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The topic of Gun Control

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Kay Alett:
On May 18th there was a shooting at the high school in Santa Fe in Texas. Some may know already that Santa Fe is my hometown where I grew up for most of my life. I don't live there anymore for personal reasons but it has brought to my mind the topic of gun control.

I don't want to strictly debate the merits of gun ownership though such a topic is not unwelcome here, I want to start a discussion about the issue of regulation.
Personally I like firearms. I like the design of many weapons and while I don't own any myself I have fired a .45 pistol and a .308 rifle in my life and found that I have a natural shooting talent. I can appreciate many aspects of guns but I feel as though there is not enough regulation in this country to keep such dangerous weapons out of people's hands.

Sit back and enjoy a cold beverage, folks. This is gonna be a long one.  ;) My opinions as follows:

DISCLAIMER: I don't know a hill of beans when it comes to guns, gun control, gun laws, etc. In fact, I don't even own a gun. I have very bad eyesight and would probably miss something if I ever shot a gun. In the wake of the mass shootings in Sandy Hook, Orlando, Las Vegas, Parkland, and countless other places, here are my opinions about guns and gun control.

*sigh* When will it end? Seems like hardly a day doesn't go by when somebody someplace in America is killing people for various reasons: Burglaries, Robberies, Bank holdups, Hostage situations, Carjackings, Mass Shootings, and so much more.
As that old phrase goes: "Guns don't kill people. People kill people.". But apparently, some people in our government, various authoritative agencies (Police, FBI, ATF, etc.), and some of the American public don't seem to understand this. For they keep wanting/establishing law after law after law, etc. to enforce more "gun control" on the American populace. While “some” laws, background checks, waiting lists, etc. may be necessary to keep certain individuals or groups from having firearms and/or certain firearms from being on the streets, too many laws and restrictions can have a detrimental effect and make the populace think the government is curtailing their Constitutional rights and freedoms, and that the government is "out to get them" so to speak. There needs to be a "balance" between owning and using a gun, and preventing guns from getting into the hands of the wrong people and having more gun violence. But where is this balance? How do we create it? Or better yet, is it even possible?

Where exactly does "gun control" lie? With the public or the government? How do we control the gun violence that is ravaging America?
In my opinion, gun control starts with the public. It starts with the owner of the gun. Once you have a gun in your hand, “YOU” control how that gun is used, where it is used, and whom or what it is used against. Not the government. Control starts with learning about the gun. What it does, How it operates, What it should and should not be used for, etc. When people buy, own, and use a gun, they need to learn about safety, take gun shooting classes, and above all, learn RESPONSIBILITY for owning and using a gun. In short, it’s about “training, education, and knowledge". Or as I like to call it: Gun T.E.K.

To give you an analogy, it's kind of like when you were a little kid playing with your toys. If you were playing with your toys badly or abusing them, your parents may have had to take them away from you until you learned how to play responsibly with them. The same could almost be said with guns. The United States Constitution gives Americans the right to bear arms in the 2nd Amendment. That is our constitutional right. We might have played with our "toys" (guns) responsibly during the early periods of America growing up. But as the years and decades wore on, we seemed to have lost responsibility and “lost our way” for how we owned and used guns, and we disregarded the “knowledge and education” that comes with learning how to use a gun. And now we face the time where our parent (Federal Government and/or gun control groups) is shaking their finger at the kids (Public) and telling us that if we can't play with our toys responsibly, then they are going to take them away from us.........or at least make it harder for us to play with them.
As I said before, maybe "some" laws are necessary for gun control. But if we really want to have less gun control laws in this country and look better in the eyes of our parents (Federal Government), then we need to take it upon ourselves to act responsibly in how we own and use guns. By learning ourselves, and teaching and showing others how to safely and responsibly handle guns, maybe we can get the Government to get off our backs and cut us a bit of slack, know what I mean?

