Banning Guns is Not the Way to Go

Surrounding the Sandy Hook school shooting there has been the inevitable discussion about guns and gun control. The one thing everyone can all agree on is that we are beyond sad about it.

This was not the blog I originally intended to publish today.  I’m going to save that one, with a much brighter focus, for next week.  The Sandy Hook school shooting has caused a national outcry, and the one thing everyone can all agree on is that we are beyond sad about it. And we are angry.  And no matter what is done, we cannot bring back the lives of those who were lost.

Surrounding this event, there has been the inevitable discussion about guns and gun control.

The truth is that if we banned handguns, any psychotic monster like the one who committed the heinous-beyond-comprehension attack on the Connecticut school children yesterday would have used a shotgun, rifle or perhaps another type of weapon.  People who are on illogical and inhumane missions to destroy others and have no regard for their own lives will use whatever means necessary, even if not officially deemed a weapon to carry out their attacks. We all remember the attack on the World Trade Center.  How many of us ever thought of using airplanes as weapons of mass destruction before?  Not me.

So the question is, are we as United States citizens willing to forsake our right to bear firearms as civilians?  I’m not; and I’ll explain why.

I’m fully aware that this is a serious topic, especially following yesterday's terrible tragedy. I know that many will oppose my opinions; however, there has got to be a middle ground for any solution to really work.

Most people who commit these kinds of killing spree crimes are not licensed to have guns in the first place. People will always find a way to get them no matter what the gun control laws are. Unfortunately, when people want more restrictive gun laws they are targeting a population of people who legally embrace the second amendment to the constitution, by going through proper licensing and background checks, which in most situations is NOT the crazy person who will buy a gun on the black market or steal one to cause harm.

There will always be some insane jackass who wants to cause harm by any means. How do we prevent someone from going off the deep end, and if not using a gun, resort to a bomb, or other method of madness against an innocent portion of the population? That is the key.

The people that do go through proper licensing to bear arms do it for one of four reasons - self defense, defending others (as in police officers), hunting, and collecting/hobbyist/occasionally go to a shooting range).  As an American citizen I would like the option to be able to defend myself and my child against maniacs like this if the situation need be.

When we had Hurricane Sandy in NJ, people were without power for weeks. No power means no alarm systems work. We could barely get signals on our cell phones to call for help if we needed to. People were stealing generators out of neighbors’ backyards and stealing gas to run them, too. If someone wanted to break into a dark cold house thinking that they were going to do some looting, they probably could have, and in some cases did. Would I want to be a female with a child in the house at night, in the dark, absolutely defenseless?  Um, no.

What about this idea:  maybe it should be easier for a person to get and carry a gun, but in a very controlled way.  Just entertain this idea for a minute:  What if the process to obtain a gun permit is regulated a lot more, while keeping the availability of guns intact (not automatic weapons – there’s a big difference)?  It would be hard at first to achieve the results we want, but if everyone (or almost everyone) carried a gun and knew how to use it, the thrill of carrying one when you aren’t supposed to would be diminished.  Not only that, but if you tried anything funny, you would know right away that chances are, with a room full of people pointing a gun at you, you’re not going to get away with it.

Like punishment for breaking laws, if the penalties and consequences (in this case knowing that there is an armed population around you) were stricter, you'd see reduced crime.  Instead, most first offenders of anything get a slap on the wrist and go out and become repeat offenders.  If you have a great enough deterrent in the first place (like an ARMED police officer at each school), some lunatics would think twice before going on a shooting spree in a school.  And yes, you will always have a crazy one who doesn't care if they die in the process of hurting others....so they will try to cause harm regardless.  You can’t ban crazy. But you know what? If you plant someone in that school who is trained to kill a psycho like this, chances are that psycho won't kill many or any.

Teachers are supposed to act like defenders now anyway - armed or not. They are the unarmed front line protecting our children. That just doesn't seem right to me. They need backup that works.

If we left the decision to hire armed personnel at schools up to school funding, then poorer districts would not have as adequate defense as those with more money to spend. My guess is that this would have to be a Federal mandate that requires a trained officer or personnel to be present at every school.

We place a lot of responsibilities upon educators already.  They are expected to be care givers, teachers, counselors, referees, and now defenders and protectors of our children. When you introduce the element of a psycho maniac attacking children, that just ups the ante and now they are expected to defend and protect our children without a means that really works.

Training teachers how to pull shades down in schools, turn the lights off, and walk kids out in single file lines (depending upon the situation) just isn't enough.  So do we start training combination teacher/security officers or do we hire separate staff to stand guard? I'm fine with either solution, really. I just think if you forced teachers into a training program to carry guns, not everyone would go for that who wants to become a teacher. It could potentially narrow down the population of those who want to become teachers because they don’t want to be put in that position where they have to be focused on simultaneously educating our children, while having eyes in the back of their heads to take out trouble. Plus, if you've got someone elderly teaching versus someone younger and more agile, that wouldn't make sense to assume they all would be comfortable and capable of defending children. Hire the big guys with the big guns to protect our kids, I think.

