#1095 – Dick Bernard: The Gun Issue

Bottom Line: I support President Obama’s continued attempts to reasonably manage the “gun issue” in this country. This is not a new position for me.
I think I’m part of a huge majority in this country (which is, unfortunately, silent to their elected representatives). If those of us in favor of gun sanity speak out, it will count, regardless of the NRA.
But we have to speak to these elected representatives in some formal and individual way, often, organized and individually. Otherwise, nothing much will change. They are terrorized by the organized gun lobby.
It is a relatively simple matter to find facts about guns in the United States of America, and in the rest of the World, and the uses and consequences and history of weapons.
1. Here’s Amendment II of the U.S. Constitution in its entirety: “A well regulated Milita, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”. (Adopted Dec. 15, 1791, when the idea of “arms”, generally, was a bit different than today.)
There have been million of words expended to interpret what these few words mean. To use a favorite lawyer word, their meaning is not “clear”..
2. The current census of guns in the United States apparently is roughly equivalent to one gun per person (over 300 million).
3. At the same time, roughly two-thirds of households have no guns on their premises. This includes the “wild west”.
The “news” keeps us informed about heinous acts with guns.
The U.S. is not the “wild west”, and even the “cowboys” among us know that simply having a gun and threatening to use it is itself a risky proposition.
I have personally experienced that getting guns from one place to another is a bit more complicated than taking them to the post office or UPS or FedEx.
I’ve never owned an operative gun, and have no intention to start now. Other than qualifying as “expert” on the old Army M-1, I’ve not shot a gun since.
In my “real world”, for the last year or so, I’ve been the temporary custodian of my deceased uncle’s “farm guns”. There are seven of these, and an old inoperative “six shooter” found amongst the farm possessions. These are all safely in storage. Their new owner lives in a distant state. Uncle Vince’s “stockpile” of ordinary firearms is pretty typical, I think: a couple of shotguns (for ducks et al), a 22 calibre (varmints), an ordinary deer rifle, and two or three old nonfunctional and similarly pedestrian weapons from earlier farm days. His was hardly an arsenal, and they were rarely used.
In my work-a-day world, which involves lots of contacts with people in assorted contexts, I have not seen an open-carry “exhibitionist” for a long while. My experience, I would guess, matches the rest of us. I don’t run into braggarts impressed with their firepower.
A good part of this shyness about using guns may well be the uncomfortable (for gun owners) fact that shooting somebody has its own potential consequences.
Murder, even attempted murder, is still frowned on in this country, it turns out. You just can’t go out and kill someone without consequences.
Not even police are immune….
Want change? Get on the court.

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