Considering the fact that I used a gun to take care of business, I felt I was suddenly qualified to discuss the issue of gun control. Up until now, I was just another bozo with an opinion. Ah, but no longer. Now, I’m a dead bozo with an opinion.
The massacre of 20 small children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut was perhaps the worst thing I had heard of in the United States – at least since 911. I don’t cry much, but I cried over that a lot. Even as I type this, tears are in my eyes. Even as I proof this for the 20th time, tears are in my eyes. This horrific act was made possible by the availability of guns which are designed for one purpose only – taking life on a massive scale.
I did a story on the shooting at Newtown a few days after it happened on SportsInReview.com. It wasn’t related to sports, but it was related to me – and it was my site, so I could do whatever I wanted and… I wanted to talk about it. Here are a few of my thoughts at the time.
I went out target-shooting a few weeks before the Newton tragedy with family members and the trigger of one of my guns broke leaving me with one gun. The problem with the second gun was that after every shot, the cartridge would get stuck in the chamber and I had to pry it out. It was pathetic. They were both 22-caliber and I theoretically owned them for self-protection. Of course, I kept them in a plastic fishing tackle box in the trunk of my car so if someone broke into my house, the guns wouldn’t have done me much good – even if they worked. Consequently, even if I had them in my hands, they would be a hundred times more valuable as defensive weapons if I simply threw them at the intruder. So, I’m not a “gun guy”. Nevertheless, I lived in Kansas and I was a lot more sympathetic with the idea of owning a gun than perhaps those on the east or west coast.
Naturally, when I got down to the last weeks of my life and decided the best way to end it was with a gun… I had to obtain one. I sure couldn’t use either of the pieces of crap that I already owned. So, I got what I needed – a 380 – which I think is/was a lot more likely to do the job – even apart from the fact that neither of the other two 22's worked.
I never bought into the whole “second amendment” argument as it relates to the 21st century. Originally, it was put into place for the simple reason that our forefathers were fighting or had just fought off a government that threatened them with weapons. If those in the revolution had no weapons, there would be no United States of America, but rather New England of the New World. So, I understood why they thought it was so important.
And, I also comprehended the need to make sure that our government could never take over our citizenry – although they already have accomplished that via fiscal irresponsibility. But, with respect to force, the fact is that there are so many different levels of law enforcement from the military on down that it’s IMPOSSIBLE for government to take over this country by force. The reason why, besides the fact that they are bozos, is because every single Highway Patrolman or National Guardsman or Secret Serviceman or Air Force Pilot or Army Grunt is somebody’s brother or sister or mother or father or son or daughter. They aren’t all going to suddenly decide to start killing off or jailing millions of Americans. And, the reason why is because… that’s who they are - Americans. Besides, the odds are they feel more strongly about the second amendment than you do!
If a person simply wants to look at the “government” as some mysterious nebulous entity, then that’s fine, but also ignorant. There is simply no way on earth that all of the law enforcement organizations including the military are going to band together to go throughout the country and confiscate weapons or anything else. That’s just paranoid nonsense.
Because I've considered it nonsense, I did not subscribe to the notion that anyone needs to personally own combat weapons. I couldn’t even comprehend why it was ok for a civilian to own anything beyond 1-2 hand guns and 1-2 hunting rifles or shotguns. Semi-automatic rifles with large magazines - which is what the killer used at Sandy Hook, are for what possible good? Well, I guess if we didn’t know before, we sure know now what they are good for. Limiting these types of weapons hardly takes away the “rights” granted by the constitution or protection against tyranny. Rather it takes away the extremes – something the founders of the constitution could never have even remotely imagined.
Everyone I knew was always very responsible with their weapons. But, is everyone that owns a weapon 100% sure that everyone they know is 100% responsible? From all reports, Nancy Lanza was an outstanding citizen, a giving friend, neighbor and mother. She was a very responsible adult… with a hobby. That seems innocuous enough. The scary part is that there are surely a thousand or a hundred thousand or a million Nancy Lanzas out there. And, it only takes one Nancy Lanza with an irresponsible acquaintance or family member to bring a country to it knees as did Adam Lanza in Newtown.
It's questionable whether anything can be done to protect us against another Newtown outside of making society a police state and that’s a reflection of everything we are not. But, if there were no automatic weapons or if there were restrictions on sizes of magazines, the death toll at Newtown would have been a lot smaller.
I've always been about freedom. Freedom is what makes us special, but it also makes us vulnerable. In theory, we could have our cake and eat it too, but we’ve long ago abdicated that ability and our $17 Trillion debt - which is spiraling out of control, makes us incapable of putting enough band-aids on the problems we face.
I was fully appreciative of the argument that society may well deteriorate into every man for himself when the US economy inevitably collapses and that’s when you really need self-protection. Fine. But, if automatic weapons did not exist, you would still be able to defend yourself just fine with hand guns, rifles and shotguns. You just couldn't enter a movie theater or a school or a sporting event and wipe out 100 people.
The bottom line is the NRA doesn’t want to lose membership dues and gun companies don’t want to lose profits. It’s that simple. Nobody would lack for protection in this country if all automatic weapons and large magazines were outlawed. And nobody would be threatened if everyone who owns a gun were required to register it.
There’s my two cents. I no longer have a stake in the game so let the chips fall where they may. I can only say that I am thrilled not to be around to see it!