Sunday, May 20, 2007

JMO - Guns

Ok, this is supposedly a fundamental right in this country, if you interpret the Constitution as some say do. And honestly, is that really true? Or are we forgetting it was written in the 1770's when we didn't have a military and guns were necessary for many people to survive in their life and work? Isn't it time we got real about guns?

And while you're cringing that I'm a gun-hating liberal, I'm not, but I'm also not a NRA member either. I served in the military and had to learn to use and shoot a M-16 rifle. And my brother and I hunted jack rabbits in the southern Idaho desert when we lived in Mountain Home, Idaho. I've shot rifles over the years with friends too. So, while I don't own any guns or plan to for personal reasons, I think we need some common sense here.

First, it's clear there are far too many guns here. There are more guns than adults in this country, so for every adult who doesn't have one, and there are many if not the majority of adults, there are some with lots of guns along with many who aren't supposed to have them or shouldn't have them. Really? And how many guns is enough?

Well, why is it that most of the domestic violence involves serious injury or death from guns? It's just the people? Sorry, give me a break here, it's about the guns and their use that excerbates the situation. And why is it that many criminal organizations have more and greater firepower than the police and agencies responsbile for our safety? You don't think so?

A few years ago a Washington State trooper tried to stop a car on Interstate 5 when it sped away at speeds over 100 mph. When several other troopers managed to get the car off the road near Olympia, a fire fight ensued which last nearly an hour before both people in the car were killed. In the car they found more firepower than the troopers shooting at them, and in the trunk they found more firepower than all the State Patrol on-duty arsenal throughout the State!

The gun runners were heading to LA, and they estimated they only caught about a tenth of the guns going down Interstate 5. That's scary, I mean really scary the gangs could over power the people protecting us. And if they had decided to do something here? Where's the limit to what acceptable? Another story to bring home the point?

In Seattle a young man was pulled over on Interstate 5 in Seattle but fled on foot into the neighboring homes. He went from home to home to escape and find money. He injured people in several homes before police found him in one home. What they didn't know was the man broke into the home of a serious gun collector. He had more firepower than the police outside, and the man wanted to shoot it out with the police. If only the police had known the arsenal the guy in the house owned to know the danger of the young man.

The issue to me is that it's time to be reasonable and find a solution to guns. It requires a lot of give on both sides, but it's time we acknowledge the Constitution does not guarrantee the right to own guns. It's about the other people, all of us who have been or could be victims of violence with guns. Tell the people of Virginia Tech about freedom to own guns. The kid who shot all those people legally purchased and owned the guns.

Ok, enough of the scare tactics. My opinion? First, I don't have a problem with gun registration, for every gun anyone wants to legally own. After all, you've insured them and likely you and someone else has an inventory. What's work with being a good citizen and sharing it with the local, state and federal agencies who have all sorts of other information on us? So adding someone's guns and ammunition is a problem?

I don't have a problem with licensing everyone who wants to own or owns a gun. We're licensed in almost everything we do in life that threatens public safety, so why not guns? What's the harm to prove you're trustworthy to own and use guns safely? What is any gun owner afraid of proving or sharing? What happened to our right to know you are responsible?

It's not about privacy and rights anymore as security and public safety. That's the risks guns pose to everyone else. It's about a national view of freedom from violence and protection from assault from people with guns. We're a civilized society and nation, and it's time we acted like one. It's time gun owners stepped into the spotlight and be seen and known as your car, home, work, etc.

Well, that's my view, and the last I'll say about it.