Gun Control; Why it’s important:

(10:30AM EST – promoted by Nightprowlkitty)

Here is an essay about an equally important issue that has been debated for several decades, and is still being debated to this day. Here goes:

There has been much debate (albeit often shrill, and often heated) between Gun Rights Advocates and Gun Control Advocates. As a Gun-Control advocate, however, here are my reasons for being in favor of Gun Control. If you would like to purchase a Kestrel then you could purchase one online but check if it is legal in your country. The Gun Control Advocates are not trying to deprive hunters and target shooters, like Ashley Rose, of their sports, nor are they trying to deprive people who simply collect guns like others collect stamps, or whatever, of their collection, nor am I referring to security personnel, police officers, or those serving in the military who are authorized to carry guns.

I generally favor an all-out ban on snub-nosed handguns, but, as time went on, I realized that the NRA and the Gun Lobby in general, are too well-organized, too well-funded and too powerful for an all-out ban on these guns to be realistically possible. Unfortunately , however, for the past several decades, the NRA has bullied various lawmakers (i. e. State Reps, Senators, and Congress members, for example) out of passing stronger, more affective firearms laws. Contrary to what many gun rights advocates point out, the slogan “Guns don’t kill, people do”, is a slogan that I have refused to buy into. Whether it’s realized or not in many circles, a gun is designed to kill people. It is a weapon of war, and a whole way of life is either abruptly ended or irrevocably and adversely altered by the squeeze of the trigger and the crack of a pistol. Most murders are crimes of passion that occur among people who know each other; in the home, in barrooms, on street corners or even in parking lots, among family, friends and/or acquaintances. When heated situations arise, the presence of a firearm or firearms makes a murder or permanent maiming far more likely. Another frequent occurrence is when young kids get access to guns, not realizing that they’re actually loaded, play the typical kids’ “bang-bang” game, where one pretends to shoot the other dead, and actually ends up killing a sibling, relative or friend, because they don’t realize that the gun is actually loaded. If you have a gun or even pistol laser lights you need to make sure they are kept away from children at all times.

All too often, people who know each other get into nasty arguments, which turn deadly when firearms are present. Some people will say “Oh, I can control myself”, but, in reality, they don’t really know what they’d do until that bridge is actually crossed and they’re faced with such a situation. All too often, it’s far too easy, in a fit of anger, to just simply pick up a gun and fire it at someone in anger, resulting in a death or permanent maiming. In many very poor urban areas, murders are rampant, due to poverty, lack of employment and education opportunities, and the presence of drugs, bad housing, and overcrowding. The prevalence of guns, which often come in illegally, or by mail order make this an even more deadly situation, upping the number of murders, and making whole areas extremely dangerous for law-abiding residents.

It’s also true that the vast majority of guns that end up in the hands of criminals are stolen from private homes, or even cars and/or trucks. When burglars break into private homes, guns are often the first thing they look for, and, all too often, end up using them in an armed robbery, assault, or homicide. All too often, too, many unstable people with histories of mental illness, substance and/or alcohol abuse, or anger-management issues get access to firearms, which have also led to horrific results. Many of the assassinations that occurred in the past (i. e. MLK, JFK, RFK and many others), could well have been avoided had there been stronger, more affective firearm laws in the books. The United States has the highest rate of murder by handguns per capita in the Western Hemisphere, because there’s so little gun control present.

Many pro-gun people argue that one can kill or permanently injure a person by beating, stabbing, or even strangling their victim(s). While it’s true that a person who’s hell-bent on murdering someone could stab, strangle or beat his/her victim to death, it’s also true that it’s far easier to fire a gun at a person from a distance than it is go right up to the person and beat, stab or strangle him/her. Sometimes, too, the chances of one surviving and fully recovering from a stabbing, a beating, or an attempted strangulation can be and are a little better, depending on the depth and intensity and area that was injured due to the beating or stabbing or attempted strangulation, and how quickly the victim of such an attack gets help, is rushed to the hospital, and receives medical care. While a person can only beat up, strangle or stab one person at a time, a gun can kill and/or maim more people more quickly, due to the ability of a gun to spray bullets into the air, thereby hitting two or more people at a time. Gunshots also inflict much more damage than a fist, foot, or even a club, because, at least partly due to the fact that a gun is fired from a distance, bullets travel at a much, much higher velocity. A person who’s angry at another person and has the urge to beat, stab or strangle him/her has to go right up to the person, thus increasing the chance of an angry person’s regaining their cool, thereby preventing a deadly incident from occurring.

Having guns around the house often present other dangers; Suicide is more likely if a person’s feeling quite down, and there’s a firearm within reach. All too often, one reads/hears about someone hearing somebody walking around in the kitchen, shoots that person and finds out that the person walking around was a spouse, sibling or offspring who’d just wandered into the kitchen for a drink of water or a midnight snack. Cases also abound when a person comes homes, finds his/her spouse in bed with their best friend’s spouse, or even the milkman or the mail carrier, and shoots both his/her spouse and the person they had the affair with dead or permanently cripples him or her. Improper and/or careless handling of firearms, too, can cause them to go off, killing or permanently maiming somebody.

