirable thing in all situations.  This is the only way to have true freedom.  So, to all of us let this be our mantra: “To a Nobler Way of Life.” And, if that means we need to place some restrictions on some people in order to achieve this nobler way of life then I say so be it.

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Is Gun Control Needed? Yes!

Is Gun Control Needed? Yes!

Ok, I’ve been quiet for a long time now but I must speak out on this issue.  Gun control.  We need gun control.  I don’t know what form it will take or how it will be implemented but something has to be done.  Now before you begin your rant saying “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”  Let me just say this – You are right!  People do kill people but people with guns can kill a lot of people.  If a deranged person decides to murder someone they are going to try to do it no matter what anyone says or what laws are in place to prevent it.  The difference here is that this same deranged individual can kill 20 people with an automatic weapon in the same amount of time it takes to bludgeon someone to death with a baseball bat or stab someone to death with a butcher knife.  Why do we want to give murderers the capability of killing so many people with such little effort?  It makes no sense at all to put high powered weapons in the hands of anyone who wants them.  Additionally, think of the fact that if a person is going to use some other means than a gun to kill someone, it requires them to be in close proximity to that person.  With a gun it is possible to kill from across the street or down the block.  A person can kill someone while driving by in a vehicle.  A whole crowd of people can be taken out in a matter of seconds with an automatic weapon.  The murderer can complete the heinous deed and be gone before anyone realizes what’s going on.  How can we defend ourselves from such as this?

Recently a friend of mine said, in reference to the mass killing at Virginia Tech, “well, if everyone at Virginia Tech had been carrying guns that incident would never have happened.”  Really?… Really?…  Are you kidding me?  Can you think of the mayhem that would ensue if this were the case?  Let’s control guns by making sure that everyone is armed.  I can’t even imagine how ludicrous this statement is.  But, believe it or not, it is quite a common sentiment among the anti gun control group.

We must get a handle on the proliferation of guns in this country especially assault weapons and semiautomatic weapons.  I believe that no one in the world, with the exception possibly of a military combatant, needs to possess an assault weapon, nor do they need to have access to a semiautomatic weapon of any sort.  But, if a person is of the persuasion that they should have the right to own such a weapon, I propose that those weapons be strictly controlled, registered and locked away until needed.

Some say “well, there’s the black market… or, what if someone gives or lends an automatic weapon to a friend…  what if someone steals a weapon. there are all sorts of ways for people to get weapons of this sort.”  Ok, that’s possible but we must begin somewhere to get control of this situation.  We need to be thinking of stringent gun control laws.  We need mandatory, lengthy waiting periods with strict background checks in order to purchase a gun.  Then, we need to place mandatory, stiff penalties on the improper transfer of a weapon to another person for any reason without going through proper channels.

Listen, I don’t hate guns.  In fact, I once upon a time was a member of a rifle team.  I think sport shooting is a great sport.  I’m not a hunter but I believe in hunting for those who like to hunt.  But, you don’t need an assault weapon nor a semiautomatic handgun for these things.  If a person is a collector of guns and insists upon having assault weapons or semiautomatic hand guns I propose that they be required to keep these things under lock and key in a secure location away from their residence and that they be required to get a permit each time they are taken out.  Frankly, I don’t know the full answer but I do know that something must be done!

Here are some facts:

On Friday morning,  December 14, 2012, 27 people were shot and killed at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, CT. 18 of them were children.

September 27, 2012. 5 people were shot to death  at Accent Signage Systems August 5, 2012. 6 Sikh temple members were shot and killed

July 20, 2012. 12 people shot and killed and 58 were wounded.  During the midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises in Aurora, CO.

May 29, 2012. 5 were shot and killed in Seattle, WA.

April 6, 2012. 5 black men shot and killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma

April 2, 2012. 7 were shot and at Oikos University in Oakland, CA.

October 14, 2011. 8 were shot to death in Seal Beach, CA.

September 6, 2011. 5 shot to death and 7 wounded Carson City, NV

January 8, 2011. Former Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in the head  in Tucson, AZ. Six people died, 19 total were shot

August 3, 2010. 9 were shot to death in aHartford Beer Distributor in Manchester, CT .

November 5, 2009.  13 were shot to death and 29 wounded at the Fort Hood army base in Texas.

April 3, 2009. 13 people shot to death and 4 wounded in Binghamton, New York.

March 29, 2009. 8 people shot to death at the Pinelake Health and Rehab nursing home in Carthage, NC.

February 14, 2008. 6 shot to death and 21 wounded a lecture hall at Northern Illinois University.

February 7, 2008. 6 people shot to death and two were wounded at the City Hall in Kirkwood, Missouri.

December 5, 2007. 9 were shot to death and 4 in the Westroads Mall in Omaha, NE.

April 16, 2007. 32 people shot to death and 24 wounded at Virginia Tech. February 12, 2007. 5 shot to death and 4 wounded In Salt Lake City’s Trolley Square Mall.

October 2, 2006. 5 girls were shot to death and 6 wounded at an Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster, PA.

March 25, 2006. 7 were shot to death and 2 were wounded Capitol Hill in Seattle, WA..

March 21, 2005. 11 people were shot to death and 5 at Red Lake Senior High School.

March 12, 2005. 9 shot to death and 4 wounded at a Sheraton hotel in Brookfield, WI.

July 8, 2003. 7 shot to death and 7 wounded Meridian, MI.

September 15, 1999. 7 shot to death and 7 at a Christian rock concert and teen prayer rally at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, TX.

July 29, 1999. 12 people shot to death and 13 at two Atlanta day trading firms.

April 20, 1999. 13 people shot to death and 13 wounded at  Colombine High School in Littleton, CO.

Just think of the lives that were lost.  Innocent people… men… women… children… husbands, wives, mothers, fathers….in every one of these cases, and, believe me, this is not an exhaustive list, all because a deranged person had access to a powerful, semiautomatic weapon…   Something must be done!

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