Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Ever since the horrible shooting in Florida, the debate over guns and gun laws has escalated.

This happens every time one of these unspeakable events happen, but this time it seems to have reached a new level.

By its very nature, it's an emotional issue. Unfortunately, when emotions get high, people sometimes say things that aren't very smart. That has also happened and it has come from both sides.

The fact is nobody has all the answers. I believe bad people are going to do bad things, no matter how we might try to restrict them from doing so. You simply cannot legislate away shooting, bombing and terrorizing.

With that said, I have to believe there are ways to tighten up gun laws a bit while not interfering with anyone's Second Amendment rights. Surely we can make it a little more difficult for guns to get into the hands of the people who misuse them.

I am not a gun owner, nor do I have any interest in shooting guns, but I have absolutely no desire to keep someone from owning one or shooting one if that is his/her wish. When Older Son was in his  first year of college and wanted a gun, I bought one for him for Christmas. I believed he was responsible enough to own one and would be safe and exercise common sense. He now owns two, having bought the next one himself.

Maybe I'm unrealistic about all of this, but I think if there is to be any headway to be made in the gun debate, people are going to have to listen to each other. If you are "pro-gun," are you willing to listen to reason about gun laws that are a little more restrictive than they are now?

I you are "anti-gun," are you also willing to listen to reason and at least to the possibility that responsible armed citizens -- and yes, even teachers -- level the playing field a bit and protect the innocent?

And if you are in either one of these camps, would you be willing to quit pointing fingers and placing blame on the parties you don't like -- whether it's President Trump, the press or the NRA?

A civil conversation is called for. I hope it will happen.


Ed said...

Bob, my brother from another... slightly older mother, you are definitely being realistic from my point of view. I think changes in our laws, without infringing upon the 2nd Amendment, are absolutely necessary. For starters, I see no reason why we should be afraid of universal background checks from dealerships on down to private transactions. It just doesn't make sense that I can walk into a gun store and have to file all this paperwork to purchase a gun but when the gun show comes to town, I can walk out with an armload of firearms without any paperwork.

As you alluded too, there have always been mass tragedies in our society from poisoned Tylenol, package bombs, post office shootings, anthrax letters, to more recently school shootings, vehicles ramming into crowds and now back to package bombs, and these are just the ones off the top of my head in my lifetime. I can't begin to wrap my head around all the laws that would be needed and then enforced to prevent all these. I would rather focus my time and energy of figuring out why our society has changed to the point where these are occurring.

Bob said...

Thanks Ed. I have some ideas on your last comments about why these things keep happening but that would be an entirely different discussion that could get very emotional very fast, so we’ll save that for another day.

Kelly said...

Well said, Bob.

Not to sound too Libertarian here, but there are many things you just can't legislate... morality being one in particular.

Bob said...

You’re exactly right Kelly.

sage said...

Amen. I do own guns (although I seldom use them and haven't hunted since my 20s) and I have never been a member of the NRA. There are a number of common sense things to do like universal background checks and limiting the type of guns that we can own (I have no need for an automatic rifle or a bazooka).

Bob said...

Right, Sage, and for the life of me I don’t understand why the background checks and limitations would be objectionable by anyone. But I AM willing to listen!

Debby said...

We have more guns in this house than I care to count. Neither of us believe that the NRA represents our thoughts on the process. No one needs a semi automatic weapon for hunting. Someone with a history of domestic violence does not need access to a weapon. Here's the way I honestly see it, Bob. If a person does not have a criminal history, s/he's not in danger of losing his weapons, so the complaints about "the government coming for our guns' is bullpuckey, something thrown out there for the simple purpose of inflaming passions and making reasonable discourse impossible.

Bob said...

I tend to agree with you, Debby, and believe there are extreme, non-helpful statements from both sides.

BrightenedBoy said...

It's a strange thing we do in this country when a shooting happens. We wring our hands and equivocate and and talk about how someone who really wants to hurt people is going to do it. As if we're powerless to change anything. As if we're not the only country in the world--the ONLY ONE--where this happens on a regular basis. I believe in the Second Amendment as well, but the current free-for-all is dangerous and unnecessary. It's also fairly irritating to me when people talk about everything BUT gun control as a solution to gun violence, including forcing educators to take on the burden of defense. I'm a teacher and have no desire to pack heat in a classroom, or to make the hideous decision of whether to shoot one child for the sake of protecting others. The calls from some quarters to arm teachers rather than to restrict gun sales show how little life is now valued by the conservative right. That's not directed at you, of course; rather, it's an indictment of how depraved our political culture has become.

Bob said...

Thanks for your input and these are all points well made.

Andrew said...

I agree... Though liberal, I feel kind of moderate on this. I don't own a gun because I believe the math, it is far more likely that harm will come to a family member with a home weapon than a perp. I think it is reasonable to require a much higher level of training to own a gun, along with registration and insurance.

Overall, I think only a change in culture will change our circumstance. America idolizes the gun in bizarre ways.

Tewshooz said...

Tell me where I can walk into a gun show and just buy a gun. It used to be that way in Oregon, but no more. The 2nd amendment is not about what you think I need or should be allowed to own....or hunting or target shooting. It is about protecting ourselves from tyrannical govt, and quite frankly, those who want to infringe on my right to bear arms. Did you know that, although background check paperwork is supposed to be deleted by govt after a certain amount of time, federal agents are copying dealer's records? As a law abiding citizen, I resent the idea that my rights should be infringed because a nutjob shoots up a school or a church. Criminals don't care about gun laws or will give up their guns. What part of infringement do you not understand?