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a different azimuth
the website of john neel

The Nation and Guns

"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.?" ~Bill of Rights, December 15, 1791

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were no guns? Wouldn’t it be nice if we were all good? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was no crime? Wouldn’t it be nice if governments didn’t oppress and murder their own people and the people of other countries? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all believed the same things, believed them in the same way, or at least were tolerant of our many different ideas?

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was no need for guns?

The reality is that guns are a necessary tool for self-defense, for the protection of personal property, for the preservation of freedom, because, there are bad people in the world, there are a lot of evil governments in the world, and we as a species just can’t get along. Hell, we can’t get along as Americans.

I spent 24 years in the Military; I know what our military can do when given the support of the American people and when led by an enlightened government. I have great respect for our police officers and the tough job the go to every morning. Neither, however, can respond instantaneously to a threat in my life. I must be responsible.

I own guns. I have taken it upon myself to purchase them legally, applied for and been issued the proper permit, and I have trained. This training came from my years in the military and from the much maligned National Rifle Association. Say what you want about the NRA, but they are one of the only organizations in the country that teach responsible gun ownership, use, storage, and ethics.

We have a lot of different opinions here in America concerning guns, most of them over emotional, uneducated crap. The ultra-pro-gunners believe that any restriction or law is an infringement on their rights under the Second Amendment to the Constitution. Ultra-anti-gun folks want to see More Laws, Less Guns, and, ultimately, no more guns in America.

The bottom line is that we need to curb the gun violence in this country.

I take a more moderate, common sense stance on this issue. The laws we have on the books right now would do a better job if we had more, better paid policing, tougher judges willing to enforce the law, and a war on drugs. I would like to see a licensing process for ownership and carry, much like a driver’s license, that includes thorough background checks, a demonstration of the proper knowledge and skills to possess, store, and/or carry a firearm.

The government will never be able to get rid of all the guns. Every attempted buyback program has failed. Firstly, we can’t afford it. 310-million guns, times a low estimate of worth, $300, equals $93-Billion. Secondly, if we can’t get the illegal guns off the street, how will they ever take the legal guns from law abiding Americans, by door-to-door search? That, I hope, will never happen. The adage, “Outlaw Guns and only Outlaws will have Guns” is a truism.

If you think a licensing program is out of the question because it impedes your freedom, then you just a knucklehead. If you are trained and responsible, good on you! But you have to agree that there are a LOT of stupid, irresponsible people out there, who are not taking the time to train, and they are hurting everyone's credibility. Hell, if we could just get severyone to store their arms and ammo out of the reach of their kids, that would be a big start.

We could use a Metadata program that scours the internet for markers indicating propensity for illegal use, like we have for anti-terrorism. “Wait,” you say, “that would infringe on my right to privacy!” Well, outlawing guns would infringe on Second Amendment Rights...guaranteed by the same Bill of Rights.

However, when it comes to the Right to Bare Arms, I am pretty staunch. The right to gun ownership and instant access is absolute essential in a free society, for the protection of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

What we need in this country is for some smart people to get together, or called together, to find solutions, starting with the assumption that you cannot outlaw guns, gun ownership, or the right to carry for protection of person and property. Some of the things that I think should be addressed are:

  1. Strict Enforcement of current gun laws.

  2. Immediate, Mandatory, and Tougher Sentencing for Gun Related Crime

  3. Tightening up point-to-point sales to include Gun Shows

  4. Licensing for every type of gun

  5. Security at large gatherings, especially Schools

  6. Use of Preemptive Technology

  7. More and better paid Police

  8. Training Teachers and Administrators

  9. Societal Influences—music, video games, movie, family, religion, extreme organizations

This of course, should have already been done, so the need for ideas is urgent and emotional. The solutions need to be proactive, thorough, tough, quick, and, above all, Constitutional.

Whenever I’m challenged on the issue of Second Amendment Rights, I always ask the challenger to tell me why, in their opinion, I, personally, can’t have a gun. I’ve served in three conflicts to protect all of the freedoms enjoyed by our people, I’m trained, I’m law-abiding (except for the occasional speeding ticket), I’m honorable, and I’m sensible and sane. They never have an answer.

Then I ask them, “Let’s say you and I are in a movie theater when a bad guy walks in and starts firing, or let’s say, I am a teacher in your 6-year-old child’s classroom when a bad guy walks in and starts shooting, or let’s say that right this instant, a bad guy comes in your back door, wanting to kill your husband, rape and kill you, and do who knows what to your children.  Do you want me to run, call the police, or put “two” in this guys chest and “one” in his head?