Officer Alex offers his advice on reducing gun violence
In an effort to join the President, among others, I don’t want to let a good tragedy go to waste, so I’ll get on the bandwagon as well. “GUNS!” Let’s talk about them.
Three hundred million/300,000,000. What an insurmountable number when you see it written out like that. That’s roughly the population of the United States, and it’s also the estimated number of guns circulating in this country (two thirds being rifles, the final third being handguns).
Take that staggeringly large number, and then factor it into some staggeringly small ones (proportionately):
• Twenty-seven. The number of people killed at Sandy Hook Elementary (Twenty being children).
• Twelve. The number of people murdered in an Aurora, Colorado movie theater.
• Nine. The number of those gunned down at a historic African American church in Charleston, South Carolina.
And yet despite events like these in recent times, support for gun ownership is actually up in the U.S. (according to Pew Research). Why do you think that is?
Personally, I can’t help but think it’s simply a proportional response to a grave threat or threats and as such people are determined to defend themselves because they feel more afraid of being killed by “a madman” than by “their own gun.” This makes sense to me whether or not I agree with it, but it does not make sense to those who are so fiercely determined to blame the spoon for chronic obesity among children in the U.S.
Again, it comes back to numbers. We have such a staggering amount of firearms within our borders, “legislating” our way out of gun crimes might as well be trying to use actual magic to levitate my cup of coffee to me from the table across the room. Did I see just that cup shake, though…?
No. I didn’t. Any more than I see the spoon killing children with heart disease, or blame the automobile for being the real killer here (traffic accidents), or blaming alcohol itself for causing “drunks.”
No. Having more gun laws to make things “more illegal” is not successful. As it turns out, it’s already illegal to murder someone. It’s also already illegal to discharge a firearm during the commission of a felony…or even for a convicted felon (or domestic abuser) to possess one.
The popular answer continues to be legislating the only ones who are not breaking the law because that’s what politicians often do when people cast their gaze upon them from the scene of a real tragedy and ask for a solution. It’s called “pandering.”
Making the owner of a gun 1,000 times more culpable for the havoc wrought by their own firearm should it escape their grasp? That’s an idea. Graduated licensing for firearms ownership? Not a lot of downsides are glaring back at me. Reciprocity of carry permits nationally? Hmmm…
Look at that—three possible ways to reduce gun violence without making something “more illegal” than it already was. Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?
The Navy guy who was packing heat on the scene of the recent Oregon shootings but did not engage? Unlike legislators, that was the right thing to do depending on your preference.
The Army guy packing a concealed weapon who took seven bullets as he charged the shooter? Unlike legislators, that was also the right thing for you to do, depending on your needs and wants. Absolute polar opposites but situational.
Our situation is equally gray as far as our course of action goes, but the one thing it doesn’t need is more rules for the people following rules. We need to attack the threat, not the only ones not posing one. Attack the suppliers—attack accountability, the very thing we are avoiding in an effort to appear “strong” while doing absolutely nothing. And if you don’t want guns sold to “crazy people” (the ones killing folks, not the guns), then you’d best be prepared to finally label someone as such.
Real problems demand real solutions. After all this, are we still insisting murder isn’t “illegal enough?”
When officer Alexander D. Teach is not patrolling our fair city on the heels of the criminal element, he spends his spare time volunteering for the Boehm Birth Defects Center.