My father was an avid gun collector and a mildly enthusiastic hunter. I got to traipse along on an occasional pheasant hunt myself, and under his careful supervision I shot the hell out of a some hapless aluminum cans as a child. My main character in x0, Lola, shares a similar background with guns and (like me) she owns a small handgun for protection and I support that right. Mine sits in a drawer. She almost had to use hers. However…..
The right to own a hunting rifle or a gun for protection is not infringed upon by reasonable laws forbidding me from owning semi-automatic weapons. There simply is no law-abiding need for that kind of destructive firepower. I do not get to own Ebola cultures. Small nuclear weapons. Nerve gas. Land mines. My own tanks. Someone please explain to me why some otherwise rational gun owners explode into fury at the thought that some types of guns just do not belong in the hands of the general public?
Nor are my rights infringed upon by always requiring background checks and waiting periods. (I’m looking at you, gun shows.) In fact, my safety and the safety of all of us is increased by demanding such.
The gun owners in my immediate family have all slowly dropped out of the NRA, one by one becoming disillusioned with that organizations zealous refusal to support legislation that sensible gun owners favor. With every new tragedy, the NRA says this is no time to talk about gun control. For heaven’s sake. When is there a better time?
The above sculpture, usually referred to as the Knotted Gun, is actually titled ‘Non-violence’, and I first admired it in a visit to New York in 2003. It stands outside the UN building and was presented as a gift from Luxembourg. It points the way toward a world of peace that we all yearn for, my gun toting relatives included. Until such a time as we do have world peace, however, reasonable people may wish to own one. But now would be a very good time to get over the idea that his means that they can own any kind of gun, any number of guns, and that they can get those as fast and as easily as they would like.
Guns are dangerous. People are dangerous. The combination is deadly. That’s what my dad taught me in western Kansas before he ever let me shoot. Isn’t it time we all agreed that society has the right to regulate and monitor that which so clearly can result in so much tragic loss of lives?