Friday, October 2, 2015

Second Amendment

I've been thinking a lot about gun control today. Another mass shooting this week has a lot of people thinking about gun control.  Mass shootings are tragic and really do make me question our right to keep and bear arms. Maybe we're misunderstanding the original purpose behind the amendment.  It seems like we should make it harder for crazies to get guns. My dear Watson and I usually disagree on the subject. He loves guns and he loves his right to have a gun in order to protect his family. But, we've had conversations about how we will never own a gun for protection. A gun for protection means it's either always loaded, or the ammo is close enough that you can load it fast enough to actually protect your family.  This increases the risk of scary mistakes when you have curious kids. Our guns are for recreational purposes only (hunting and shooting targets).  If guns are just cool and fun to have, then again, maybe we should be making them harder to get. We don't want dumb people to have guns, right? (My dear Watson says that although we won't keep a loaded gun or ammo anywhere near, in the end, our guns really are for protection even if we never use them as such. I get his point). 

I did a little reading today and sort of reached an understanding about my stance on gun control.  It seems to me like the biggest issue for the founding fathers when they wrote the second amendment was to make sure they created a check (checks and balances ya know?) in the case of tyrannical government.  As long as the people are allowed to have guns, the government really can't ever become oppressive and tyrannical. Americans are born with an appreciation for our rights, and we'll fight for them. 

We met a lot of Asylum seekers from Africa while we were in Portland last year. They're running from their country because their government is out to get them. If they were gaining too much recognition at work, maybe they were part of a resistance group or just simply educated, the government would find them and kill them and their families unless they could escape. Many of them have scars from the savage abuse inflicted on them by their government. Many of them had to leave their families behind. I don't really know, but I'm guessing the people in countries like this don't have a right to bear arms. Or if they do, it's extremely difficult to get them. 

Our government is powerful, but if we're just talking about numbers, the number of people in our government is a lot less than even the number of people in my small city. Just the idea of that, and the fact that those people are allowed to have guns, places a check on our government. For me It's not so much about our right to actually shoot people (I don't support shooting people), but about our right to gather together and protect ourselves and our families from a tyrannical govenrment, should one ever come into existence. 

In the end, I support the right of individuals to own guns. It means we have to keep them affordable and they can't be too hard to get. I also support finding some way to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong kinds of people. My dear Watson says the hard thing about that is if you give them an inch, they'll go a mile.  If you add some controls, where will they ever stop? 

P.S. I don't claim to know everything. For me, this is about coming to understand how I feel about issues that affect me. Feel free to disagree.