So I got pretty worked up today. Up until today, I’ve watched the political polarization of comment feeds and generally have kept to myself. Occasionally I’ve jumped in; other times I’ve pulled a “I’m just here for the comments” with a tub of popcorn. But here I sit, realizing nearly every comment section of any article devolves into a political version of Spy vs Spy from the MAD Magazine days. Only difference is, this is not really funny anymore. There have been some studies done which illustrate the political divide in this country is at its most extreme in a very long time. That does not mean I have to be OK with it.
I have a few opinions on why this is happening. For one, everyone has a mouthpiece now. It’s called the internet. Whereas opinions were restricted (and I use that term very loosely) to:
– Letters to the Editor
– Community Activists with a megaphone and a soap box
– News personalities and writers
– Callers on CNN
– Local community gossip
Now, everyone can put their opinion on blast. This is one of the sharpest double edged swords I’ve encountered. We all have a voice, yet I find myself cringing at some of the voices screaming to be heard. It’s really aggrivating that people will openly threaten to kill, beat, rape, and slander each other over an opinion. Granted, we can laugh it off and say “haha, keyboard warrior”, post a meme or some ridiculous picture to accompany it. But I think there’s a serious problem. Take the constantly moving and evolving firearms discussion in this country. People on both sides are perfectly ok saying things like “fuck them, they deserve to die”. Now hold on a second. It’s my understanding that people voicing their desire for more gun control would be seeking a non violent solution to what they consider a problem in America. It is also my understanding that the people who own firearms for self defense are not wanting to be on the offensive. I am going to pick both sides of the argument apart, and at the end, I will tell you my stance on guns in America.
Remember, I will take a brief most extreme view on both sides and argue their points with paraphrased comments I’ve seen on places like Facebook, news feeds, etc. Trust me, what I say here, you will be able to find. I’m not discussing facts. I hate that I even have to write this stupid disclaimer. Onward.
—-The argument for more Gun Control and/or banning of guns
Often the plea is heard for more gun control. But it seems like no one is doing anything about it. All these people populating the streets with more and more instruments of death. Kids are dying in schools and on the streets. What for? So the gun industry can continue to make money hand and foot over the American Publics’ fear of everything? Because every home needs an assault rifle? Or is it a bunch of men so insecure in their masculinity that they need a big bad automatic rifle with the latest military hardware to compensate for their small manhood? Who knows. One thing is for sure, of you take guns off the streets, crime will go down and school shootings won’t happen. Guns are for the police and the military. An average citizen has no need for a gun. What if their child gets a hold of a gun carelessly left out and shoots themselves or a sibling or a parent? Who is to blame then? The politicians need to man up and write laws to prevent these things from happening at any cost. There are many other things a person can do to defend themselves such as call 911, run away from the attacker, fake a medical condition, or find a way to defuse the situation. And if you see someone walking around with a gun, you should call the cops.
—-The argument against more Gun Control or banning of guns
The United States was founded on rejecting oppression and tyranny, giving the people the power to rise up and defend themselves. We are guaranteed the right to protect ourselves with firearms. Illegal guns on the streets does not mean the government now has the right to take away the guns of law abiding citizens. This is a constitutional right guaranteed by the supreme court. More guns lawfully owned means less crime on the streets. So many people depend on hunting to feed their families as well. And the fantasy that AR-15 rifles are these fully automatic death machines is completely false. They are semi-automatic which means you pull the trigger once and one bullet comes out, not thirty. If you don’t like guns, don’t buy one! Instead of blaming the gun for these school shootings or mass murders, blame the person and blame the parents for not getting the shooter the mental health treatment they need.
Now that I’m done with those, here’s my opinion, and people on both sides will probably say I’m pissing in their cheerios for this:
I am a gun owner. I have had my LCF since 2006 (in my state that stands for License to Carry Firearms, renewable every 5 years with the County Sheriff). I also carry concealed every day. I have not shot a single person in my life and I do not plan on it. I teach my children firearm safety. I have taken some courses on firearm safety. I have a bolt action hunting rifle, I am building an AR 15, have a pump action shotgun and a semi-automatic pistol.
I do not support ‘open carry’ demonstrations as I feel it is sending the wrong message. In my state we absolutely have the right to open carry, especially since hunting is a big part of life here, but unless I am out hunting deer (whose meat we all eat) I have no reason to have my rifle strapped to my shoulder. I see no reason to ban ammunition magazines that are portrayed as ‘high capacity’. A 30 round magazine is standard on an AR-15 platform rifle chambered in .223/5.56.
Background checks are a must, and here in my state when you walk into any store, they perform a NICS check on you every time you purchase a gun. The only exception is private transfer of a ‘long gun’ which means rifles and shotguns. You cannot privately purchase a pistol without going through a FFL (federal firearms licensed dealer).
I think firearm safety should be taught to people of all ages, and it should be a mandatory requirement to obtain your carry permit. I see no problem with that.
The mental health treatments available in this country range from wonderful to appalling. More needs to be done, and it starts at home. If you’re ignoring mental illness in your home, you are absolutely making it worse. Denial is almost as bad as the illness itself. And please, stop comparing the United States to other countries. It is an apples to oranges comparison. Our population is many times that of other countries, as well as our geographical area, and our entire judicial system.
I see no issue with a firearms database if done correctly. Before you scream “They”re gonna take our guns away!” just listen to me. From a law enforcement perspective, it would be so much faster if you could trace a serial number in the event a crime is committed. Yes, felons often file off the serial numbers. But they should be traceable. If a federal database is not agreeable, then all the states need to be on the same page. Quite frankly, if a ‘gun grab’ were to happen, this country would have a full blown revolution on its hands.
I am tired of people who want to restrict or ban guns threatening gun owners. You are, in effect, preaching a very violent solution to a non-violent cause. Get over yourselves. I am proud of the way I’ve raised my family and I have shown great restraint in potentially violent situations. In fact, carrying my gun has shown I have more restraint, full well knowing my pistol is my absolute last resort, and I’d rather de-escalate a situation and be able to walk away peacefully. If you want to scream in my face simply because you do not agree with me is a foolish way to get your opinion across. I’m not shoving my beliefs down your throat until you catipulate.
We as Americans really need to be united again. We are so politically divided. And not just on the issue of guns. I’ve written long enough for this post. Next up will be the education system, marriage, our national debt, and law enforcement. Stay Caffinated.