Boy, am I going to cheese off some people with this post! Hold on to your hats! The second amendment. DUM DUM DUN! (Again, please remember to keep your comments and discussions respectful. My beliefs are my own, and you are free to believe as you chose.)
The first thing you need to know, to those that are living under a rock, is that the second amendment is the right to keep and bear arms. It was adopted for several reasons. First, the age was dangerous. Protecting your family was your job. A gun went a long way towards protecting your loved ones, your livestock, and your possessions. Second, it was your duty to defend your homeland when necessary. It was also your duty to resist tyranny, for yourself and for your fellow man. Having separated from a country we felt stifled by, it made sense that we would wish to have the ability to defend ourselves if another country were to try to take hold.
My feelings? I am extremely liberal. I am the first one on the bandwagon when it comes to protecting our rights and freedoms. Even so, I believe the right is antiquated. Historians often believe that “arms” is to actually mean “weapons.” Guns are only one of the options that the amendment protects. No one is boycotting mace or stun guns. (Well, maybe some people are boycotting them, but nothing gets through to the news, and there are no stun-gun clubs that people create a society around and go to practice their mad skills either.) Just guns become the controversy. The writers of the amendment could not have possibly imagined the guns, (hell, weapons!) we have created since the amendment came into effect. We have abused the right by making the most dangerous things we can think of. Weapons that not only can take a life, but can take dozens or hundreds or thousands of lives in just a matter of seconds. Minutes at the most. We’ve created video games and movies and television shows that have made weapons cool, and people that use them even cooler. They aren’t a necessity to protect. They are a fashion item.
That’s not to say that everyone is trigger-happy, irresponsible idiots or that in no way is a gun warranted. That isn’t what I’m saying at all. Just the opposite, in fact. I believe that with most of the population here in the United States, we have no good reason to own a gun and we’re better off not owning one. The people that have a legit reason? They should. That’s where gun control comes in. A gun can easily take a life. I have never been injured walking into an exam room, yet I have to fill out a stack of papers as thick as my leg every time I go to a doctor’s appointment. “With great power comes great responsibility.” Perhaps if you want to own a gun, you should be required to fill out a large packet of information, which is then submitted to a committee. At that point, if you can read, make a decent case for your need to own a gun, and not kill anyone while waiting, you would be granted one. You could own a gun if you lived in a high crime area and lived alone, but not if you wanted revenge on your ex-boyfriend. See where I’m going with this? Maybe the committee could just issue dogs. Seems more fulfilling. To my knowledge, we have yet to create a gun that gives you a friendly kiss when you come home, and it would do dual duty by finding homes for all the shelter dogs in the country. See? I should run for president.
And to the real issue I have with guns: kids get them. They get the wrong idea about them, they hurt themselves or other people, the stories go on. In every one, it is totally unacceptable and 100% preventable. If you are a gun owner, it is your number one responsibility to make sure that you keep other people safe. Practice in intelligent places. Store your guns and ammunition under lock and key, in separate places. I also believe it is important to teach your kids about guns, but know that your child will likely do just what you asked them not to. It is in their natures. They are curious! When I was eight years old, I found a gun in the garage. I knew the rules. I picked up the gun, aimed it at an elderly lady gardening across the street, and pulled the trigger. Thankfully, that gun wasn’t loaded. I’m sure even if it was loaded, I wasn’t aiming correctly and wouldn’t have hurt that sweet old lady. But what if it had been a friend three feet from me? I knew the rules about guns. I knew I shouldn’t touch it and should find an adult. I did any way. The truth is that I didn’t have any kind of grasp on the amount of damage a gun could do. I hadn’t seen anyone die, didn’t have the capacity to think that far in the future to grasp the finite. Even if you don’t own a gun, but you have a child, it is your responsibility to ask at play dates and relatives’ homes if they own a gun and find out how they keep it. Sure, it’ll be a bit on the awkward side the first few times you ask people (akin to asking them what they’re wearing while you chat on the phone), but there is no price too high to pay for peace of mind when it comes to your child’s safety.