It's not the gun itself that is out of control. It's us, the "human animal" and our emotions that is out of control because we are like kids who have been given this brand new toy to play with and instead of playing with it responsibly, we are instead abusing it.
We just can't seem to keep our emotions in check. Every time someone or something bothers somebody, it's like we have to threaten others with a gun or something else.
Boss at work getting you down? Get a gun.
Neighbor steals your garden hose. Get a gun.
Another person grabbed your parking space. Get a gun.
Fast food employee gives you the wrong order. Get a gun.
Hardly a day doesn't go by when I haven't read on the news where somebody uses a gun to get back at another person or commits some other violent act. And all for the stupidest of reasons. It's like people think/feel that a gun will solve all their problems.......or at least some of them. Guns are not the solution to everything. They will not solve your problems. They will only make them worse and turn you into a criminal yourself. Ask yourself: Is it really worth it to pull a gun on somebody just to get your garden hose back? No, it isn’t.

If our Founding Fathers were alive right now and could see what has become of this nation with the way some people are abusing their 2nd Amendment rights, they’d be shocked and disgusted right now. It’d probably bring them to the point where they’d want to repeal the 2nd Amendment.
In short, we don't necessarily need more gun control in America. We need more "people control". Maybe by being more safe and responsible with guns can gun violence in America drop. It may not be the best solution, but it’s a start. So do yourselves a favor: EDUCATE yourself and others on how to safely and responsibly use and handle firearms. As the old 1980’s G.I. Joe cartoons would say: “Knowing is half the battle.”

Know what might even be better against gun violence? While some people may think it's having and using a gun, that is only part of the equation. While that may (or may not) work in some situations and instances, the best tools are the ones which we carry and use with us every day: Our eyesight and our hearing.
Hasn't it always been said that the price of freedom is eternal vigilance? While the government and local agencies can help to thwart various gun violence in America, it comes down to the American public to be vigilant about the people, places, and things around them. Your eyes and ears are the first line of defense when deterring crime. Not a gun. What you see, hear and report to the authorities can be just as much a deterrent to crime as using a gun. I'm not saying that we should be a bunch of tattle-talers and spy on everything and everyone around us and report that to the authorities. But I think we need to be more aware of our surroundings and the people around us. We need to be more Proactive and not Reactive. If something looks suspicious and out of place or if somebody is acting strangely to the point where a crime may be committed, then shouldn't we "step up to the plate" so to speak and do something about it? Waiting too long to report something and/or take action just gives the criminals more incentive to continue with whatever actions they are doing and/or to get away.
If I'm not too mistaken, didn't there used to be an acronym for the word "Cop"? Didn't it stand for:
O - N
Again, I am not suggesting or endorsing that we become a bunch of tattle-talers, spies, or heaven forbid, vigilantes. But the 911 call, description of the suspects, video surveillance, neighborhood watch programs, etc. can be just as, or more, effective if people would just learn to use them more effectively instead of pulling out a gun every time to settle a situation.

Do Guns = Power?

I tend to have a problem with that. Guns don't equal power. They can't give you power. They are not animate live objects that can magically bestow upon you special abilities and powers. Only superheroes in cinematic films or comics have super powers. What is power? How does one get it? Power is something that all people have sought since the dawn of time. We like to think that power comes from instilling fear in others or power comes from hoarding gold and treasure or that vanquishing your enemies gives you power, etc. Maybe these things do and maybe they don't.
There seems to be a little known phrase throughout history that a lot of people tend to forget: "Knowledge is/= Power". Simply having a gun and pointing it at somebody to threaten them may seem like power to some, but it's not. What does make you powerful is the knowledge you have in how you use that gun. How you safely and responsibly use the gun, the training you took, how you properly carry, store, and maintain the gun, and knowing when to take a life and when not to.........all the knowledge you gain from doing these things is the real power behind owning and using a firearm. Not the gun itself. Guns don't give you power. Knowledge does. Guns might help to achieve or give the “impression/illusion” of power. But they are not power itself. Stop thinking as if they do! The power to effectively own and use a gun comes from the knowledge you learned in how to safely and responsibly own and use a gun.

