As promised in yesterday’s post, I’ve added my granddaughter’s paper “On The Question of Gun Control.” But before you go off to read this amazing piece of research done by a mere 13 year old, I have some things of my own to say about the topic in question.
The monstrous acts committed by Adam Lanza against the innocents of Newtown has dumped gasoline on the fire consuming gun control advocates The cries for stricter controls have grown louder in a frenzy to pass new legislation that anti-control advocates insist will trample their 2nd Amendment rights. And though there is an accepted concensus among Republicans that the Democratic Liberals, with their socialist views, are behind the eventual dismantlement of the Constitution, the truth is that the issue is not just about Liberals vs Conservatives.
The decades long tug of war between opposing factions has waxed and waned throughout the years since I’ve become an adult. I’ve listened to both sides of the argument and at times I was aligned with first one, then the other as I sorted out what was most important to me at any given time. When I became a divorced mother of two little girls at the age of 25, I was a fence sitter. I didn’t feel the need to protect myself or my girls against some imaginary boogeyman, but I also didn’t mind that others who might fear the unknown should amp up their home protection by keeping one under their pillows.
Then I found out about the young girl who was brutally raped in my own backyard, located on a street of privately owned homes. Suddenly the dark shadows created by ancient oak trees and and towering streetlights that failed to pierce the blackness was a potential war zone I was forced to traverse every night when I returned home from my job as a bartender. The thick rolls of cash resting in my apron pockets heightened my awareness that I was a walking target for would be robbers. The rustling of leaves on the night breeze had me looking anxiously over my shoulder as I hurriedly pushed my key into the lock with trembling hands. I was strong, and I was fit, but I knew I would be no match for a drugged out lunatic looking for drug money. What if one of my customers mistook my smiling willingness to serve him a drink as an invitation to force his attentions?
A friend of mine had the same thoughts. And though I resisted at first, I allowed him to talk me into buying a small handgun. I went to the classes he signed me up to take with the NRA. I discovered I was a good shot the very first time I took aim at a target. I discovered I was a really good shot when the target was sent flying toward me. I could easily hit center mass at better than 50 yards without any previous experience shooting a gun.
I was hooked….at least for target shooting. I still was nervous about having a gun in the home I kept with two little girls. Then one evening I was getting ready to go out to dinner with friends. It was spring and I left the back door open to allow the evening breeze to flow through the screen door. As I lifted my curling iron over my head, I thought I heard my screen door open. I stopped and listened intently. Then I heard the distinct sounds of stealthy footsteps moving across my kitchen floor. I very quietly grabbed my AMT backup out of its Uncle Mike’s Sidekick holster. Moving toward the bathroom door that was cracked open, I peeked out.
I could just make out the outline of a mid-sized man slipping into my darkened living room. There is nothing like the sound of a gun being cocked back to load a bullet into the chamber. In my best Clint Eastwood cool-as-cucumbers monotone, I said, “Get out of my house or I’ll pump 5 rounds into your chest before you can hit the ground.”
There was a flurry of movement that whizzed out of sight, the sound of feet hitting the kitchen floor hard and then my screen door slammed open and shut with a loud bang. I could hear pounding footsteps down the narrow sidewalk as the intruder took flight through my yard. The experience left a lasting impression and changed my views on gun control permanently.
25 years have passed since that incident. I no longer work nights, or tend bar, or leave my screen door open in the evening. I also no longer own a gun. But because of my own experience, I demand to retain my rights to own one again, should I want. The numbers of those murdered by lunatics and madmen wielding guns is troubling, to be sure. However, when history is examined and statistics are compiled, the need to uphold the 2nd Amendment becomes a very real necessity for the continued existence of the United States.
I won’t reiterate what is contained in Ryder’s well-written paper, but I will add a few things. One of the most ridiculous arguments I’ve ever heard, as well as it showing the speaker’s ignorance is the statement that our country’s founders weren’t talking about semi-automatics and military style weaponry. If you know your history, especially the 2nd Amendment, then you know that our Founders were implicit that every able-bodied man should have access to weapons that are comparable to any standing army.
In regards to the people’s militias ability to be a match for a standing army, Alexander Hamilton said in The Federalist, No. 29, “…but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude, that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people, while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms, who stand ready to defend their rights…”
Little if at all inferior to them in discipline and use of arms… In other words, equal fire power and skill. There is only one way to have skill and that is through practice and training. Such practice and training can not happen with imaginary weapons. Those individuals who mistakenly believe that the founding fathers never meant for assault weapons and military weapons to be in the hands of civilians, should explain why privately owned warships and cannon were commissioned by the various administrations to help fight their wars. If private ownership was not recognized as a right, how then could those individuals maintain private ownership?
And finally, I’d like to remind everyone of the disbandment of the Continental Army following the close of the Revolutionary War. Our Founding Fathers never meant for the US to have a standing army, but rather believed in every community’s right to form, train, and maintain local militia’s that could be called upon when and if the need arose. Those militia were to be made up of individual citizens who would rise to protect their country, their properties, and their families. It was only in this manner that American citizens would be guaranteed protection from a government grown too big and too tyrannical in its methods of governing.