Monday, June 22, 2015

Who said what? A discussion of gun control--or not

Last night I inadvertently stirred the pot on FB by posting that I was appalled that Alabama was going to license children to carry firearms. Seems I didn't know all the ramifications--there are stipulations, such as age and parental supervision, but the bill is not aimed at letting children under 18 run helter-skelter with guns. It's for those who engage in competitive shooting, skeet, hunting. Not sure if it even includes handguns.
Today I read that Iowa is going to license the vision impaired. Now I know blind sports are a fairly big thing--people play basketball using auditory clues for that which they can't see. So I don't know the full story on the Iowa bill either and will refrain from my usual rush to judgment.
But my point here is the controversy I caused last night was of great interest to me because of the various points of view and what I know abut some of the people who commented. One friend I value is a policeman's wife, and she is militantly defense about her right to carry and to train her children with firearms. For her it's purely a matter of self-defense whether it be against an intruder, kidnapper or terrorist. That to me is a whole 'nother dilemma and I won't go into it except to say that today I read that most of us, being moral persons, would be hesitant to pull the trigger...and would thereby end up in more danger. Apparently it's a documented syndrome with service people and law enforcement.
Then there's the gentleman who frequently brings me up short for misquoting, misinterpreting and not checking sources. He seems to always know which web link to post for the latest statistics--more automobile deaths than guns, declining death rate in spite of increased gun ownership, and that kind of thing. He does this in an almost detached tone, not taking sides but claiming he wants the true facts laid out to quell fanning the flames of panic and fear.
There's another man, an old friend, who I can almost always count on to take the opposite stand--he supports guns and the military, dislikes Obama, but he was remarkably quiet last night.
I confess that I come at this from an emotional viewpoint, horrified by kids who kill themselves or their playmates with guns carelessly left around, by the massacres of which we have too many, and by the bizarre reactions of the far right to such tragedies. Rick Perry called the Charleston shootings an "accident"--that kind of reaction makes me rant and rave. So does the suggestion that ministers should be armed. While they preach the teachings of Christ? I don't think so. A friend posted that when that day comes, hate will have won out over love.
I was joined by a couple other women who also approach gun control from an emotional point of view and by at least one man who is clearly opposed to more guns, saying we have to control them.
Pretty much all these people agree that we need stricter gun control laws to keep firearms out of the hands of convicted criminals, the mentally disturbed, etc. and perhaps we need more education so that people don't leave loaded guns near children--can you screen for stupid?
The whole gun issue is a conundrum and nobody knows the solution. To me, there are several possibilities to consider--ban handguns and let people keep their long rifles? Increase education? Shut down the fear-mongering, panic-inciting NRA (don't know that could be done legally but they used to be a helpful organization focusing on teaching responsible use of firearms--pray that they would go back to that!).
Me? I'm going to continue to be anti-gun. I generally think with my heart involved. I want love to win out.

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