WHY THE GUN CONTROL ARGUMENT IS DANGEROUS
My perspective on the gun control issue is based on personal relationships and experience and my knowledge of the second amendment. I own a shotgun for home protection, a hunting rifle and half a dozen handguns. I maintain a concealed carry permit even though it's not required in Arizona. My youngest brother is a sheriff's deputy and my middle brother was KIA in Iraq in 2003. So I carry a gun, have a brother who faces criminals every day for a living and a brother who died in a gun battle. The recent push for gun control is dangerous. But not for the reasons put forth by most people.
The danger is that it puts the focus on exactly the wrong things. I firmly believe that if this fight reaches the Supreme Court that the rights of the people to keep and bear arms will be upheld. We are on the side of angels in this fight. But the gun control advocates are using recent tragedies to justify their desires and not to end the violence and I can prove it.
Here are 2 examples of big problems with fatal consequences. Both with different approaches and different results.
First the right approach. The drinking and driving epidemic in this country was injuring and killing innocent people. We dealt with it by focusing on the offenders. Every state in the country raised the punishments to the offenders with higher fines and jail time. They got even tougher on repeat offenders. They didn't try to limit how much alcohol I can purchase or try to limit my ability to drive on a Friday or Saturday night. I can go into any store and buy cases of beer or hard liquor and no one would bat an eye. Because we all realize that the booze isn't the problem. We have increased the punishments on those that act irresponsibly. DUI's and DUI deaths have decreased.
Now the wrong approach. In an attempt to slow down or stop the meth problem in Arizona we began taking Sudafed off of the shelves and forcing people to show ID at the pharmacy to get it. We also limited the amount that could be purchased. Does anyone think that we've put a dent in in the meth problem? We have not. The focus is on the wrong thing. Instead of focusing on the offenders we are making it more difficult for people to get the medication that they need.
These 2 things should be an example to people who are serious about solving the issue of violence in America. Taking guns or limiting the access to guns isn't the answer at all. All it will do is inconvenience law abiding citizens. Criminals will still have easy access to weapons. But the bigger danger is that the real problems aren't being addressed. Instead of addressing a justice system that continues to let repeat violent offenders back on our streets (due to lack of prosecutors and prison over crowding)and wrestling with the constitutional issues of dealing with the mentally ill we argue about disarming the law abiding public. If we are going to do anything at all to address the violence problem we must address these 2 key issues. If we are willing to spend more tax money we ought to be funding the courts to hire as many prosecutors as necessary to try every case. We ought to fund every prison bed necessary to house every violent criminal to ensure that they serve out their full sentences. The more difficult of the 2 is dealing with the mentally ill. The constitutional issues of committing someone against their will or forcibly medicating someone are not easy. But instead of fighting about the constitutional issues of guns, why aren't we discussing the things that are at the core of the problem. We must stop focusing on the tool that offenders use and start focusing on the offenders.
So the next time someone tries to drag you into a gun control argument turn the tables and ask them to explain what taking guns away does to address the people that are committing these crimes. Because if they're successful the guns will be gone but violent and dangerously mentally ill people will not.