The Columbine shootings and other school shootings, as well as the number of drive-by shootings that regularly occur in many really poor urban areas not withstanding, one very catastrophic event occurred up in Vermont four years ago last fall, when a 13-year-old boy who was the victim of constant cyber-bullying by his classmates, took to heart a suggestion by one of his tormentors that he kill himself as a way out of it, got his father’s loaded shotgun and committed suicide by shooting himself. I believe that a combo of the father keeping a loaded shotgun around the house unlocked and within reach of an extremely distraught child, plus the lack of parental supervision of young kids posting on the computers all contributed to the 13-year-old boy’s taking his own life. After that, the father of the deceased boy waged an anti-cyber-bullying campaign, thus helping to get anti-cyber-bullying laws passed up in Vermont.

Having said all of the above, I am admittedly not a fan of firearms being in civilian hands, because they don’t belong. However, if civilians want to own and keep firearms around the house, at least taking some responsibility and preventive precautions. Here are some precautions that gun-owners can and should take:

A) Always keep firearms safely locked up and unloaded, and don’t allow family members and/or friends with a history of mental illness, drug/alcohol abuse or anger management issues, or young children have access to them. Keeping guns locked up will also prevent or minimize the chance of theft, in the event that someone’s private home is broken into.

B) No matter where one lives, be it in an urban, suburban or rural area, never leave firearms out in plain sight on the dashboard of a car or truck, where somebody walking or driving by could take a fancy to the firearms in the vehicle, break in and steal the firearms.

C) See to it that your firearms are properly registered and teach family members how to handle guns responsibly.

Contrary to popular belief among many gun-rights advocates, most handguns don’t end up getting used in self-defense, but are more often than not, used to kill other people in homicides. A gun can be taken away from its owner and used against him or her, because there’ll always be someone who’s quicker on the draw than they are. As the saying goes “No matter how great a person is, or thinks they are, there’s always somebody who’ll be their master”.

There are certain things that gun manufacturers, as well as gun dealers, should be required to do also:

A) Gun dealers should be required to engage in extensive screening and background checks, as well as a waiting period, for perspective gun buyers, and deny people with histories of mental illness, emotional instability, substance and alcohol abuse and anger management issues access when such people’s names come up on a gun dealer’s computer screen.

B) Gun manufacturers should be required to install tamperproof locks in firearms to prevent unauthorized use in the event that a firearm is lost or stolen, or to prevent young kids from tampering with them.

C) The number of firearms manufactured in the United States should be better regulated than it is.

Unfortunately, however, the Gun Lobby and the NRA have affectively bullied legislators out of passing even such simple requirements as more extensive screenings, background checks and waiting period requirements for perspective gun buyers, and the implementation of tamper-proof locks into firearms by gun manufacturers, and more regulation in the number of guns manufactured here in the United States, which has led to catastrophic results. As a society whose culture has long been depended upon and revolved around the gun, the net results have now come into fruition; in many streets, homes, barrooms and among family and friends, in many cases.

28 comments

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    • mplo on September 11, 2010 at 7:46 am
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    • Diane G on September 11, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    is useless as a limp dick.

    90% of Americans own guns, and the actual “accidents” or “heat of passion” misuse is so rare as to be a laughable condemnation.

    However, my handgun did prevent a home invader from raping me.

    I refuse to stand unarmed in an increasingly militaristic fascist state.

    Fuck that, they’ll take my gun from my cold dead hands… but I’ll take a few of those trying to take it with me.

    Heh.

    • mplo on September 15, 2010 at 5:52 am
      Author

    who shot two Hispanic guys who were in the process of burglarizing his neighbor’s house when his neighbors weren’t home.  The white guy called the police, which was the right thing to do, but then he took matters into his own hands, first going over to his neighbors’ house even after the cops had warned him to stay inside, and shooting the two burglars.  I’m not sure what happened to him, however.  

    In another equally grisly incident, an African-American father of a 19-year-old son shot and killed the leader of a white gang who  went onto the guy’s front lawn, shouting racial epitats and threatening the father’s nineteen year old son with physical harm.  The white kids didn’t even enter the house, nor did they even attempt to enter the house.  The gang of white kids just stood on the African American family’s lawn, in front of their Long Island home, where they resided, yelling racial invective and threatening physical harm to the 19-year-old son.  That was that.  The father of the 19-year-old son went into his house, got his shotgun, and shot the leader of the  gang of white kids who’d been yelling and threatening physical harm to his son, and killed the white gang leader.  

    In either case, the people wielding the firearms went way, way overboard, and took the law into their own hands, and they don’t deserve the least bit of respect for doing so, although in the latter instance, the anger was quite understandable.  This kind of vigilance, regardless of the reason for it, however,  imho, is quite dangerous, especially with the presence of firearms, which, in both incidents, caused  anger to spiral out of control and escalate to deadly proportions.  All too often, the presence of firearms among regular civilians makes that far, far more likely.

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