Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Parkland Students; Manifesto: My response:

Parkland students: our manifesto to change America's gun laws | Editorial staff of the Eagle Eye | US news | The Guardian: After the massacre at our high school, our lives have changed forever – so we’re proposing these changes to halt mass shootings March for Our Lives – live updates by Editorial staff of the Eagle Eye
I very much understand your fear and your concerns ... which are, here, one and the same.

I don't doubt that your concern about private firearms ownership is based upon your horrible experience, and I have no way to respond to those fears ... except to yield my own right to defend myself against similar attacks.   And I am not prepared to yield that right.

You are all very young.  You are not familiar with firearms, and you have been taught to fear them.  And your recent experiences have taught you that this fear is justified.   I share your dismay.

I am not prepared to yield my right to keep and bear arms, because of your fears.  I have my own fears, but they are based on the concern that I may be attacked ... and not "allowed" to defend myself.

I am very old.  I  have been shot at (a LOT!) and it was never my choice.

I was drafted into the army as a young man, not much older than yourselves  I was given a gun (and minimal training)  and sent to a foreign country to fight a war I didn't believe in for causes I did not understand.   A lot of us went  to Viet Nam, a lot of my friends died there, and I died a little bit there, too.

People who randomly attack peaceful citizens are just ... wrong.

I think we will agree with that; it's only common sense.

Well .. not obvious to everyone:
Personal Experience are a powerful testimony, even if their experiences are not universal:
We have a unique platform not only as student journalists, but also as survivors of a mass shooting. We are firsthand witnesses to the kind of devastation that gross incompetence and political inaction can produce. We cannot stand idly by as the country continues to be infected by a plague of gun violence that seeps into community after community, and does irreparable damage to the hearts and minds of the American people.
The Constitution of the United States has wisely acknowledged that the right to keep and bear arms is not something that it can 'give' to us, but rather one which is intrinsic in all free people.  So it is with all of the "rights" enumerated in the Constitution, including the First Amendment Right to speak our thoughts without governmental interference.

And not "everybody" who owns a gun is a monster: the paint splatters widely and taints not only the Bad Guys With A Gun. but the rest of us ... who never pointed a gun at a person and would not do so other than exceptional circumstances ( to wit: protection of our selves or our family).

Unfortunately, too many Americans (and people all over the world) have abused that Right, and so we have to deal with the recurring theme of MONSTERS who use firearms to predate upon their fellow men and woman.

I applaud your determination to keep firearms away from those who would do us harm, or whose intention may someday do us harm.  Unfortunately, it's difficult (if not impossible) to predict just which villain may choose on the spur of the moment to use a firearm to attack us.

Or to drive his car into a crowded sidewalk.

Or to throw a gallon of gas into a disco dance floor, and light it.

Or to fly a hijacked airplane into a metropolitan skyscraper or two.

Or to place an explosive pressure cooker along the finish like of the Boston Marathon.

My point is that we cannot reasonably apply laws against gasoline, airplanes or pressure cookers because ... there are too many ways for men of ill will to predate against a sane society.

But there is ONE way which we can use to, perhaps, minimize the effect of "men of ill will" when they attack us; and that is to allow each of us who are armed, trained and prepared to defend the rest of us in times of great distress.

IT IS NOW LEGAL and permissible for men and women of good character (dependent upon a "background check" by civil authorities) to apply for, and be rewarded, a license to keep and bear concealed weapons in defense of themselves ant others.

(There was a time when it wasn't necessary to undergo Special Training and federal approval for an honest man to carry a gun ... but too many Bad Men have appeared in our society, and I guess it's not enough to have lived a frugal life to be commonly known as a "Responsible Gun Owner");

The police cannot be 'everywhere' ... but Concealed Handgun Licensees (CHLs) may be almost anywhere; and you will not know them until they are called upon to defend you and/or themselves. in the event that a random attack may occur.  The police cannot be 'everywhere", but the CHL may.

This is why I caution us to be concerned about comments like this:
We have a unique platform not only as student journalists, but also as survivors of a mass shooting. We are firsthand witnesses to the kind of devastation that gross incompetence and political inaction can produce. We cannot stand idly by as the country continues to be infected by a plague of gun violence that seeps into community after community, and does irreparable damage to the hearts and minds of the American people.

I understand that "mass shootings" are increasingly prevalent, and wee need to address the issue.

(Hey, I've owned guns for 60! years and I have yet to shoot up a university community, even though I live in a College Town and the "kids" in my neighborhood party until down!)

I would not argue against the concern about gross incompetence and political inaction  .. I only wonder what alternative  actions the authors might suggest.

Sadly, they have nothing to offer other than a squeal for action ... which they themselves are unable to propose.

There are three possible methods to address this very real and immediate "problem".

  • Nobody has a gun
  • Everybody has a gun
  • Gun?  What's that?

If nobody has a gun, nobody has the means to defend herself': only criminals are armed.
If everybody has a gun, at least the proposed victim has the means to defend herself
If we just ignore the problem, it will never go away

Today, we are stuck in the fourth situation ... we are afraid to take action, we would prefer to write a law (which will not be obeyed), and we won't even question our options because it's just too difficult to decide what's right.  We can't even talk about it without slings and arrows flying every which way.

We know there are enough guns in America to arm every man and woman and child.

IN THE 1930's We banned fully automatic weapons (machine guns) because ... Capone.

In the 1090's we banned a lot of in-common-usage firearms because it was "politically expedient" to do so.  That went away, because the Assault Weapons Ban didn't do anything to reduce "Firearms Violence".

The 1994 Assault Weapons Ban was .. controversial at best; not distinctively helpful, at worst.

Today, our legislators are trying to decide what other guns they syhould ban, to reduce "firearms violence".  That has gone nowhere because after you "highly regulate full-automatic guns" all the guns left are "In Common Usage" .. except for this-and-that.


It seems obvious to me that gun-bans are nothing more than wishful thinking, imposed upon the  law-abiding citizens for the political purpose of folks who want to be elected to public office.

It may take a while, but I look forward to the day when gun bans are minuscule and rare because there are no political points to be made by office-seekers who know nothing about the firearms they choose to vilify in the current election cycle.

In the meantime, it seems obvious that any laws which are intended to reduce the proliferation of firearms in the America community will only affect the law-abiding.  Criminals, crooks and various neer-do-wells will ignore the laws, with the resultant effect that only law-abiding citizens whi wish to protect their homes and familislies with rapid-firing, high-velocity firearms with a quick reload option will be banned.  This will inconvenience (disarm) law-abiding home-owners, but the criminals the home invaders, and the bank robbers will not even momentarily be inconvenienced.

I think that I should have the same rights as bank robbers.  What do YOU think?


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well Said

Mark said...

RIGHT ON!