Governments (Particuarly the American government.) as well as various anti-gun groups spend more time, money, and effort "shooting their mouths off" about gun control and gun laws than the actual citizens and criminals who do real shooting. There seems to be more anti-gun rhetoric, charts, graphs, reports, articles, etc., etc. than there is about promoting gun safety, responsibility, gun classes, etc.
If the government, media, and anti-gun groups spent half as much (or more) time, money, and effort promoting gun safety, training, responsibility, and other "helpful" things about guns instead of all the negative stuff, the people of this country might end up a bit wiser and responsible about how they handle and use guns. As I said before: KNOWLEDGE = POWER. The government, media, etc. could do to promote more "positive" knowledge (Safety, Training, Responsibility, etc.) about guns instead of focusing on all the negative stuff.

Certain people or groups spend so much time preventing you from owning a gun. But does little or nothing to help educate you and help you own/use a gun.
Who should be responsible for providing and teaching more about gun safety, responsibility, and just plain more positive "education" about guns? For those who think or say that it should be ALL on the gun owners or ALL on the government, then you are wrong.
Educating people about gun safety, usage, responsibility, etc. is a 50/50 thing. Both parties are equally responsible. Or perhaps even better yet.........EVERYBODY is responsible.

But some people may think or say "Why the government?". Good question. Let me give you another analogy:
When some of you were young, there was probably a time when your father, uncle, or somebody else gave you a BB pellet gun or taught you how to hunt with a gun, etc. Hopefully, that parent or guardian didn't just give you the gun and say "Here ya go. Have fun with this.". Hopefully, they instead sat down with you and gave you a talk about properly handling the gun, how to aim, help you with target practice, and so much more. When our Founding Fathers wrote and ratified the Constitution over 200+ years ago, they gave us the "Right to bear arms". In short, they were like a parent giving their kids (Populace) a gun to use. Therefore, if our government is the "parent" who gave the kids (Populace) the right to bear and use a gun, then shouldn't they (The government.) share in the responsibility of helping to educate the population about gun safety and responsibility? Yes, yes they should.
But as for how the government should help in promoting/educating gun safety and responsibility, I don't know. Charts, graphs, media reports, articles, pamphlets, and tv commercials aren't and won't be enough.
So..........I'm looking at you Federal Government, Mr. President, and/or Anti-gun groups. Some of you spend so much time, effort, and money trying to control gun usage and take people's right to bear arms away from them. But what have you done to promote and educate the population about gun safety, handling, storage, responsibility, etc. of guns?
Remember, you gave us the constitutional right to bear arms. Shouldn't you "own up" and help support the citizens in learning how to responsibly use guns? You're just as much to blame, if not more, as the regular citizens in teaching and learning gun ownership and responsibility. And you’re also just as much to blame, if not more, for the hundreds or thousands of people killed each year due to gun violence. The victims blood isn’t just on the criminal’s hands, it’s also on your hands too. 

People seem to think that just going out and buying a gun will make them safe. But will it? A gun all by itself will not make you safe. And continuing to buy even more guns and ammunition won’t make you or others any safer either. It might help, but real safety comes from yourself and the knowledge/training you have in how you properly maintain, store, carry, use, etc. the guns that you have. Knowledge (and training) will help keep you safe. Not necessarily just the gun all by itself.
To me, I’d probably feel more safer (and probably have more respect for) being around and knowing that family and friends knew how to safely and responsibly own and use their guns instead of being with or around people who didn’t know anything or very little about guns and who improperly used them. If people aren’t going to take the time to properly gain the knowledge and training to use a firearm, then why have one?

