Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Gun Control

This is a controversial topic lately with the recent rampage at Virginia Tech. Read on:


“There are those in America today who have come to depend absolutely on government for their security. And when government fails they seek to rectify that failure in the form of granting government more power. So, as government has failed to control crime and violence with the means given it by the Constitution, they seek to give it more power at the expense of the Constitution. But in doing so, in their willingness to give up their arms in the name of safety, they are really giving up their protection from what has always been the chief source of despotism—government. Lord Acton said power corrupts. Surely then, if this is true, the more power we give the government the more corrupt it will become. And if we give it the power to confiscate our arms we also give up the ultimate means to combat that corrupt power. In doing so we can only assure that we will eventually be totally subject to it.” —Ronald Reagan

So what is a country to do? One of the many founding principles of this country was the right to bear arms. But at what point do we say, "Enough is enough?" Do we give up the right to bear arms in the interest of a common safety? The answer is no. And yes.

I don't believe that we, as American citizens, can afford to give up our right to bear arms. In a time of terrorism and unexpected attacks by unknown attackers at unexpected times, it would be folly to lay down our arms. But I do believe that change is necessary. I don't believe that any man or woman should be able to just walk into a pawn shop and be able to walk out the same day with a gun. Granted, mandating some type of background checks and waiting period is not going to eliminate violent crime with guns. I do believe that it might reduce the number of "heat of the moment" violent crimes just by forcing the potential gunmen to wait long enough to hopefully cool off before getting his hot little hands on some cold hard steel.

Others -- and I can think of at least one person in particular -- would probably argue that waiting periods will just force a potential killer to get his gun illegally, through a black market, where it is never registered and can never be traced, possibly making solving the case more difficult. I can see the validity of that argument.

More importantly than all of this, I believe that we as a nation should not allow the possession of firearms by non-citizens. Period. I also believe that we should not so readily allow the possession of concealed weapons. It's just my own personal opinion. No reason to argue it. I doubt that there's any way to actually enforce it, but I sure wish there was something we could do about it.


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