Is There a Right Choice?

Religious logosEvery society and every generation creates rules and obligations. Humans organize their lives based on their understanding or acceptance of societal codes. When someone becomes part of an organization or association, most will conform their thoughts so they will be accepted.

Children learn what’s acceptable, first through parents, or authority figures, then through peers.

Scientists suggest it’s not just humans who have morals

I’ve met many people over the years who have little understanding of firearms but are very aggressive in promoting their ideas about firearms, gun control, and what they think my liberties should be. I’ve gone through phases in my life where I ignore them or confront in debate.

It doesn’t bother me if you explain, I’m a pacifist, or I don’t like guns, I would never use a gun. All of that’s OK. It’s perfectly fine to me if you say I will never own a firearm. All of that stops when you insist in laws which either ban, restrict, or use lawyers to sue me into financial oblivion.

Frankly I’m tired of the immediate knee jerk reactions dispensed just after a well publicized shooting. Why, because all it does is destroy any real grieving time for those affected by a horrible event. It’s not so much that you care and want it to stop, we can both agree with that, but that so many are willing to jump on the opportunity to push an agenda.

I also grow weary trying to reason with people on the 2nd amendment or why I think I have the right to protect myself. I don’t care if you want to rely on the protection or goodwill of others, that’s your choice. Just don’t limit my choices to those you make. The 2nd Amendment was created so that no government or group would have the power to eliminate all of your other rights.

Law of Unintended Consequences

Not surprisingly, New Yorkers wanted to limit sugary drink sizes so they could control obesity. Another in a series of good intentions with negligible or adverse results.

In 1920, this country passed the 18th amendment. It was designed to cure us of the ‘evils of alcohol’. All sorts of statistics & testimony were brought out on the destructive nature of alcoholic beverages. A ban for 13 years followed until the 21st amendment repealed prohibition. Why was it withdrawn? The answer is similar to the nature of owning firearms. There are going to be people who will misuse the product. Deaths will occur, people will do stupid things, but in the end, the nature of unintended consequences came forth. During prohibition, we saw an increase in organized crime. Law enforcement was added, but the combined criminal elements along with bureaucratic corruption overwhelmed society.

There are reportedly, over 300 million firearms in this country. Despite the 80+ million Americans who own firearms and the incredibly small number of people who use them to create mayhem or destruction, there’s always been a loud vocal group, combined with media, who think a ban is the right choice for everyone.

List_of_countries_by_firearm-related_death_rate.jpgThe chart found in this link shows the U.S. isn’t the murder capital by firearms as some with an agenda want us to believe. The facts are, more restrictions or bans don’t work. When people are determined to kill each other or themselves, they will do it. We should’ve learned despite our laws, we have a serious drug problem, We should’ve learned that through prohibition, but it appears for many, they still think there’s more they can do through writing more laws.

What it’s going to take is something far more reaching in scope but not a simple magical formula or stroke of a pen. My ideas are usually labeled out of date and almost always criticized as not workable. Despite that here’s my thoughts:

1 – Quit making so many films and television programs which celebrate violence. Liam Neeson says it’s a disgrace for Americans to own so many guns. This statement comes from an actor that has made many films depicting graphic violence. He says it’s fantasy and helps us. Really? So, I guess watching violence doesn’t desensitize any of us.

2 – I actually support Planned Parenthood. No, I don’t advocate abortions. A significant contribution to our societal desensitization toward the value of human life stems from the idea of discarding a beginning life. I do know however, there’s vast need to understand the value in two parent families. More importantly, making sure you want children before you become pregnant and either have a child that you view as a burden or a wonderful gift. Clearly there are a lot of children who grow up in highly dysfunctional families or with single parents. I know from first hand experience, the trauma a child can go through with a single parent.

3 – Support sensible drug laws which don’t automatically criminalize and punish people. I know this is almost a third rail for many to discuss, but I think we’re doing a lot of societal harm through our readiness to punish rather than find ways to help people through addiction.

To legally possess or purchase firearms or ammunition, residents of the state of Illinois are required to have a FOID card. That doesn’t stop the violent use of guns in Illinois. California has a ban on high capacity magazines, universal background checks, and a waiting period. That didn’t help in San Bernadino.

Bombs are banned in the U.S. but there still are some who don’t care about that law.

Additional Links

California Gun Law

* Requires residents moving in have 60 days to register their handguns.
* Police record all purchases from dealers. All firearm sales must be completed through a dealer. California has a ten (10) day waiting period for all firearm purchases, transfers, and private sales which must be conducted through a federal and state firearm license holder. That is, upon purchase, the purchaser must wait 10 days after the purchase before the firearm is released to the owner.
* Firearm purchases require a Firearm Safety Certificate and proof of residency unless the individual purchasing the firearm is active duty military or a peace officer under Penal Code Section 830. Military reservists must still acquire a Firearm Safety Certificate and proof of residency in order to purchase a firearm.