Since the day I was born, I have lived in houses where there have been guns. I was taught, from the very beginning, that a gun is no more than a tool and by the time I could ride a bicycle I could load, shoot and hit a target with a .22-caliber rifle. Back then, we boys were not yet allowed to have pistols or semi-automatic weapons because my father was very firm in his belief, “You have no use for such a thing.”
A half-century later, the landscape has changed dramatically while my guns have not changed at all. They are mere objects, tools, with neither the ability to think or reason. As those who know very little about firearms or how to use them clamor for “gun control” following the massacre at Sandy Point Elementary School, it is an important part of the discussion to remember the actual guns used by the psychopath involved were merely the tools he used to achieve his evil.
In stark candor, this nation has about as much of a chance at gun control as it does controlling the weather. In Chicago all guns have been strictly banned for decades and today that city leads the country in murders. Washington, D.C. has similar tenacious laws and our nation’s capital is in second place. Please! Criminals openly mock gun-control laws throughout the entire world.
In 1997 the country of Australia spent a half-billion dollars in a huge “buy back” effort to rid the nation of guns in much the same way Saint Patrick got rid of serpents in Ireland. Are you kidding me? Since then armed robberies are up 69 percent, assaults involving guns are up 28 percent and murders are up 19 percent. Plain and simple: gun control doesn’t work and – no matter what you might envision – it never will. Guns are not the problem, no, not at all.
Some years ago a very wise man explained it this way, “Laws that forbid the carrying of arms…disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve to encourage rather than prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed one.”
Viola! The man who made such a reasonable explanation was Thomas Jefferson and his words are as true and prophetic today as they were when he was the primary author of our Declaration of Independence in 1776. When guns are outlawed, the outlaws will have the guns! This is hardly brain science.
A more modern-day patriot recently emerged on Facebook. "I do not carry a firearm because it is my right. I do not carry because I am afraid. I do not carry because I am paranoid, and I don't carry because I am trying to make a statement. I am not being political, and I am not being religious. I do not carry a gun because I want to frighten, intimidate, or kill.
“I carry a gun because there is genuine evil in this world. I carry a gun because most people are not equipped to deal with that evil. I carry a gun because the police mostly respond to crime, they do not prevent it. I carry a gun because there are some that cannot defend themselves. Some threats are too fearsome, too strong, and too evil. I carry a gun because I am willing to stand between you and that evil. I carry a gun, expecting that someday I may have to use it, and praying that I will never have to."
The author of that chilling missive is unknown but that is exactly why I have the proper documentation, have taken training classes, and have made the personal decision to carry a loaded pistol with me. I would almost die if I ever had to use it against another human being but – candidly – I would deploy it in a split second if my weapon could have been used as a tool in order to save just one of the children at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Plus, I’d prefer to “almost die” using my gun rather than really die because it was unavailable.
We have no idea where evil will next appear. We cry in the Tucson parking lot where Gabby Giffords was attacked, weep in the Aurora, Colo., movie theater where 12 were killed and 58 others were shot, and now in the empty halls of a precious elementary school in Newtown, Conn., but what if … just what if … a responsible person with good training – and a proper gun – had been at any of the three locations? Perhaps lives would have been saved. There is no alternative in a gun fight.
Throughout centuries of terrible wars, every nation that still stands has learned the only gun control that truly works lies in the ability to shoot back with greater force. The only way to level the playing field in a society gone mad is to meet force with force. The biggest fear of a violent man is violence in return. There is no escaping such common reality.
According to the FBI, there were more requests for background checks – necessary in order to legally buy a firearm – the day after the Sandy Hook massacre than at any time in our nation’s history. Gun sales spiked the day after President Obama’s acceptance speech but really sky-rocketed with record sales the day following the elementary school attack. Don’t worry; the backbone of our nation is hardly standing still.
I am no longer a member of the National Rifle Association. I believe it is now too radical for me, just like the Republican and Democratic political parties, but, after watching both the terror and the sorrow in Newtown this past week, my resolve to carry my pistol has quietly intensified. So help me, I can find no other solution available that would serve as a better tool in trying to save the lives of children like those who have just been buried.
A gun is just a tool. Our police use them as tools. Criminals also use them as tools. Sadly, I believe the time has now come for good and honest people to acquire guns as tools, too, rather than just to watch in helpless horror when and where evil will next appear. There is no other emergency solution against evil than an opposite force for the good.