Thursday, April 12, 2018

Shannon Watt vs Gun Violence

Some gun owners are violent people.

Let's get that out in the open; some gun owners just want to hurt people.

But the MAJORITY of gun owners don't fit that description

Shannon Watts is one of many writers who are delivering a tremendous amount of effort espousing her anti-gun violence message, and I agree that "Gun Violence" is an issue which needs to be addressed.

After Sandy Hook This Mom Started a Grassroots Movement Against Gun Violence That’s Spread to All 50 States - Health:
With her nonprofit Moms Demand Action, Shannon Watts has mobilized a women-led army of volunteers.  This story is part of Health’s #RealLifeStrong series, where we are celebrating women who represent strength, resilience, and grace.
There are hundreds of thousands of people in America who ... through mental incapacity or felonious inclination ... should never be allowed to be near a firearm.  These people need to be restricted.

ALSO ... there are millions of sane and responsible (but untrained) people who have never handled a firearm, but yet MAY chose to do so from ignorance or vanity because they think they are automatically "okay" to own and shoot firearms.  Well, they have the right, but too often they do not have the skills or the trained expertise to do so safely.

And yet,  there are millions of Americans who are sane, responsible people; trained and experienced  in safe gun-handling practices, who can be reliably expected to be ALWAYS safe and ALWAYS responsible with a gun in their hands.

Ms. Watts focuses on those who are either incapable or untrained in her screeds against firearms ownership.  She performs a valuable service in warning against firearms, but she lumps the untrained, the insane, and the competent together ... and in doing so, she does a disservice against the majority of firearms owners who ARE responsible, who ARE trained, who ARE experienced and competent.

Yes, everyone wants firearms to be used only by responsible owners.   But most firearms owners are law-abiding, and understand that there is a responsibility implicit in possession of a gun.  (Again, I do not include felons in this mix.) 

 Sometimes, new gun owners only need training and experience:  the NRA (National Rifle Association) and other firearms oriented organizations often provide these training opportunities, and often at little or no cost to the students.

Those who denigrate the NRA  generally ignore the fact that the NRA is one of the very few organized sources of firearms Safety TRAINING; usually, the detractors of the NRA consider it no better than a political wing of selfish profit-oriented firearms manufacturers.  The NRA is not the Political wing of Gun makers .. it represents people who use guns for a variety of reasons, which include hunting, competition, training AND Political Representation of their 2nd Amendment rights on the National scale.

I'm not asking Ms Watts to "tone down her rhetoric";  we all need to be aware of the dreadful consequences of a gun in the wrong hands; and I think that most legal firearms owners are very aware of their EXTRA need to be thoughtful of the consequences of their actions.

However, when she lumps felons, mentally unbalanced people, and responsible firearms owners together in the same cauldron of mere "possession", she does a disservice to those who never (and would never) deliberately use a firearm in an illegal or unsafe manner.

In our discussion of responsible firearm ownership, we need to be careful  to distinguish between the insane, the irresponsible, and the responsible American.

I've not read every opinion that Ms Watts has written (who could?!) so perhaps I am doing her a disservice by calling her to task.

But it would be a responsible action if she would acknowledge that there are a huge number of Americans who can (and do) use their legal firearms safely and responsibly ... and have never allowed their guns to shoot innocent people.

Gun owners are not typically violent people, by nature.  But in dire straits, they sometimes are willing to use their firearms in defense of home, self, family and other innocents.

Those who do not readily accept that concept are those whom I choose refer to as "People Who Have Never Been Mugged".

I've never been mugged.  But I've been "shot at", and so I can testify that in that circumstance, it's more of a comfort to have a gun than not to.

You mileage may vary.  Let me know the next time you wish you had a gun to defend yourself, your home, or your family.  I'd really like to know how you defended yourself against gratuitous violence.

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