Banning guns doesn’t prevent people from going crazy and killing others.  They will just find another means to execute their madness unless there is a measure put in place to stop them at the front line.  Crazy doesn’t rationalize.  The only thing that speaks to crazy is the action that if you do this, we’re going to put a bullet in your brain and stop you, period.



This blog post was originally published on the author's own website:  http://TheLadyinRedBlog.com


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Laura Madsen December 16, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Tomorrow at 11AM EST, I will be joining two other gentlemen on radio, broadcasting from Atlanta on the topic of gun control. If you would like to listen in, you can do so here: http://tinyurl.com/bnaccs3 This topic will be spoken about since it has surfaced as a result of the tragedy in CT. The radio broadcast will focus on statistics and will totally ignore any emotional outcry. Twenty children murdered in Harlem one at a time are the same as twenty children murdered in CT. We certainly understand that some people feel this is too soon to discuss this issue. We respect your right not to listen if you feel this is inappropriate. We will be doing our best to approach this super-sensitive and highly tragic issue with a total lack of sensationalism. We will be looking at the statistics on gun violence and gun control. One of the topics mentioned will also be this blog. If you are not able to listen in live, a recording of the broadcast will be made available to everyone afterwards on my personal blogging site.
Laura Madsen December 17, 2012 at 06:10 PM
The sound bite of today's radio broadcast from Atlanta, with myself, about gun control in the wake of the Newtown, CT tragedy is now available to listen to. Click here --> http://www.theladyinredblog.com/awesome-moments.html and scroll down to "On the Radio in Atlanta" to listen. Thank you to all of the callers who participated in this discussion, and we wish we had had more time to hear from more of you. We understand that some people feel that this is too soon to discuss this issue, and we respect your right to not listen if you feel this is inappropriate. We did our best to approach super-sensitive and highly tragic issue with a total lack of sensationalism.
julia d December 20, 2012 at 04:24 PM
I have not heard anyone call for an all-out ban on guns, what I have heard and I do agree 100% with is that there needs to be a ban on assault rifles and a limit to the amount of ammunitiion that can be purchased, as well as closing the guns how loophole and enacting stricer policies and penalties with regard to licensing. Everyone keeps saying that had Adam Lanza not had guns, he would have found another means of carrying out his disgusting attack..while that is probably true, very few other types of weapons would have had the ability to kill as many people i nthe short period of time as the assult rifle the killer used. in addition, some people may have been able to be saved had they not been shot 3-11 times each. And really everyone needs to stop referencing the 911 attacks...gun control has nothing to do with flying planes into buildings it is not even a reasonable comparison.
BWMO3 December 21, 2012 at 12:24 AM
I am a teacher and a mother, and I respectfully, but completely disagree with many points you have proposed in this blog. The day I am told to get a gun license to defend my classroom is the day I resign from teaching. I never had, nor do I now have an interest in holding or shooting any type of firearm. I believe in the right to bear arms, but there should be limits...and for good reason.
Ben Vitale December 21, 2012 at 03:24 AM
Laura, I agree with you; but I do not believe that teachers should be forced to carry a gun. Criminals will use whatever is available to take lives. I believe in arming certain citizens, that want to be part of the solution. I am a former Auxiliary Police officer, who for many years, patrolled the streets of my home town, carrying a service revolver. I believe that citizens such as myself should be authorized to help protect our population, by carrying a gun, in the course of our daily activities. With an undisclosed number of citizens carrying a concealed firearm, the criminals will certainly ponder over their ill intentions. The "Free Pass" that they now have will disappear!
Laura Madsen December 21, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Ben, you are right. Not all teachers would be comfortable carrying a weapon. I think their focus should be on teaching and if security guards need to be hired, or a plan like you suggested could be put into place, students and teachers would certainly feel safer. I asked my elementary school age daughter what she would think if police/security/military personnel were at her school to protect them every day. She said that she would feel protected and even thank them. We have security guards at malls, banks, corporations, airports, etc.... why not to protect our most precious resource - our children. Check out this 1 minute long video depicting a former marine standing guard at his children's elementary school - even without a weapon. It's so worth a watch. http://tinyurl.com/d3cx6na
Curt Carnes December 21, 2012 at 02:18 PM
We’ve gotten away from the idea of a God Fearing Nation, and moved to a Whatever Floats Your Boat Nation. Morals, decency, respect, and compassion, have been replaced with; let’s see how far we can bend the rules, and what is in it for me? We took the 10 Commandments out of public view and shoved them into a closet, while at the same time allowing the sexual deviants who used to hide in that closet out to be paraded and even applauded by the public. We’ve redefined the word tolerate to mean acceptance, and we’ve exchanged a family night at the dining room table of Monopoly, into a night of the children in their darkened, isolated bedrooms playing a violent game like Call of Duty, or Halo, while the parents watch soft porn, or vulgar comedy on cable TV. Then we wonder and find ourselves appalled when things like Sandy Hook, Columbine, and Aurora occur. To me (and I believe you too Laura) the answer to end this violence and general decline in America is clear. Unfortunately to many others it isn’t clear at all. We need to return America to that of a George Rockwell’s America, and away from that of a 2Pac, 50 cents and Howard Stern’s America. God Bless us all!
