Although I do not own a gun, I do know how to shoot one, and I have seen first hand the damage that guns can do. Years ago, I had to clean up after the shooting death of my friend’s brother. He was 24 years old, and a father. He and a friend of his were drinking 100-proof whiskey and “playing” Russian roulette. Very few things are more tragic than wiping off bits of human brain tissue stuck on a movie poster advertising The Terminator, autographed by none other than the Arnold himself.
Someone with my life experience is supposed to hate guns and would like to see them all melted into ploughshares. Right? Well, no, I don’t.
Alec MacGillis’ May 28, 2013 article in The New Republic, “This is How the NRA Ends” is well written, but it is also full of liberal shibboleths about vocal gun rights supporters like, “There were only five protesters [supporting the NRA], but because of their belligerence, they had nearly captured the entire discussion.” It readily appeared that MacGillis was quick to label any gun supporter as violent.
I support the 2nd Amendment. I oppose gun-control legislation, but that certainly does not make me belligerent. It doesn’t even require that I own a gun. And I don’t. I take the theological concept of my chosen faith tradition that relates to the “seamless garment of life” very seriously. I hate the element within the human heart that drives people to commit atrocious acts of violence. Does it really matter if the instrument is a car driven by a drunk driver, a Rwandan wielding a machete, or a pressure cooker full of nails? Violence to human beings is all violence, so why focus on gun violence exclusively?
Misguided attempts to legislate control of the darker elements of human behavior inevitably…backfire. Take the City of Chicago. We’ve recently become the gun murder capital of the nation, but have the toughest gun control laws on the books. A few months ago there was a shoot-out between gang members and the police about two blocks from where I live. Just three weeks ago a man was shot and killed in a road rage incident, a mile from my house.
And I just happen to be a white person living in a “safe” neighborhood.
Gun violence costs the City about 2.5 billion dollars a year in collateral damage. Yet have any of these gun control laws really helped?
With evidence like this, does more legislative control of firearms, control that is eroding a significant part of our Bill of Rights, make any sense at all?
I remain unconvinced that it does, and that is why I continue to be a “belligerent” supporter of the 2nd Amendment.