Friday, September 23, 2016
My two cents.
I know many will disagree with me when I say this, but I think America is reaping what it has sown in terms of the gun violence happening. There is no doubt in my mind that the increase in shootings - cops shooting citizens, citizens shooting citizens, accidental shootings - is because we have allowed loose gun regulations and have let carrying a gun become a common occurrence.
Cops shooting citizens - I can not even imagine what it is like for policemen and women who now fear that every single traffic stop or domestic disturbance call they go on could turn into someone shooting at them. The freedom of gun use by citizens has created a fear for police, and it has cause citizens to think they can take the law into their own hands. We must have police, and we need to give them the right to protect us. We can't have an equal playing field. But, now we do.
Citizens shooting citizens - It doesn't take a math expert to figure out that the more guns that are out there on the streets, the more they will be used. And, the fact that ordinary citizens feel the NEED to carry a gun with them all the time means they also in a fearful society. They think "I will shoot you before you shoot me!" Citizens who carry all the time carry their guns into places that should never have them... bars, churches, schools. Even if by accident. People forget... people act dumb...people want to be superior...people are fallible. People get hot-headed. People get road rage. Putting a gun into these situations is just plain crazy - and deadly.
Accidents - The more guns, the more likely there will be an accident with one. Again, statistically, it just happens. Well meaning gun owners leave them in cars, or heaven help me - where a child can pick it up. They clean them without proper concern. They leave bullets in them. They do not lock them up. Accidents happen. And a gun accident can be deadly.
I see every single day on our 24-7 news sources all of the above types of gun shootings. My heart breaks for families of cops, for victims of rage, and for the innocent children.
I hear people say "it's too late - guns are everywhere" and they say "the bad guys will always have guns and we need to protect ourselves." I'm sorry. But, I find that both statements are said as a way of giving up, and of thinking nothing can be done to better our country when it comes to gun deaths.
I WILL NOT GIVE UP! And, really, if we work to slowly improve this "wild west" world we have created, isn't that alone worth it? Saving one or two from a gun death? Isn't even that worth it?
There are things we can do NOW to better our country, and to feel safer - without needing to rely on guns. We can require gun makers to make "smart guns" that can only be used by it's owner with a fingerprint - just like iphones do today. (the technology is here now - so why isn't it happening?) We can restrict places to carry them, and we can raise fines and punishment. We can push for stronger gun sale requirements (by both buyer and seller). We can vote for those who support a safer America and want to see gun restrictions. Guns are not going away. Nobody thinks that. But, there is SO much that can be done to turn the tide the other way, and to change the fear so many feel. Guns are not the answer to fear. In fact they make it worse.
For me - I have always thought that owning a gun is such a big responsibility! Think about it. It could be misused or stolen from me...or I could get nervous and shoot out of being scared. I never ever want to put myself in that situation!! EVER!
When I see on TV the videos of horrible confrontations when police stop a vehicle and the driver has a gun, I just know it's not going to end well. How can it? Both the police and the citizen are afraid. Both have lost trust. Guns escalate the situation.
So, this is where America is now. I don't know how we turn the minds of those who fear, or want superiority, or do not trust. But, making guns harder to get, and making people more responsible with them is achievable. Please don't think it isn't.