Guns. Whenever you hear that word, what do you think? A bunch of hooligans running around the projects with .45s stuffed in their pants or your dad’s (hopefully) locked gun-case in his bedroom? I was never around guns when I was a kid but I knew their importance. I think every child (male or female) needs to be acquainted with firearms. Even if they don’t use them, they need to respect them and not be afraid of them. The first “gun” I ever fired was a Dixie BB gun at an annual home school Turkeyshoot when I was 9. I had never fired a gun before and was surprised when I was called up for the 1st place trophy. Since then, I’ve fired all types of guns from a semi-auto AK-47 to a AR-15 to a .40 caliber revolver to a .45 caliber Kimber to a .12 gauge shotgun to a Mosin Nagant Russian rifle to a 9 mm Glock to a .22 rifle and the list goes on.
Recently, the image of firearms and the idea of possessing them has brought up quite a bit of conversation from the shooting involving Kansas City Chief’s linebacker to the most recent tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut to the shooting at Century 16 theater in Aurora, Colorado. I will not give the names of the shooters here because they don’t deserve the credit to have their names in my blog being that they are the equivalent of the dirt under my fingernails. The concept of allowing citizens to possess a firearm splits many people’s opinions across this great nation.
There are those whose sole existence in this world seems to be taking “weapons of war off the streets of our cities”. I don’t disagree with this but I’ll tell you later why this is a ridiculous statement. This person would be Senator Dianne Feinstein (D- California). If this bill were to pass, it would ban the “sale, transfer, transportation and possession of big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets”. Feinstein remains at the forefront of ventures to control guns in the US. She was also a part of the assault weapons ban or Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act that was submitted in 1994 along with the Violent Crime Control and Enforcement Act.1
After the tragic shooting in Connecticut, President Obama stated, “As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it’s an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago — these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children,” Obama said in an address Friday. “And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.” I agree with this statement but the disagreement comes in when one decides on what kind of “meaningful action” will be taken. 1
All these politicians who are spending their time on gun control issues are just blowing hot air. They’re not focusing on the primary issue: the bad guys who are shooting the guns! The only thing they will accomplish if their ridiculous laws pass is to take guns away from those who need to defend themselves.
For instance, consider this story. On June of 2012 in Phoenix, AZ, a 14 year old boy who was left at home to babysit his 3 younger siblings (8, 10 and 12) shot and nearly killed an intruder. During an interview, the boy said that a lady he didn’t recognize knocked on his front door. He quickly got his siblings upstairs to safety. He grabbed his father’s handgun after he heard a loud bang on the front door. The front door was broken open, an armed man entered the house and pointed his gun at the 14 year old. Acting quickly, he shot the 37 year old armed suspect. The suspect was stabilized several days later and was then sent to the local county jail.
A responding officer, James Holmes, said later, “The police and indeed our community does not ever want to see a situation where a teenager of that age has to take a weapon to protect his family … but this young man did exactly what he should have done. I’m not sure he gave full thought about what he had to do. He just acted.” As traumatizing as this situation was to the children, at least there was a gun in the house that the 14 year old apparently knew how to use, he acted on impulse and saved himself and his siblings from injury, death and possibly kidnapping. 2
Why haven’t we heard about this story from any of the mainstream propagandists? This would never end up as a lead story on the national news scene because it doesn’t fit their “gun grab” agenda. So…there you have it…the reason popular opinion is so easily swayed by the choices our media makes every day. The choices about what to report and what to ignore…
Here is yet another story you won’t hear in the mainstream media. On October 1, 1997, there was an incident in Pearl, Mississippi where a teenager murdered his mom then proceeded to his high school 3. As soon as he entered the high school, he made no attempts to hide his firearm. He fatally shot Lydia Kaye Dew and Christina Menefee, his former girlfriend. The shooter went on to shoot and wound seven other people before leaving. Assistant principal Joel Myrick grabbed a .45 pistol from his car and was able to subdue the shooter as he was in his car intending to drive to Pearl Junior High School to continue his shooting spree. When Myrick demanded, “Why did you shoot my kids?” the shooter explained, “Life has wronged me, sir,” 4
Following the full investigation of the incident, police uncovered a note the shooter left for a friend just before he murdered his mother that morning, “I am not insane, I am angry. I killed because people like me are mistreated every day. I did this to show society, push us and we will push back. … All throughout my life, I was ridiculed, always beaten, always hated. Can you, society, truly blame me for what I do? Yes, you will. … It was not a cry for attention, it was not a cry for help. It was a scream in sheer agony saying that if you can’t pry your eyes open, if I can’t do it through pacifism, if I can’t show you through the displaying of intelligence, then I will do it with a bullet.” 5
Did the “Gun Free Zone” sign on the outside of the school prevent the shooter from accomplishing what he did? Nope. Did an armed citizen stop the shooter from accomplishing what he would have? You bet.
