shane-vander-hart-firing-scary-ar15I suppose one should not be surprised at the shameless exploitation of the parents and spouses of those killed in Newtown, CT by CBS News and other media outlets. I do not blame those who were directly affected by the active shooting that took place. I find this just another example of a rabid anti-gun effort on the part of the media and politicians to disarm Americans. As their arguments hold no logic or efficacy, we shall not repeat them in this limited space. However, there are some things that deserve our interest.

Eliminating guns that look scary or limiting the capacity of magazines has not, does not and will never decrease gun violence. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has been working tirelessly to ensure that mental health screening be part of whatever legislation that may emanate from the Senate. In the last string of active shooter mass killings, the perpetrators were all young males with documented mental health issues. Though one must worry about potential abuses of any rules associated with controlling access to guns for those who have documented mental illnesses, one must wonder how things might have turned out had the young men who killed so many in Arizona, Colorado and Connecticut been referred to professional help and had been denied access to guns. Perhaps they may have gotten them anyway, but observation and intervention would have seemed prudent in any event.

Another frightening aspect of these last three shootings is that each of the young men were  attending school and had been identified as having mental problems. Each case, unique as it might be, point to significant issues associated with self-reliance and self-defense. When people have been identified as being a potential danger to themselves and others, then we have a societal obligation to protect ourselves and each other while working to ensure that we protect the rights of those who are troubled. This “balance” is a challenge in a free society, but it is a balance that must be established and maintained.

Any one of us could find ourselves or our loved ones on either side of these circumstances. Careful, introspection ought to lead us to outcomes that will endure and still comport with our Constitution.

  1. Importantly, and troubling to me is that these are our young “men” – not young “women.” Their parents, family, teachers, minister, police, doctors…… are failing them. When we let them sit around glued to TVs and computers – especially violent computer games – we are doing them no favors. And in the effort to make up for the “injustices” toward women and girls it seems to me that our men are shortchanged. Until we value our boys and young men, and parent them properly – no matter what is done with “gun control” – I don’t think these events will stop.

  2. I believe that many of the politicians for gun control have an insidious agenda–to disarm the population so that it can eventually be controlled. However, it’s also important to figure out what kinds of firearms our Founding Fathers would have been OK with. Should citizens have a right to own grenades? Should they be able to buy 4 tons of ammunition at once? Should magazines have virtually unlimited capacity? If so, why?

    Nobody’s talking about banning cars, but at the same time nobody usually flies into a rage about laws requiring seat belts and airbags in them. Both sides of the gun debate have some extreme views, and it’s important to see things in the same spirit that our Founding Fathers intended.

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