Op-Ed: Let's Have That Conversation About Guns
Editor's Note: This op-ed was originally posted at Townhall.com.
by Kurt Schlichter
For once I agree with liberals. It's high time to have a conversation about guns. Let's start with the problem that there are far too few guns on our streets.
Wait, we can't have that conversation. In fact, we're not supposed to have what people might commonly describe as a "conversation" at all. We're supposed to shut-up and listen as liberals, barely masking their unseemly delight at the opportunity, try to pin the murder rampage of one degenerate creep on millions of law-abiding Americans who did nothing wrong. The conversation is then supposed to end with us waiving our fundamental right to self-defense.
Because that is what the goal is a total ban on the private ownership of firearms. There's always another ''common sense" gun law which fails because it is targeted at law-abiding citizens and not criminals, thereby inviting another round of onerous new restrictions until finally no citizen is keeping or bearing anything more than a dull butter knife.
Well, almost no citizens. "Gun control" means all guns under the control of the government and available only to it and, of course, to politically connected cronies. Gun-grabbing poser Michael Bloomberg is going to be surrounded by enough fire power to remake the movie Heat. He's always going to be protected. The purpose of gun control is to ensure that we aren't.
So let's have that conversation, and let's lay the cards on the table. Modern firearms (which really aren't that modern) are highly effective weapons in the hands of an evil little freak who gets off shooting children. They are also highly effective weapons in my hands when defending my children from evil little freaks.
Liberals ask why I need these weapons. The answer is simple. I'm going to be as well-armed or better armed than the threat. Period.
Here's the fact bad people are going to have guns. And if you've ever smoked a joint, you are disqualified from arguing that prohibition works.
So, while we are talking, let's talk about what we lawyers call "causation." Since apparently we need a whole batch of new laws, perhaps we ought to see what laws might have prevented this crime. Well, we outlawed murder, but that didn't seem to help. We outlawed stealing, but that creep stole the guns from his mother. He transported them, took them to a school, loaded them all criminal violations, as was merely possessing the pistols at his age.
Well, maybe he would have been stopped by new laws. Maybe we could ban 30 round magazines? Well, when one walks into a class of children it is unlikely that a couple more magazine changes a relatively unskilled user can do it in three seconds would make much difference.
Maybe we could have better background checks. Wait, the creep stole the guns from someone who would have passed any background check. No causation there.
Well, then maybe the only real answer is to ban all semi-automatic weapons, which is pretty much every defensive weapon outside of shotguns and revolvers. It's also contrary to the Second Amendment and the constitutions of at least 40 states.
We should talk about the Constitution. Liberals have an amazing gift for finding things in it that have eluded everyone else. They have divined a right to abortion that the Founders apparently intended to enshrine within it, however subtly. However, they cannot seem to find where it holds that "the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Perhaps it is obscured by a penumbra.
Regardless, our conversation needs to address the tens of millions of Americans who bitterly cling to this right. Perhaps it should focus on just how the liberals propose to conduct this disarmament. They should probably start with who they assume would conduct this task. I highly suspect the advocates of turning government force upon its own citizens to deprive them of what they consider a fundamental right do not envision themselves strapping on body armor and locking and loading to go kick down the doors of people known to have guns.
So, since risking enormous violence as a consequence to turning government force on millions of armed American citizens who would believe their fundamental rights were being tyrannically breached is probably a non-starter, we should converse about reality. Liberals love reality, or so they are always saying.
The reality is that guns aren't going anywhere. There are 300 million of them. We aren't giving them up. So let's deal with the world as it is.
First, let's talk about some common ground. It was not news to anyone that the creep in Newtown had mental problems. I am not discounting his evil, but the fact is he clearly had mental issues. Can we agree that we need to look carefully at whether society can do a better job dealing with people like this before they crack up? Doesn't it make sense to deal with people who might be a threat instead of depriving millions of innocent, law-abiding Americans of their rights?
Let's return to the fact that we have nowhere near enough guns on the streets. In many states, concealed carry laws have been changed to allow citizens the ability to defend themselves nearly everywhere. The bloodbath liberals expected never materialized.
Instead, crime fell. It turns out that ordinary American citizens don't turn into to sociopaths in the presence of a Glock 19.
Let's talk about how all American citizens should share this right, because many don't. In California, I need my local sheriff to sign off that I'm competent. I served 25 years in the military with two tours in hostile fire zones. I carried weapons in uniform deployed to fires, earthquakes and riots. I oversaw the weapons training of thousands of soldiers. The government even spent tens of thousands investigating me, and then gave me a security clearance.
California considers me unfit to carry a gun outside my home. This is ridiculous.
Since we are conversing about guns, let me share some gun insights since liberals often don't know anything about them (Memo to the Media: Please learn what an "automatic" weapon is and isn't. Please.) First, I don't like carrying guns. I've spent several years of my life carrying guns and I don't enjoy it. They are heavy and dirty and you are always aware you have it and you must behave accordingly. Guns are a pain. I would only carry one because the pain of watching people butchered while I looked on helplessly is immeasurably worse.
Let's also talk about this assumption that a citizen with a handgun out in public is no match for a creep in a vest with a long weapon. True, I'd rather have a long weapon myself, but I'm pretty sure that as I try to make a head shot his full attention (and his gun fire) are all going to be focused on me instead of on some kid. I doubt anyone with a concealed carry permit wants to get shot, but while it may not be in tune with the tenor of these selfish times, I'd prefer that if someone had to get shot it be me facing the enemy instead of a civilian shot in the back.
Let's talk about "gun free zones" too. Liberals love talking about "science" and "logic," yet their magical thinking when it comes to guns is staggering. Let's call "gun free zones" what they are killing zones.
You don't see mass shootings at gun shows, police stations or NRA conventions. Bad people go where they know there are defenseless victims. "Gun free" means that the innocents are defense free. A soldier in a sister unit to mine years ago was killed at Ft. Hood, where personal weapons are banned and military ones are in safes. He was shot while trying to attack the traitor with a chair.
Let's talk about allowing some personnel at schools to be armed and simply dismissing the idea with the declaration that it its "absurd" is insufficient. Israel arms some teachers--let's look at their example. There are bad people out there. You can't wish them away.
And let me end this brief conversation with a question: Is there anyone who doesn't wish someone else at Sandy Hook had a gun?
Kurt Schlichter's freelance work has been published in nationally recognized publications like the New York Post, Washington Examiner, Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, the Washington Times, the Army Times, and the San Francisco Examiner.
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