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Friday, January 24, 2014

Oh, here I go… I'm trying to understand.

I am about to write about a subject that I feel strongly about and want to "get my say" out without personally offending individuals.  Some would say, well then stay quiet Marla - don't bring up something that is a "hot button" subject.  Stay away from politics and religion.  Most times I do.

Today a couple of things have happened to me that has me thinking…and trying to understand.  First, this morning I saw in the local newspaper that the SC House voted to approve a law to allow concealed guns in public restaurants and bars.  Once the governor puts her stamp on it, it will be law.  The SC governor, Gov. Haley, is a gun owner (in fact she got one as a gift for Christmas and tweeted about it) so I see her signing it without delay.

Thankfully there are stipulations.  If someone decides to bring a concealed weapon into an establishment they are not allowed to drink alcohol.   If someone is caught drinking in possession of a  gun they can be penalized up to $2000 and can face up to 2 years in prison.  Also, restaurants and bars have the right to post that they do NOT allow concealed weapons.

This morning I posted on Facebook that I was concerned about this new law and that I see our "love of guns" turning our world into a new wild, wild west.  The whole idea of letting people carry guns into a drinking establish is really, really scary to me.  People act stupid when they drink and say really dumb stuff - and sometimes they even "look" for a fight.  Now, even if the gun-carrier is not drinking, hot heads can get out of hand and the idea of having a "killing machine" right there is downright frightening to me!   It's not a good combination.

I know I will prefer to eat out at a restaurant, or have a drink or two at a bar, that does not allow concealed weapons.  I will look for those signs before walking in.  But, what's to stop someone from carrying a concealed weapon anyway?   Will these places have to frisk people or buy X-ray machines?

We have seen an increase in school shootings this year, and we have seen people get mad and shoot & kill in public movie theaters a few times.  One shooter was a retired police officer!   It's just so crazy to me!

So, the second thing that happened this morning is as I was scrolling along on Facebook I came upon something from the Mothers organization that has joined together to push for stricter gun laws.  Too many children have been accidentally shot by negligent family members or others who leave loaded weapons sitting around.  This group is working together to get the word out.  I "liked" the organization on Facebook so from time to time I get informational  posts from them.  This morning's post was about the Lamar Company billboard in Chicago…the one that shows pictures of an apple pie, a baseball glove, and a rifle. The idea was all 3 things are items are "American."   The Mothers group asked that we post on the Lamar site if we disapprove of the billboard.  So, I did.  I wrote that I personally found it offensive and I felt it was harsh for victims of gun violence.  Well… within an hour I had 4 or 5 reply posts from those who support the billboard, and of course our "Bill of Rights" was acknowledged…and the freedom to defend ourselves.

I could not help but think that these "replies" on the Lamar site on FB were from people just ready to say something back. Waiting.  Yes, yes, I know it's their right to do that.  But, I did feel it was calculated.

Here's my real reason for writing this blog.  Am I REALLY in a small minority that sees the dangers of guns everywhere?  Am I the crazy one?  I am questioning myself…what am I missing?

Here's my stance - it comes after much thought and a lot of years living in this world!   Guns kill people when they are aimed at them…even from afar.  When someone shoots at an individual it is not usually just to harm them.  It becomes a "killing machine."  Guns are easy to hide.  EVERY individual person in this world gets mad at times.  We all just do!  We feel cheated, or overlooked, or have our space invaded.   It rubs us the wrong way.   We are not feeling or thinking rationally during those moments.  

I'm not even talking about those who are diagnosed (or should be diagnosed) with clinical mental and emotionally issues.  I mean YOU and ME.  We all get mad at humanity at times.

An available gun in that situation, at that moment, is a killing machine.  It's something irreversible.  It changes lives forever.  

Yes, the founders of the US gave us a right to bear arms.  The country was "wild" with animals. Communication was not available.  Police forces had not been established.   People had to fend for themselves at that time.   But - it's different now!!!!  

The United States of America is one of the only countries that still holds on to this "right"… and we are  the ones with the most horrible killings due to guns.  The numbers are staggering.  Both accidental, and planned…and in rages - against family members and others.   I find it embarrassing that we allow it to continue.

I am NOT talking about hunting, and about those who own guns for "sport" (and yes, I do not understand that either… killing innocent animals. Why?)

I really worry about our country's mentality.  I worry about the way people think about "defending" themselves at the sake of others, often other innocent people.   "Collatoral damage"  are lives with rights too.