Tom Libucki December 21, 2012 at 02:59 PM
Julia...many people are confused about AR-15 (assault) rifles. It was not a model like you'd see the military using. It was not automatic, rather semi-automatic. This means you must pull the trigger each time for a round to fire. An automatic allows you to keep the trigger depressed to keep the gun firing. The truth is that I can fire a Sig 9mm as quickly as a person can fire an AR-15 semi-automatic. My Sig holds 15 rounds. An AR-15 by Jersey law can only hold 10 rounds. Some states are more lenient with their AR laws. States need to reexamine their gun laws. In my opinion, New Jersey has fine laws.
sammy December 21, 2012 at 04:57 PM
Laura, very well said. Statistically, while the Federal Ban has been left to expire, this period has seen less of these type of insane mass killings. This call for banning weapons, for a return to the Rockwell Times, etc. is a feel good easy call. The more complicated and mature approach should be dealing with the availablity and licensing of weapons, but more importantly a better approach to dealing with mental illness. As we do with addicts, we believe laws to imprison addicts will win the war on drugs. Wrong, since billions are spent and lives are lost in this war. We as a society , incapable of understanding that mental illness, drug addiction, and achoholics are sickness. Solutions to these issues are better served when we talk about treatment , not bans, not new punitive laws, and not arming teachers or returning to a god fearing way. How childish is that argument? That if we suddenly return to the 50's , where women stayed home and awaiting a good beating from their drunk husband , where abortion was done in backrooms and they died, where blacks where relegated to the back of buses, and where unions gained strength because with at will hiring people where fired if they didnt work 12 hour days . Yeah , turning to a fearful god . Childish! BTW, all meaningful studies of violent game use shows NO evidence that they turn people into killers. As a child of the 50's, we played WAR,TAG,Dodge Ball, snow ball fights, andsettled differences with after school fights,
Curt Carnes December 21, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Sammy. As I mentioned, respect along with morals, decency, and compassion, have been lost, and returning to a Rockwell, Farther Knows Best or God fearing days isn’t a feel good type of thing, it is, or was, a way of American life for over 100 years. As such, I’ll try and take the upper road here and refrain from calling your viewpoints childish, unobtainable, or attach a false and misleading stigma to them. To the very best of my knowledge women were no more beat by their “drunk” husbands back then, as they are now. Where the blacks mistreated then? Yes! But we’ve corrected that, and I don’t think returning to Rockwell’s days now will re-“enslave” them, do you? Abortion in backrooms? It still happens, don’t kid yourself, and in my mind, along with many other Americans abortion for the solitary propose of birth control is flat out murder, I don’t care how you slice it, you are taking a life with no justification when an unwanted child is aborted. But, back to the point of this thread. I believe as Tom stated -- "The only thing to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun." If you don’t believe that Google, Charles Whitman. Pay close attention to how the killing was stopped, and also Whitman’s autopsy findings. Oh here, I’ll do it for you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Whitman
sammy December 21, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Wayne LaPierre said it! You are wrong on Abortion,and on wife/family abusers. Families and Wives have a place to go w/o stigma tos seek help.. Drunks today beating there wives are automatically removed from the house. Of course , its punative , the actions that follow him , and treatment is not the first course, but options exist now. Abortion - please , are you going to say except in the case of rape or incest??? tell me honestly, since i can respect your opinion if you say in any case abortion is wrong. I disagree with you but i can respect that... not this split hairs approach. Although, i totally disagree since the Supreme Court has ruled that it is NOT MURDER. Dont you believe in the Constitution? dont you believe we are a land of laws. I guess only the ones you choose to believe in. HUH. See, some of us don't allow a fairy tale, and a bible control how we think. Reason, not make believe. . Because , reason states that if you are so right, what about the lost souls not saved that never heard of your god and your bible... long before , they actually lived "christian lives" without knowing what christian even meant. But I digress. None of what you offer is any solution to any problems our socieity faces. NONE! And ask any teacher, having an armed guard posted at every school is not acceptable.
Curt Carnes December 21, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Here is a short answer Sammy, because I really don’t want to hijack this thread -- Yes I do very much believe in the Constitution, and that we are a land of laws. But, I also know that our laws are written by us, and can be changed by us. Lord knows many “laws” or even Supreme Court decisions have been overturned by “We the People,” and while the Supreme Court Judges certainly have a right to their opinion, so do I, and my opinion is the killing an unborn child for the propose of birth control is just wrong! Reestablishing the morals of old, does not mean we will be required to remove our seat belts and airbags from our cars, any more then women will be made to stay home barefoot and pregnant!


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