Saturday, May 4, 2013

Second Amendment Rights - Leslie

The second amendment in the United States Constitution is the right to keep and bear arms.  I'm just going to go ahead and let everyone know that I do not have a stance on this issue that is set in stone.  I go back and forth with it a lot, because there are great arguments for both sides.  Therefore, this post may go back and forth.  I apologize for that.  This will be an account of my thought processes at the moment about gun control more than anything else, so please do not take this as something I am extremely passionate about one way or another.  I know what makes sense to me, but that doesn't always coincide with what is actually possible.

As far as keeping guns out of the hands of people who will use them in the worst ways imaginable, it's impossible.  Impossible.  Consider that for a second.  There is nothing anyone can do to keep things like shootings from happening, other than getting rid of all guns.  ALL guns.  You know THAT isn't going to happen.  If there aren't any guns anywhere, then guns aren't an issue.  Check.

The reality is that there ARE guns (and always will be I'm sure), and as long as there are, some people will use them explicitly to harm others.  Why?  Because they can.  Putting bans on people won't stop that.  How many times have you heard that such and such suspect from xyz shooting used his Great Aunt Susie's/dad's/uncle's gun to hurt those people?  Great Aunt Susie may have had tons of background checks done and went through a mountain of paperwork to get that gun legally and for protection reasons only.  Does that stop it from being stolen and used by her dipshit nephew?  No, it doesn't.  He doesn't care about what is banned as far as obtaining a gun.  He cares about what he intends to do with one, and where he will get it whether by legal means or not.  Those bans would not stop that from happening.  Then consider that perhaps Suspect Nephew goes and intends to shoot up a gas station.  He pulls out his gun and starts threatening for the money in the register or he'll shoot and kill the clerk, only to be shot by some no-name customer with a gun, saving the clerk's life.  The point is, as long as there are guns there are people who will use them for protection of themselves or others, and there are people who will use them to only do harm.  Should that person who used their gun to protect be punished because Suspect Nephew got hold of a gun?  No, I don't think so.  I think that if there are going to be people out there who will use a firearm illegally, then people should be able to exercise their RIGHT (not privilege!) to have a gun to protect themselves.  Banning guns doesn't hurt the criminals.  Not at all.

This is where things get a little tough for me and I go back and forth.  My biggest issue with having guns is something Heather wrote about.  Kids.  If you have a gun, you need to have it kept in a place that is safely away from children.  I don't care how much you teach your kids about guns.  Sometimes they do stupid things, as we all did when we were young, and sometimes those things could be prevented.  That said, if you own a gun, I definitely think your children need to be taught about them.  Using them safely, what not to do with them, and at some point possibly how to handle one.  Children are naturally curious and making something impossible to obtain will make them want to do it more.  It makes it seem much more cool.  I don't believe in telling a child what not to do and why and leaving it at that.  SHOW them why.  (And no, I don't mean go out and shoot someone.  Please, don't.)  Often children don't understand explanations, especially with something like "guns can kill".  Instead of keeping them away and hoping they don't come across one, teach them what to do in a situation such as that.  Here's an idea, teach them how to safely disarm a gun.

On the other hand, it's hard to think about teaching A any of that.  She's my whole world, and I don't want to think about her being in that kind of situation.  But the truth is, it's not always preventable unless your children are extremely sheltered.  A isn't, and won't be.  I still would rather teach her the safe way to handle a situation rather than just blindly hope it won't ever happen.  I want to give her the tools and knowledge to handle something by herself, because I won't always be there to protect her, as much as I want to be.  Taking a page out of Heather's book, and I definitely WILL, I can do all of the research I want into how other people handle their guns and store them, but that still doesn't guarantee that something won't happen.  The world is scary, and I would rather know that I did what I could to keep A safe, even if it's teaching her how to keep herself safe, instead of just worry and hope nothing ever happens.

It's a tough and very thin line to walk on. 

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