For the past week I have been at a loss for words. Heartsick by the actions of a man against 20 children and 7 adults whom he didn’t even know. Devastated for the families who now have to struggle to get through the holidays and most likely are wishing the Mayans were right about today.
The events in Sandyhook, CT. last week have made me rethink my (very recent) decision that I am ready to start a family. Why would I want to? How could I even seriously consider the terror of caring for a child in this world where 6 year olds can be randomly murdered for entirely unknown reasons?
Today though, my sadness, confusion and general devastation has been effectively replaced with annoyance. My news feeds have been saturated with comments about gun control and elementary schools in the same sentence. I have seen everything in the past week from both sides of the argument and honestly it is starting to make me a little bit crazy. I am a gun owner. In fact I own multiple guns; among them a shotgun, pistol and a revolver, none of which would be considered an assault weapon like the one used in last Friday’s tragedy. This is where I don’t fit in. I believe in the 2nd amendment, I agree that an unarmed populace is an unprepared populace, I believe that people kill not the guns by themselves however I do not believe that assault weapons should be unregulated or even that a handgun should be something you can gift to someone for Christmas. It is true that a person who is unstable enough to want to take innocent lives in mass will find a way and it is true that Mental Health needs to be a bigger concern but I really think we could try to make it at least a little more difficult for weapons that can kill so quickly and so assuredly to be purchased. And I know that a criminal will not acquire their weapons legally but typically a criminal does end up with a weapon that was originally purchased legally by someone else, just not that particular criminally minded someone.
I feel like guns should be a more serious purchase than they are. I think that assault weapons (and yes I realize that some hunting riffles are considered assault weapons) especially should require a license to own and that a gun license like a driver’s license should have to be renewed every couple of years. This does not mean that I think you should be required to put your name and address on a public list like a sex offender does if you do own guns – just that you should have to get a license and that in order to get a license you would be required to take a class. Just like you do not have to own a car to have a driver’s license but you do have to have a driver’s license to drive a car and before you can obtain the license you have to pass a test proving that you are capable of driving that car.
If we make it a little more difficult to purchase a gun we might at least start to address the responsibility that comes with owning a gun and reduce the amount of guns out there to be potentially stolen by criminals who would not pass the background check to purchase their own legally.