This is not meant to start hateful banter on my page, more so meant as a think-piece. Read what I have to say and really think about it. It’s long, I’m sorry. If you make it to the end, I applaud you. And remember that at the end of all things, you are not changing my opinion and maybe I’m not changing yours, but give it a read.
I’ll begin by stating that I am a NYS pistol permit holding Citizen. I have 6 handguns. Those 6 handguns are stored in a safe to which I am the only person with the combination. The small collection of bullets for said handguns reside in a separate safe to which I am the only person with the combination. I enjoy going to the range and shooting the target. It’s a skill. It’s something I’ve done since I was a young person. My father taught me at a young age to respect firearms, to handle them properly, and all the safety measures and precautions in regards to firearms.
I would also like to state, that as a law abiding citizen, when I went to get my permit, I had to go to a 5 hour “gun safety” course. My take away from that course was, if you shoot someone on your property, drag them into your house. I had to get 3 signatures (just signatures. No reference letter. You need reference letters to get into college) on my form and got fingerprinted at the Sheriff’s office. That’s it. I didn’t even have to appear in court the day the judge issued me my permit. And bear in mind, NY is considered a “strict” gun law state.
I would like to offer that had the nice old lady at the county clerks office handed me a list of approved psychiatrists and said “your paperwork will be filed once we receive your evaluation from the doctor”, I would have gladly done so. And had it been required of me to appear in court to express why I wanted a pistol permit, I would have gladly done so as well. And had I needed to attend a course at the range to demonstrate that I was responsible and capable of handling a firearm, I would have gladly done that too.
This may seem “crazy” to some folks but consider that you have to take a driving test in order to get a license to drive a car. You have to demonstrate the ability to operate a vehicle in a safe and responsible manner before the state of New York (or any state) will issue you a drivers license. Just one example of the many things that are regulated (take note of the word regulated) by the state and federal government in order to ensure the safety of US citizens.
I’ve seen a bunch of people posting this little blurb about someone on line in the grocery store. I just sort of smile because I wonder how many of you posting it have a handgun. You. Actually you, not your police officer family member, but you. Also I’m curious if you know how difficult it is to obtain a concealed carry permit in NYS. You have to exhibit just cause for such a thing and most times will be told “are you a police officer? Than you don’t need to be carrying your handgun around at all times.” That was my other take away from my 5-hour course. I also wonder how many of you would have the balls to shoot another person. Actually fire a gun at someone else. In a state of panic, even to protect yourself, could you take a life? I don’t know that I could.
Now. I have a query. Do you honestly believe that arming MORE citizens will make the world a safer place? Like no really. I want you to imagine a scenario. Let’s use this grocery store. Someone comes in shooting up the place and say 10 people are carrying their handgun and all 10 people open fire at once. You really think less folks are getting shot? You really believe all 10 of those people are going to be cool, calm, and collected while brandishing their firearm to stop the bad guy? If you believe that, then we are in a bad place. I interact with people all day long. Most of them can’t tie their shoes, but I should trust them with a handgun? No.
But you know what, all of this is a matter of opinion, I suppose. And if you believe every single one of your fellow man is capable of snuffing out the bad guys in a moment of panic, well you are far less skeptical than I and maybe I should applaud you for it.
Let’s chat for a moment about the highly debated 2nd Amendment. Here’s where I kind of feel like we should really take a step back and just evaluate what it all means.
The 2nd Amendment, written by James Madison, brought to the House of Representatives on June 8, 1789, went through some edits and was ratified by 3/4’s of the states on December 15, 1791. Now remember at this time there is no formal police force, rather sheriffs that are mostly volunteer. In the event of an emergency, a local militia of armed vigilantes would intervene. May 1792, Congress passes the first act of National Defense in which it states that every able bodied man of a certain age must obtain a firearm and appear if called upon to defend his state. This has a lot of problems, too many to discuss and this post is already long, but you didn’t come here for a history lesson, right? Feel free to google for more information. The Internet and all its flaws is there to help.
So back to #2. The text states “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”
So here we are. 1791. No official police force to speak of, counting on the individuals of the country to maintain safety. “The Security of the Free State” rests in the hands of the people, because, remember, there is no official law enforcement in place. So yes, your firearms are to keep you safe. Because currently there is no one appointed to do so.
“A well regulated (there’s that word)…” Regulated. What does regulate mean? Let’s check with Merriam Webster.
to set or adjust the amount, degree, or rate of (something) to bring (something) under the control of authority
to make rules or laws that control (something)
Bring under control of authority. Make rules or laws that control.
“A well CONTROLLED UNDER AUTHORITY milita”
Now it would appear to me that our founding fathers meant that the 2nd amendment would give its citizens the right to bear arms, with rules and regulations set by the government. I mean that’s what regulate means right?
So. Regulated militia. Security of the free state. Does not infringe on your right to bear arms. Listen, I have the 2nd Amendment reproduction in a frame on my piano in my living room. I respect it. I honor it. And I believe in it. It doesn’t mean you are allowed to have a free for all with any firearm you please.
NO ONE is trying to take your guns away. They’re trying to set rules and regulations in an effort to keep everyone safe. And isn’t that what the 2nd Amendment was for in the first place? Law abiding citizens aren’t being told to hand over their weapons. You’re being asked to follow some rules. And if you can’t follow rules, than maybe you shouldn’t have firearms in the first place. If you’re not planning on murdering anyone, then you shouldn’t have any problems registering your firearms. And trust me, you don’t need a semi-automatic rapid fire rifle to protect your home. Are you expecting an invasion of 100 people? If you are, perhaps you should hire professional security. There are places you can go and try out these “fun” weapons and be all “oooo I shot the oozy!” And take pictures with your friends and it’s all fun and good times. You don’t need one in your home. You just don’t. And please don’t give me the hunting excuse. If you can’t shoot the deer, bear, etc in 1-3 shots then maybe you should take up a new hobby because you suck. Are you trying to eviscerate the animal? You want to take the meat home to eat, right? Mount it on the wall? You don’t want 30 bullets ripping the carcass apart. You want to take them down in 1 clean shot. 2 if necessary.
This isn’t the Wild West. You are not Wyatt Earp and we are not having a shoot out at the O.K. Corral. This is 2016 and no, gun control reform isn’t going to miraculously stop people from getting guns; it isn’t going to miraculously stop people from getting shot. Nothing in the world is so black and white but I know I would feel a lot safer knowing that any tom, dick, or Harry can’t just go buy an AR-15 at a gun show and walk home with it. Yes, people will still do crazy things and still try to harm other people, but doesn’t it make sense to attempt to make it more difficult for the mentally unstable people of this world to get their hands on a gun?