“I am coming to see the middle path as a walk with wisdom where conversations of complexity can be found, that the middle path is the path of movement. . . . In the right and left worlds, the stories are largely set. ”
― Terry Tempest Williams
I have to agree with the quote, there can be no conversation searching for an agreement on moving forward towards ending a problem if both the right and left extremes are unwilling to compromise and find something in the middle both sides can agree to live with. It is only on the middle path where we can find movement towards resolution.
Guns and gun control is one such conversation I’ve had with myself and I’ve come to a position in the middle of the gun debate with a compromise that I can live with. It is as unrealistic to demand a total ban outlawing gun ownership/possession altogether as it is unthinkable for allowing everyone to own any kind. So, I can accept guns, but with reasonable restrictions.
And since a reader emailed me about my last post, “The New O.K. Corral” , and said she was unable to discern exactly what my position on guns and gun control is, to clarify for her and anyone who is unclear, and perhaps persuade others to agree:
Where I stand on guns and gun control –
I accept the Supreme Court’s decision that the 2nd Amendment entitles civilian citizens (in good stead) to buy and possess firearms for self-defense in their home. I also accept that individuals should have guns for sport (target shooting and hunting) – subject to exhaustive back ground checks for criminal convictions and mental health issues, and after undergoing rigorous training and certification in their use – and should have the right to carry a concealed weapon (subject to the same checks and training) when they’re out and about in the public.
Because of the status quo, the fact that there are bad people out there that have guns (it’s stupid to only have a knife – or less – if someone pulls a gun on you), and I believe in the principle that force should be met with equal force.
I am opposed to any type of automatic or semi-automatic, and believe they should be outlawed for civilian possession – both rifles (read: AKs, ARs, etc.) and semi-automatic shotguns, as well as pistols (read: 45, 9mm, etc.). I can only support bolt-action rifles, single-shot or pump shotguns, and revolvers.
Those types of guns (automatics and semi-automatics, with 10-15+ shot magazines) were originally made for the military for mass killing with a less frequent need to reload, unlike those sufficient for target shooting or hunting – bolt-action rifles (generally a 5-shot magazine), single-shot or pump-action shotgun (generally a 5-shot magazine), or 5/6 shot revolvers, all of which have (relatively) limited magazine capacity that requires frequent, time-absorbing, reloading.
And because I reject as patently absurd the premise, that while the purpose of the 2nd Amendment at the time it as written was to enable the citizenry to defend itself against an oppressive government, that it is still a valid concern today, or that we might be invaded by a foreign army that so overwhelms our military that armed civilians need to fight. Therefore, there is no reason military-style weapons need to be made and sold for civilian consumption.
Bottom line: Automatic and semi-automatics are for killing people, not sport. If you can’t hit your paper target, or the animal you’re hunting, with a single shot, you shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun. With respect to a concealed weapon, if you need more than 5-6 shots to stop and drop someone, you shouldn’t be allowed to have a gun.
So…I believe we should have the right of arms, but restricted to what is a reasonable purpose for sport, and a reasonable deterrent/defense if assaulted.
I am not so naive to think that bad people won’t still kill good people using a gun. But those I find to be reasonable restrictions will lessen the likelihood of further mass killing, which is what the conversation should really be all about.
But that’s just my opinion.