Gun owners are like most other people - we just want a safe society
by Jeff Thomas
Like all of you, the tragic mass killing at a Connecticut school made my heart sink.
What people who seek gun control do not seem to realize is that we, as gun owners, want a safe community to live in and raise our families, a safe work environment, and safe schools for our children to learn.
We are not crazy people, as the anti-gun crowd portrays us. We are fathers, mothers, Scout leaders, doctors, pastors, teachers, blue collar workers and come from many other professions. Above all else, many of us are parents, first and foremost.
We share a common thread with almost all other Americans, whether gun owners or not, we value our family's safety and our own. In fact, we probably value our family's and our safety even more than most.
That's why we've taken on the added responsibility of having a gun in our home for protection or becoming a licensed concealed carrier. Many of us recognize the importance of gun safety and the added responsibility by taking gun safety courses, additional training and practicing to improve our skills.
Following the recent mass murder in Connecticut, a lot has been said by politicians, anti-gun people and the national media about preventing what they refer to as mass shootings. There'sa lot of debate around the water cooler, as well.
While we believe the Second Amendment clearly spells out a person's right to be armed, it has been debated in courts all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court, and it has been ruled that the Second Amendment provides a person with the right to be armed for self-defense.
For meaningful action to take place, as the President suggests, the first thing everyone must recognize is evil does exist in the world. No matter how many anti-gun laws there are, there always will be evil. Evil people find ways to kill whether with airplanes, bombs, knives, clubs or their bare hands.
We must recognize evil as the most important part of the equation and build a meaningful plan around that. Make no mistake, the President and other members of the anti-gun movement will use this mass killing to try to further their anti-gun agenda while failing to address the real issue of evil.
Disarming or taking away a person's chance for adequate self-protection will not only make the problem worse but is morally unconscionable. It will allow the ugly tentacles of evil to reach more people. Look no farther than Chicago, where there's been an enormous level of violent crime, to see that disarming good people simply does not work.
On top of that, we see on a daily basis that police can't protect us. While police fight crime they can't be everywhere and response time often is slow due to various factors. Self-protection falls onto the shoulders of each one of us.
What cannot be denied is that evil people fear guns in the hands of good guys. As many as 2.5 million people, based on a report from Criminologist Gary Kleck, use guns to defend their lives and the lives of their families each year. That does not always mean a gun is fired or someone is shot. It simply means a gun protected someone from becoming a victim and possibly dying. Having a gun at least gives us a chance instead of cowering in fear hoping evil does not strike.
It's hard to dispute the role gun ownership has had in falling crime statistics over the last decade. Gun ownership is at an all-time high and thousands of people continue to obtain concealed carry licenses each month.
We must make sure the politicians we elect keep things in perspective and recognize that the true problem is evil, not an object. New gun control measures are not the solution. They will only increase the problem, and unfortunately, it is a deadly problem for those who will be stripped of their ability to defend themselves.
In closing, I would like to remind all gun owners to make sure you do everything you can to keep the Second Amendment strong. Call your elected officials and express your opinion. Lastly, remember the rules of gun safety and take a look at the way you store your firearms. Every gun owner should own a safe to safely store their firearms, not only to keep guns out of the hands of children but to keep guns out of the hands of evil people should they break into your house.
Jeff Thomas is a concealed carry instructor and NRA certified firearms instructor.