One of my new year's resolutions was to TRY and accept other people's points of view.  So, I really struggle with this.  I WANT to see it.  I just can't.  I understand we all have free will and live in a country with freedom in business (2 new gun companies are setting up shop in SC) and really…. I try.

Am I the only one out there with this concern??




6 comments:

  1. Whoa, what a post. Can I just say..guns don't kill, people do. I am in agreeance of convicted felons & under age 18 of not owning a gun. HOWEVER, they always find a way over the rules. I also read somewhere that in the states that allow concealed weapons, crime rate is down by 50-80% (wow). Learning all begins at home..my husband was a Marine MP, he taught me and our son how to care for & shoot a gun/rifle of all kinds. NOW, does that make me a criminal because I want to keep or bear arms? NO, because I was taught the right way. Guns will always be in the hands of those who are criminal or unstable, always, even when they are outlawed. The people who are stable and non criminal should not be punished for those that are. Of course, people snap..look at that fellow in Fl who shot someone in a movie theatre. He was a retired police officer for petes sake. America has gotten quite lawless and I don't take that very lightly, what I mean by that is..to many rules, to many regulations, to many government in ones life..I hate to say it, but our leaders are failing us by trampling over our rights that were put in place 200+ yrs ago. Not just talking about guns..but everything. I am not sure about your feeling in the minority..I try to understand other view points..btw..in most states, one has to be fingerprinted and put through the FBI background check. Which, btw, all 3 of have been. Now, to me, that is a gross negligent on my rights as a American. I am not a criminal, nor will I ever be..but they sure have my fingerprints on file..not that I am conspricacy theorist..but that is darn right scary. Maybe to better understand both points of view..I would suggest looking at reading Judge Andrew Napolitano-he is a constitutionist. Please excuse my rambling..I don't mean to upset you. This def. is a very heavy topic. I just believe in the US Constitution and what our fore fathers had put in place for America. One of them to bear arms, the 2nd Amendment.. state, local and fed are all limited to infringing on this right.

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    1. I am not upset and as I said I am trying to understand the "other side" on the gun issues. I do wonder if you at least think the laws made 200 years ago need to be open for some discussion and that due to technology, lifestyle, etc things are different now. And I would think being fingerprinted is nothing to be upset about, especially as an upright citizen. I am glad you are trained on gun use and therefore I assume you have your weapon(s) safely put away where nobody can grab them - to steal or by accident. ( : Be safe!

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  2. I wish guns were not necessary. But, (and don't take this the wrong way) you are a dreamer and not a realist. We all dream of the perfect society to live in, but we don't have it. And we're not going to. In some respects, we are too far gone. So many of the people that I know that own guns really feel the need to protect themselves. They go to class and learn what they're supposed to do with them. Even if you could ban guns the only ones that would obey would be without them. The criminals and mentally unstable are still going to have them. That is highly unbalanced. You say you lived in this world and know what's going on. I don't agree. If you think that when you're in a bar that at least several people aren't carrying now, you are wrong. That is delusional thinking. What you are fighting against is already here. I know in other countries where gun laws are stricter (I hear this argument coming) that there are less deaths due to guns. BUT we are so far past where those countries are and it's beyond the point of no return. So, a gun toting society is where we live. It is the culture. And you have to face that. I'm not defending the society, just saying, it's the way it is. And it's never returning to a less violent culture. So I can't argue with those that feel that they need to protect themselves.

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    1. Nothing wrong with being a dreamer! (Just think back to MLK Jr's speech.) I am also realistic and that's what scares me! I know people are "packing" probably everywhere I go… and, it's frightening! The real world is scary - man vs. man. I just wish more people would speak up, and not just say "well, that's just the way it i." ( :

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    2. PS: I will never say "oh well, that's our society…children get killed almost daily from people with guns. No big deal. It's beyond fixing." nope… not going to say or allow myself to feel that way.

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  3. I agree with Linda. Guns don't kill people, and stricter gun laws will not take the weapons out of the hands of those who want to do harm. I have a concealed carry license and so does my husband. We have guns in the house. I personally think if every household was required to be armed, there would be less crime. As a matter of fact, it's been proven in some places that this policy works. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. It IS our constitutional right, however, and I will speak out against anyone who tries to take our rights away from us. You have the right to not agree, and to not carry, and I respect that.

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