Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Responsible Law Abiding Gun Owners. Really?

It's getting a little tiring hearing about how proposed new gun laws only punish the law abiding, responsible gun owner. Every single gun owner I have had this discussion with tells me about how responsible they are, how they have taken a gun safety course and learned how to shoot from a professional on a range. Every one. How do I know know they are responsible? Am I just supposed to just take their word for it? How do I know that everyone in their household is responsible, that their friends are responsible? I'll bet that Adam Lanze's mother said the she was responsible, and look how easy it was for her deranged son to get a hold of those weapons (no one seemed to even know he was deranged).

The chances are far more likely that those "safe and legal" guns will result in an accident, suicide or fall into the wrong hands to be used in a crime, than they will actually be used for self defense. Why should we as a society accept that risk.

With all the guns in our society, how often do you hear of an instance where a gun has been used to fight off an aggressor in an act of self defense? According to the FBI there were only 201 justifiable homicides using a gun in 2011 versus over 30,000 gun related deaths from murder, accidents, suicides, robberies, and assaults.

Do you walk around with a loaded handgun? Do you keep a loaded firearm "at the ready" while at home? If you do, you are not following the prescribed safety measures of keeping your firearm locked away with the ammo in a separate hidden location. If you do follow these safety measures, its not likely you can have the quick access to your gun needed for self defense. So what is the point? You have a false sense of security. You are far better off getting the family out of the house and calling 911 than you are of having a vigilante gun fight with an intruder, and society is better off with one less gun.

As for the defense against a tyrannical government... oh please, that is a childish Tea Party fantasy. We have a democracy with checks and balances. We have a means through our democracy to "overthrow" our government every 4 years. Do you think that Obama is planning this tyrannical takeover? Are you thinking that another government will invade and your "private militia" are better prepared to defend us than our military? Will this Tea Party militia defend us against an army's bombs, drones, fighter planes, tanks etc? Let's get real!!!

The fact is that country's that have actively reduced the number of guns in their society have far less gun related deaths. Japan, UK, Sweden, and nearly every democratic government sees gun deaths in the dozens. We count them in the 10's of thousands. NYC has seen a sharp decline in gun violence by strict enforcement of gun regulations. The silly notion that having more guns will reduce gun crime is just a fantasy perpetrated by the NRA to foster a gun culture. This only benefits the manufacturers and retailers that make millions off the sale of these deadly firearms. So don't be under the delusion that the NRA is here to protect your "second amendment rights". That's just BS.

Perhaps my outrage is because I still haven't gotten over the murder of 6 year old Ana Marquez Greene, daughter of Jimmy (and Nelba Marquez-) Greene, loved and respected members of our Hartford Jazz community. I am angered over Ana's death and the 19 other 1st graders and their teachers murdered last month at Sandy Hook Elementary School in my home state. This tragedy likely would not have occurred if not for the easy access to assault style firearms that were used in this and so many other massacres like this. I don't think I have heard ANY of the survivors or their family members advocate for more guns. The victims close to these tragedies (like Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Gifford) all advocate for more gun control; for less guns in our society. I also feel strongly that those that take the NRA's position that more guns are needed in our homes and schools are putting me and my children at greater risk of injury or murder. So, when I argue about this and I am told not to get personal, sorry but I guess I do take it personally.

(this blog is not affiliated with Sandy Hook Promise, but I do support their efforts)

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