Here’s another incident that happened on October 2012 in Bryan County, Oklahoma (near the Texas border). 12 year old Kendra St. Clair shot and wounded a 32 year old man. While she was at home alone during a day off from school, she heard a knock on the front door. After she didn’t answer, the man walked to the rear of the house and kicked open the back door. Kendra called her mother who told her to grab the family’s gun and hide. The girl found the weapon and took refuge inside the bathroom closet. “I was sitting there in the closet, really scared, holding the gun, not knowing what was going to happen,” Kendra told KFOR-TV in an interview. The intruder walked throughout the house, entered the bathroom and tried to open the door to the closet Kendra was hiding in. That’s when she fired the gun through the door and called 9-1-1. “She was very brave, she stayed on the phone with the dispatcher the whole time—talked all the way through it and was still on the phone with dispatch when we got into the house,” Bryan County Under Sheriff Ken Golden told KTEN. St. Clair has been broadly acclaimed as a hometown hero for her swift actions, KFOR reports. “When I had the gun, I didn’t think I was actually going to have to shoot somebody,” St. Clair told ABC News. “I think it’s going to change me a whole lot, knowing that I can hold my head up high and nothing can hurt me anymore.” 6
What if Kendra had lived under Obama’s and Feinstein’s strict gun control laws and there wasn’t a gun in her house? As a father (and a human being), I shudder to think what the intruder would have done to her. My question is this: whenever there is a mass shooting, why do we always hear about gun control in this country instead of focusing on the heart of the issue? Guns are not the problem; the heart of a person is, and you can’t fix that with government or laws.
During a tweet, film director Michael Moore called for strict gun control laws, “The way to honor these dead children is to demand strict gun control, free mental health care, and an end to violence as public policy,” he tweeted, adding, “Too soon to speak out about a gun-crazy nation? No, too late. At least THIRTY-ONE school shootings since Columbine.” 7
I want to ask Mr. Moore the following question: how exactly do you wish to demand an “end to violence as public policy”? Do you want to become a totalitarian state like Nazi Germany under Hitler? He had pretty strict gun control laws and because of that, he was able to take over his own country and much of Europe. How about Poland during WWII? It was because their citizens were armed while still under Nazi occupation that they were able to fight back and regain their country.
I’ll level with you here. I know I didn’t include the many articles where people were killed by bad guys and there was no one there to save them. Maybe they didn’t have guns to protect themselves with. However, this post isn’t about that, it’s about proving that controlling guns is not the problem. As I said before, it’s the heart of the person using the gun. A gun is just an object. On its own, it cannot pull its trigger and fire a bullet. If it just sits there in a drawer or in a safe, it is completely harmless. It’s when someone picks up the gun that determines what it’s going to be used for. When I was in Sheriff’s Academy (yeah, I used to be a cop), an older deputy said to me that once you fire your weapon, you can never take back what happens afterward.
Here’s another argument that advocates of gun control bring up. They think that if enough laws are passed that restrict the access to and types of guns one can obtain, the amount of crimes committed by such people will decrease. To that I say this. Consider illegal drugs. Cocaine used to be prescribed by various physicians in the past for calming the ails of their patients. However, in 1914, the Harrison Narcotics Act made it illegal to produce, import, manufacture, compound, deal, dispense, sell, distribute or give away any form of narcotics 8.
Now that they are illegal, do people still use them? Have you ever heard of a cocaine addict? I have! Does the fact that narcotics are illegal make it to where there are no illegal users? No. The same goes for guns. Although the use of guns isn’t always illegal, a firearm can still be used for illegal purposes. No matter how many laws are passed that prohibit or restrict the use and purchase of firearms, there will still be those who will obtain them on the black-market and back streets who will use them for their illegal purposes.
If you look at all the shootings, most of them were the result of idiots who were insane, mad or were in heightened states of emotion. How can future shootings be prevented? I don’t think all of them will. There is no one blanket solution to ensure that a shooting can be prevented. However, the government does NOT need to restrict firearm use. They need to find ways to change the heart of the person. A way to start this can be to tighten the parameters of background checks during firearms purchases. Psychological history or medical concerns should be included as a part of routine background checks. References must also somehow be a part of this process. Five random people who are associated with the purchaser must be contacted and asked a series of questions. If there is any history of bizarre behavior or situations that warrant concern if this person possesses a firearm, it should disqualify them from the purchase.
It is a tragedy every time anyone is killed or murdered as a result of the illegal use or accidental discharge of a firearm. Many incidences have been documented that point to the fact that trained and prepared people can respond to threats of armed intruders and save their own lives and the lives of others. Gun control is not the answer. Policies and guidelines should be put into place that can pinpoint past behaviors that would make the ownership of firearms dangerous. However, those filters cannot prevent all illegal uses of firearms. There will be those who purchase guns illegally or obtain them through another source. The lesson that can be learned through all this is that if you are responsible enough and have the right training, there is no problem with the ownership and use of a firearm. It is necessary for those people to exist in order to meet the threat of armed intruders and others who wish to do harm by the illegal use of a firearm.
1. Little, M. (2012, December 16). Sen. feinstein to introduce gun-control bill next year. Los Angeles Times, Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-feinstein-gun-control-bill-newtown-20121216,0,2429438.story
2. Ritz, E. (2012, June 23). 14-year-old shoots armed intruder while babysitting his younger siblings in phoenix. The Blaze, Retrieved from http://www.theblaze.com/stories/14-year-old-shoots-armed-intruder-while-babysitting-his-younger-siblings-in-phoenix/
5. Ames, Mark (April 20, 2007). “Virginia Tech: Is the Scene of the Crime the Cause of the Crime?”. AlterNet.
6. O’Connor, E. (2012, October 23). 12-year-old oklahoma girl shoots home intruder. Time News Feed, Retrieved from http://newsfeed.time.com/2012/10/23/12-year-old-girl-shoots-home-intruder/?iid=obnetwork
7. Sieczkowski, C. (2012, December 17). Morgan freeman hoax: Newtown school shooting statement fake, says actor’s camp. The huffington post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/17/morgan-freeman-hoax-newtown-school-shooting-statement_n_2315848.html
8. “Opium Throughout History”. PBS Frontline. Retrieved 2010-04-14.