When it comes to gun violence, making America safer with more gun control laws may or may not help. It might, but every time we add more gun control rules, laws, etc. after a mass shooting or other gun violent act happens, it’s “too little, too late”. It’s like closing the barn door after the cows have left the barn, not before.
What might make America safer and help lessen gun violence? Here’s a list that can include, but is not limited to:
1. Know how to properly carry a firearm.
2. Know how to properly clean/maintain a firearm.
3. Know when to shoot and when not to shoot.
4. Know how to properly store and lock up your firearm.
5. Take gun safety and shooting classes.
6. Keep guns (Loaded and unloaded) and ammunition away from children.
7. Register your gun and get a permit/license as required by law in your city/state.
8. Train others in SAFELY and RESPONSIBLY using a firearm.
9. Keep your emotions in check. It’s not necessarily guns that are out of control, it’s us, the “human animal”, and our emotions that is out of control. Guns will not solve your problems, whatever they may be. They will only make them worse. There is no need to whip out a gun every time something or somebody bothers you.
10. Knowledge is power. Not the gun. Knowledge will help keep you and/or others safe. A gun all by itself won’t. But a gun PLUS the knowledge to safely and properly use one will.
11. There are other ways for people to defend themselves besides using a gun. Pepper spray, martial arts, tasers, etc. Granted, these may or may not work for every situation, but they are not as deadly and violent as using a gun.
12. If you see something, then say something. A person’s mind, eyes, and ears are like a parachute. They only function when they are OPEN. Be proactive and report criminal activity in your area. Doing nothing just lets the criminal get away with whatever activity he/she is doing.

Passing more rules and laws and enforcing more gun control will not make America and it’s citizens safer. It might help, but it will most likely do more harm than good. People will always find a way to get a gun, either legally or illegally regardless of the rules and laws being established. If America and it’s citizens want to be safe, then it’s time to start practicing what is preached. Learn about firearm safety and responsibility. That is how YOU control gun violence. The best defense is a good offense. Be proactive and be knowledgeable about owning and using a firearm.
Adding rules and laws does not = Gun Control. Owning and using firearms SAFELY and RESPONSIBLY will. No……wait, let me re-phrase that. Gun Control = Self Control.

Why do Americans need so many guns? From time to time, I’ll often hear of people who have 5, 10, 20, 30, or more various firearms. For what reasons do people need that many?
Kinda seems like overkill, doesn’t it, at least to me anyway. I can probably understand a few reasons such as, but not limited to:
1.   Target practice – If a person is buying guns to go to a shooting range and do target practice, then I have no problem with that.
2.   Historical/Collector reasons – Some people choose to buy and collect guns for historical or collectible reasons. Again, I probably don’t see an issue with this.
3.   Shooting competitions/contests: I would probably be ok with this.

But what other reasons are there? Why do people feel the need to have so many guns? Time and time again, I often come across a few reasons such as, but not limited to:
1.   People need a lot of guns to protect their family and possessions from intruders. Seriously? A person feels they need 3, 5, 10, or more guns to protect their family and homes? Who are they expecting to get hit by? A squad or battalion of miscreants? Protecting your family and/or friends I can understand. But if you have a lot of guns to protect your possessions, then that’s overkill. If your tv is getting stolen, then let it. Your tv is not worth losing your life over to get it back from intruders. Possessions can always be replaced or rebuilt. The lives of yourself and those closest to you can’t.
2.   Some gun owners will say that the government is out to “get them” and that the government wants to take away people’s rights, impose martial law, etc., etc. Therefore, the populace needs to have a lot of guns to help overthrow the government from being tyrannical. These “ideas/suggestions” have been going on for decades or longer. If the government really were out to quash American’s freedoms and take away their guns, don’t you think they would have already done so by now? They would have done it already long, long ago.
3.   Preparing for the zombie apocolypse. Uh, yeah……..riiiiiight. Sorry, but that only exists in movies.

