Recent events, particularly the terrible instance at Sandy Hook has brought forth a tremendous new wave calling for more “reasonable” gun control measures yet again, to prevent such tragedies in the future. Unlike past attempts, this time around seems to have awakened a sleeping giant in America. All across the nation, gun stores are sold out of nearly everything, ammunition is virtually impossible to find, people who never considered needing a firearm are flocking to stores to buy their first gun. People on both sides of the argument don’t appear to be backing down in any way, hackles are raised and it seems as if these United States are on the verge of fracturing even further. I hear a lot of “Why?” questions surrounding this debate. “Why do you need such and such type of gun?” “Why do you need so many rounds in your magazine (although this is usually asked by the ignorant as “why do you need a 30 bullet clip?”)” and of course “Why are you so opposed to protecting children from psychos?”
I don’t think the vehement opposition to more gun controls we’re seeing is the result of any single thing, but rather a combination of factors. Our economy continues to deteriorate, a President many view as a great threat to their liberties was recently reelected, the supreme court has upheld the idea that the government can force you to buy something you may not want, and all around the nation Americans are seeing more and more government encroachment into their daily lives. For many years we’ve accepted that we need a permit for this or pay a fee for that, taxes helped out those who needed it and kept the potholes filled in. Sure it’s a hassle, but we’re a free country. We know that because we still have our guns, right?
If nothing else, Americans tend to be very individualistic people. Historically, we’ve prided ourselves on our ability to pull ourselves up from our bootstraps and fight on through to the other side. We don’t need or want to be babysat or cared for from cradle to grave. Over the last dozen years or so we’ve seen a dramatic shift though. Just look at the results of the last few Presidential elections. We are a nation divided almost exactly down the middle. Without digging into the sociology of why that may be, the result is that about half of our nation believes firmly that they are responsible for their own destiny, while the other half believes the govenment has a duty to care for them. Largely the first group is in favor of private ownership of firearms, while the second group tends to be against it.
I don’t think many people on the pro gun side of this debate see this current attack on the second amendment as having anything to do with particular firearms or mass shootings. I believe they view it as a direct threat to their Nation, Families, Individuality, and the American way of life. They view it as a direct assault on Freedom and Personal Liberty. They have been down this road before with the largely ineffective Clinton “Assault Weapons Ban” of 1994, and don’t want to go back there. Many Americans have suffered quietly for many years under the oppressive burden of higher taxes and greater restrictions on what’s acceptable. They’ve done this while under the illusion of Freedom. Yes, I said illusion. When you need a permission slip from the government to do almost anything you can imagine, or have to pay a fee to do so, I can assure you that you are no longer free. By going after the firearms, the veil of what’s for the “public good” is torn down and all the independent minded people see on the other side is virtual slavery.
The People of this nation lose their ultimate veto authority by giving up these scary looking firearms. The purpose of the second amendment was to ensure that the government could never raise a standing army better armed or of greater strength than the body of the people. I’d almost be okay with these proposed restrictions if they also applied to the government and police forces of this nation. I say “almost” because it would put us at a distinct disadvantage on the world stage by doing so. Just as I don’t want to see my nation bullied into a corner by other nations, I don’t want to see my nation’s people bullied into a corner by it’s own government. Although someone in downtown Seattle may have no use for a firearm of any type, someone in Pellston, MI. may have a very different opinion on the matter. That person in Pellston knows how to make his own coffee and has no use for a Starbucks, but doesn’t try to restrict them from being built in Seattle. Gun control isn’t really about guns, it’s about control. I fear that this could very well be the straw that breaks the back of this great nation.
I tried once to argue my point with someone who was in favor of restricting my rights to own an AR15, and 30 round magazines. I painted several scenarios for him in which I would “need” such a weapon (including a home invasion situation), and he dismissed all of them as being paranoid and not likely to happen. I genuinely don’t understand why his fear of a school shooting was a legitimate reason to restrict my God given rights, while my proposed scenario of a home invasion was not sufficient to maintain them. I would argue that far more home invasions take place than school shootings…