Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Gun Control—Do We Need More Laws?

I am a gun owner for my own self-protection and that of my family. Criminals do not follow the laws when acquiring a gun. More laws will not keep criminals from owning guns. It will not stop people from killing each other. It will create an illegal black market for those items, which could increase gun crimes.

There are already laws that prevent the mentally ill from buying guns. There are also laws to prevent convicted felons from owning guns. Anyone wishing to buy a gun in a store must go through a background check.

Legal gun owners are hunters in this state. They pay a fee to get licenses to hunt. The money from those licenses goes to help pay for our children’s education. Hunting for some families is a valued part of their culture.

I do not begin to understand why anyone would want an AK-47 or a gun that shoots a hundred rounds of ammo. Those guns are not for hunting or for self-protection. Those types of guns are designed for war. At best, I can say I have friends that just like the feel of the way they shoot. You could compare it to any other extreme sport.

I do believe that gun owners should be taught how to fire a gun correctly. They should know how to load a gun. Gun owners should also know how to clean a gun and store one. Gun safety is a very important part of owning a gun. My mother taught me about guns for the age of ten up. The one piece of advice I remember most from her was “never point a gun at someone unless you are willing to take a life.”

If legislators are going to spend time in Washington debating ways to prevent mass shootings, they should look at spending bills to help the mentally ill. Medical research into what causes some people to turn to mass violent. Early warning programs in schools that help people before they cross a line would do far more to protect innocent victims of mass shootings.

Anti-bullying programs that make sure all children are treated fairly would also be a big help. Funding for programs that help schoolteachers and support staff to detect early warning signs would be very helpful in preventing mass shootings in this country. More funding for free or low cost mental healthcare would also be of help to individuals who are unstable. More laws to allow mentally ill individuals to be held in a hospital until they are safe to themselves and others.