|Jones' incendiary delivery managed to completely |
obscure any real points he made during his appearance.
I know, I know, tensions are high, and why not take away automobiles, and only criminals will own guns, and look what Hitler did, and blah blah blah blah. Yeah, I get it. Everyone is mad. And I know so many gun owners--that I know personally--are worried about this. I'm very surprised that this fear is even on the table. Worse--Texans...TEXANS...are fearful.
Let me tell you why this is all ridiculous.
|A quintessential image if ever there was one.|
Some of you are REALLY gun happy. That's great, and that's awesome, and don't think for a second that I want to take your guns away. Do you know why I don't want to take your guns away? Because you'll shoot me if I try. I know it, and you know it. You know who else knows it? The government. Believe it or not, there are gun enthusiasts at every level of government, too. Right on down to the very people that, in this imaginary nightmare scenario would be charged with taking your guns from you. I personally know a number of current military personnel and veterans. I also know a number of law enforcement officials. Local sheriffs, policemen, even a couple of constables. These are everyone from nodding acquaintances to close friends, people I've known for years. I would trust these people (and I do) with my life and my safety. Do you know what would happen if the word came down to start rounding up guns? I am reasonably confident that all of them would flat-out refuse to do it. Based on what I know of these folks, there's no way they'd turn over their own guns, nor would they take yours away.
It's a ludicrous scenario. And I hate that I keep having to hear it right now. It's all over FaceBook. It's all over the news. Every day they get some fresh chucklehead who's just come into town from the wilderness where he keeps his bunker in good order and they get him yammering on television about how President Obama is going to goose-step into our homes and remove our .22s, and then ONLY the CRIMINALS will HAVE the GUNS, and then it's off to rant-town.
You all need to see this for what it is: infotainment. It's theater, it's blood and circuses, it's misdirection from every real and genuine problem we actually have, that we need to be actually talking about. "Gun Control" has become one of those knee-jerk phrases like "Global Warming" and "Compassionate Conservatism" that seems to throw most people into a lather, where they instantly retreat to their corner where all of the prepared statements live, and start throwing them out like ninja stars in the hopes of hitting whoever is doing the talking and they'll be so stunned that they go away.
When Jesse Ventura made the comparison between firearms and gun deaths and drunk drivers and vehicular manslaughter, John Stewart countered with a compelling argument that stronger laws and enforcement and massive public awareness campaigns did in fact reduce the number of drunk driving deaths over several decades. And I think that's what people are talking about--or at least, want to talk about. Let me cut to the chase, here:
On the subject of better firearm management, I don't have any desire to take away any existing firearms. However, I do want to see a much higher level of respect for firearms in this country--legislatively, on a civic level. What would that look like? Here are my thoughts, and that's all they are.
|No Guns at Wal-Mart means no break-ins to steal them.|
It won't stop shooting deaths. Of course it won't. But I firmly believe that, over time, there are some deaths that will be prevented because, over time, everyone will lock up their weapons as a matter of course, or perhaps not have as many to choose from because the licenses are pretty expensive, or perhaps will just think twice about grabbing that weapon because of the price they will have to pay because crimes committed with a firearm, loaded or not, now carry the automatic maximum sentence under the law.
Again, let me stress: your right to own a firearm and whether or not they are available ubiquitously are two very different things. If the only place to buy legal firearms was at a licensed gun dealer's shop, and you had hoops to jump through to register your firearm and so on and so forth, that some of the murders borne out of opportunity would be avoided. I could easily see where people would be proud of their licenses, and hey, knowing that they made the conscious decision to be a gun owner (which would now come with extra responsibilities and consequences) wouldn't be nearly so unsettling to me. So, no one would be taking guns away, or limiting them. Anyone can own one, provided they are willing to accept the extra responsibility. That, to me, seems very reasonable.
As we sit here and now, we're so caught up in our own mythology about guns that we take them for granted. We need to look at the reality of the situation and ask ourselves honestly if giving American citizens another hoop or two to jump through isn't worth the potential to save lives down the line. These are not an accessory for being an American. They are a tool with the potential to cause bodily injury and should be treated as such. But one thing I do not accept is that there's nothing to be done. In the wake of yet another mass shooting, I'm well aware that this problem is a hydra with multiple heads. But we have to start somewhere, and
And you other guys? Out there where the buses don't run? Seriously, stand down, all right? We're all in this together, and the fear-mongers are holding us back.