What sorts of gun control legislation should there be? Who should and shouldn’t be able to own and use a gun? What guns, ammunition, and other accessories should be limited or not allowed for public use? I really don’t have any answers for these questions. That is something better left for politicians, FBI, ATF, and others who are more knowledgeable about guns to figure out.
No amount of gun control legislation in any form will ever be able to control guns, stop gun violence, and protect American citizens. No matter how much legislation is proposed or eventually becomes law, people, whether good or bad, will always find a way to get a gun, whether legally or illegally. Gun control doesn’t start with the lawmakers in Congress or even the President of the United States. It starts with the ordinary citizen who actually went out and obtained the gun and are holding it in their hands.

The Republicans aren’t holding and controlling your gun. You are.
The Democrats aren’t holding and controlling your gun. You are.
The President isn’t holding and controlling your gun. You are.
And nobody else is holding and controlling your gun. YOU ARE.

It is YOUR gun. Therefore, YOU need to learn to control it. And by that, I mean learning safety, responsibility, and also self control about when to use it and when not to use it. Maybe it’s not “common sense gun laws” that we need in this country. But rather people to have more COMMON SENSE in their heads when owning and using firearms.
What do we need to change in America when it comes to guns and gun control? Some people say it’s the types of guns being sold and used. Others say it’s the laws that need changing. And still others say various more things which would be too numerous to list here. But at the very core of gun violence and gun control, maybe one of the things we really need to change is our attitudes and perceptions about what it means to own and use a firearm. In short, we need to change ourselves. ;)

Old Rabbit:
Personally I have never been a big fan of guns or hunting. I have
no problem with responsible firearm ownership. High capacity semi
automatic rifes and handguns should be for the military and police.
The average citizens has little use for such weapons. I know many
people want them as protection if the government fails, but
survival in that event will require more than weapons.

I feel we need laws that require people who own guns to be well
trained in the use and care of weapons. If we treated motor vehicles
the way we do guns there would be a lot more people killed using

I don't think people should personally carry firearms. Any argument
could end up in a shooting. Even law enforcement officers shoot people
due to loosing their teemper. Many people can't control their temper,
esspecially if they are under the enfluence of drugs or alcohol.

Responsible gun ownership means keeping control of your weapon
at all times. Much as you would your car. Kids often gain control
of a weapon and end up shooting a sibling or friend. Technology
is available to prevent  accidental or misuse of a gun by someone
other than it's owner. Yet the NRA worked to prevent  it's use in
this country. This alone could save many lives. A policeman gun
would be unusable by a criminal who took it from him.  Several
of the  school shootings have been with guns owned by others.

I think most people want to be responsible gun owners, but many
times we have to be reminded how to use guns safely. Laws or
regulations won't solve all the dangers of firearms, but good
ones would help a lot.


--- Quote ---I feel we need laws that require people who own guns to be well
trained in the use and care of weapons. If we treated motor vehicles
the way we do guns there would be a lot more people killed using

--- End quote ---

I don't have this well thought out yet, so please bear with me. ;) Anyway, maybe we should treat gun ownership the way we treat automobile ownership? Depending on the severeity of the crime committed when using a firearm, the person would get his/her gun and permit to carry one, taken away. To get it back, you'd have to retake a test or training classes. And if you committ more crimes and/or fail further training classes, your "right" to carry and own a firearm is revoked much the same way a person could lose their driver's license for various vehicle offenses.

Kay Alett:

--- Quote from: Kobuk on May 28, 2018, 02:44:02 pm ---
--- Quote ---I feel we need laws that require people who own guns to be well
trained in the use and care of weapons. If we treated motor vehicles
the way we do guns there would be a lot more people killed using

--- End quote ---

I don't have this well thought out yet, so please bear with me. ;) Anyway, maybe we should treat gun ownership the way we treat automobile ownership? Depending on the severeity of the crime committed when using a firearm, the person would get his/her gun and permit to carry one, taken away. To get it back, you'd have to retake a test or training classes. And if you committ more crimes and/or fail further training classes, your "right" to carry and own a firearm is revoked much the same way a person could lose their driver's license for various vehicle offenses.

--- End quote ---

I've had that similiar idea. That people should have to have a license to own a firearm and that it should be periodically renewed or be charged with a fine.


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