Twenty kids were shot and killed in one town, in one school last week. It sickens me. It has taken over our internet feeds, out televisions and our radios. Since then I have been feeling overwhelmed and nauseated at the amount of people fighting with each other over gun rights. These fights have offered little to no solutions for the problem at hand: It is far too easy for a person to walk into a school, mall, restaurant, etc. and murder many people with a gun.
Another thing than bothers me is that we are only talking a bout this one school in this one town. While it was a tragedy in itself, one child is killed every three hours from a gun in the United States. You rarely hear about any of those murders, unless they are on a mass scale and the news stations feel it will make a great headline story to rake in viewers.
My family owns guns. They are hunting guns and while they are indeed deadly, chances are you wouldn’t take any of them if you had the desire to murder a whole lot of people. But I like having them. I like it because they afford us the luxury of eating a greater amount of quality meat. Between our turkeys, our pig, and if Mr. Pilver succeeds in filling his game tags we generally don’t have to purchase grocery store meat during the year. I like knowing where my meat comes from, and guns make that much easier.
In addition to hunting and such, the guns also give us the opportunity to kill any predators on our property. We do have bears and cougars and coyotes (who love to attack our chickens) that we can stop with firearms if need be. In the off chance we had a human attacker, I guess we could shoot them as well. But if I am being truly honest, I don’t know how I would shoot a human. That is a lot easier said than done in my eyes.
And finally, our guns are there by the second amendment, for us to protect ourselves against the government. But I’m not a fool. I won’t be shooting a government official who comes to my home. And I really never expect to need to. I don’t love everything about our government. It’s corrupt in so many ways. However, I am not naive enough to believe that IF the government was actually out to get me (again, I hold no conspiracies in this area) they would not be able to “get me.” I suppose if the government with the most sophisticated weapons designs in the world wanted to off someone, no amount of ammo in your basement would stop them.
Anyhow, back to my guns. I want to keep them. You want to keep yours. But, our guns, our legally obtained guns, are being used to kill innocent people every day. It’s a fact, and it cannot be denied.
So, what is the solution? How do we remain a country free to own weapons in only responsible ways? I’m actually asking for an answer here. Many people have offered that they need to be locked up in our homes. How is this enforced? Do all gun owners pay a fee for an agency to make surprise visits on their homes to check on the status of their gun safes? Some have decided that more guns in the hands of civilians and even teachers in order to combat those who attack with guns. I’m not sure I agree with this. Mandatory guns in schools sounds like a likely time-bomb.
I really would love to hear proposed solutions in the near future. Solutions that don’t include cheesy NRA slogans or seemingly witty facebook memes. I’m tired of hearing that this is not the time to talk about gun laws, this is the time to mourn. We don’t seem to get the chance to talk about it before the next mourning session begins. It’s way past time for the discussion to begin. I don’t feel as though tougher laws on guns need to be considered the end of our second amendment freedoms. I applaud our president for beginning this conversation, though it has been met with so many stubborn responses. It’s an ugly debate and I feel it takes a brave and wise person to properly kick start such a controversial area of topic.