If you’re part of the anti-gun lobby, the title of my blog alone probably ticks you off. But keep reading and please hear me out. I don’t know if anything I say will change your mind, but there are two sides to every issue and so often the topic of gun rights and gun control leads to immediate yelling on both sides. I’d like to quietly and rationally explain my position.
Some background info – I grew up in a conservative household. We lived on a farm out in the country. I was homeschooled and went to church every Sunday. I still do although I’ve traded cornfields and dirt roads for city lights and loud neighbors. The Bible and the United States’ Constitution guide how I think about life. But before you start jumping to conclusions that my family is just a bunch of uneducated, redneck, country bumpkins – guess again. Yes, my dad is a farmer but he also has a Master’s degree and works as an electrician at a local factory. I also have a Master’s degree and my mom works in the dental industry. We may be conservatives but we’re not stupid and my parents made a point to expose me to different cultures, music and customs to make me a well rounded individual.
Part of that education included changing a flat tire, the oil in my car and learning to shoot. Probably around the age of thirteen, my friends and I took a Shooting Sports class through 4-H that included a Hunter’s Safety test which my mom took too and we all passed with flying colors. We shot everything from a pistol to a muzzleloader and learned how to handle each one. All my life there were guns in my house and I thought nothing of it – to me the represented freedom, safety and America. All the neighbors had guns too because when you live in rural America and it takes 30 minutes for the police to get there, you need a way to defend yourself. Most people hunted and I have family that still do. The grocery store was also 30 minutes away but the woods was about 5 and when a deer can put meat in your freezer for a year, hunting just becomes a way of life.
So when I hear people use terms like “bitter gun clingers” or “right wing gun nuts” I am annoyed and offended. Those people know nothing about rural America. They don’t even stop to think about what it’s like to grow up miles from a town that actually has a police force and fire department that can be there in minutes. Most of the time if anyone needed to call 911 in my neighborhood they couldn’t even FIND the house they were supposed to go to because country roads aren’t marked all that well. Still to this day Google maps has no idea what to do with my parents’ address when I type it in my GPS app.
Also, their dad probably never worked the night shift like mine did for 20+ years leaving them home alone with their mom, a German Shepherd dog and a pistol in the nightstand in case something went wrong. And they probably never had people making meth or growing pot in the woods down the road. If you tell me that no one would bother driving out to the country to commit a crime – you’d sadly be wrong because strangers have ended up in my parents’ barn, meth makers steal copper and chemicals used for farming all the time and the neighbors even had their house broken in to while they were home during the day. So when you tell me the Second Amendment has no relevance in the year 2016, I beg to differ.
Do we have a problem in this country with guns? No. But we DO have a problem with people’s hearts. There’s no respect for life any more (Roe v. Wade started us down that path), morality is ambiguous and families are crumbling. How do you fix a problem that starts from within someone’s heart? Legislation and government overreach can’t stop and won’t stop someone from breaking the law because he or she doesn’t care about the law to begin with. That’s just common sense.
So where do we find common ground? Mass shootings are a problem and to deny that is naive. But messing with the Constitution, no matter how antiquated some people may believe it to be, is treacherous. Our Founding Fathers had brilliant minds and since they’re not around to ask what to do, we need to take it at face value and not try to change the interpretation for political gains or to fit what’s culturally popular or trendy.
Probably the best thing to do, in my opinion, is to actually enforce the laws we already have. Background checks are essential and many of the mass shooters who legally obtained their weapons should not have passed background checks yet somehow did anyway. Why not fix that system first before passing new laws?
Second, if you buy a gun, maybe you should have a license to carry it. After all, we have to have licenses for everything else – driving a car, getting married, fishing, etc. To obtain that license, potential gun owners should be able to pass an exam and learn how to safely use the weapon. That statement may make some purists really mad, but we’ve got to come to some sort of compromise on the issue somewhere and that seems like a pretty easy concession 2A supporters can make.
Third (this is a radical idea, so brace yourselves), maybe everyone in America that’s mentally sound and physically able should be armed. Think about it for a second – many of the places where the mass shootings take place are gun free zones so people are sitting ducks for the crazies that go on a shooting rampage. Maybe if every potential mass murder thought all Americans were armed, they’d hesitate to walk in to a gun free zone and open fire.
Finally, take the the time to educate yourself about the issue. So many of my left leaning friends on social media share things that are completely untrue. Assuault weapons are already illegal for civilians to own (Reagan took care of that in the 80s) and despite what people tell you, an AR-15 is a single shot semi-automatic weapon that only fires as fast as you can pull the trigger.
It’s sad that the world has gotten so evil and we even have to have these kinds of discussions. But before we start changing the founding document that’s so utterly important to our country’s survival, we should start thinking about the freedoms we might be giving up to the government if we allow them to disarm us. The Second Amendment was put in place so citizens could overthrow a tyrannical government if they had too. Anyone read/seen 1984, the Hunger Games or Fahrenheit 451? Seems far-fetched that the United States would ever end up that way but why take that chance? Our Founding Fathers had enough insight to provide a way for citizens to protect themselves and we shouldn’t take that lightly when making long-term decisions that will impact our nation for generations to come.
For further reading and to explore the Second Amendment in more in dept, I highly recommend reading “Hands Off My Gun” by Dana Loesch.
Also, check out these links for further information regarding some of the false statistics and facts that politicians and anti-gun lobbyists use to sway public opinion.