Most of the liberals in this country would you have you believe that the reason for any lack of “progress” in the gun control debate is due to Republicans in Congress and the NRA. Clearly that is not the case. There are many southern Democrats who also are not in favor of any kind of gun control. What’s the reason for this? President Obama has asked on a number of occasions, this very question. After Columbine, the Colorado movie theater shooting and Sandy Hook what could make more sense that tougher gun laws? It’s seems like common sense to anti-gun advocates but not to millions of Americans.
I recently returned from a trip to Tennessee where there is a very different perspective on the gun control debate. Firearms in the south, in states like Tennessee, are part of their culture. They are protected by the 2nd Amendment. Children are raised with guns, the same way children in New York City are raised with sterling silver rattles and teething rings from Tiffany’s. They do not see guns the way liberals and Piers Morgan sees them. They are not something to be feared and in fact, most people carry a concealed sidearm. They are used in recreational activities like hunting, skeet shooting or simply at the range. Firearms are as American as Apple Pie, Collard Greens and Grits and that can not be changed by liberal, big city, politicians. If anything, in response to proposed anti-gun legislation, the gun rights states are making it easier to obtain firearms. In Tennessee as in most of the southern states, including Florida, obtaining a license to carry a sidearm is as simple as obtaining a driver’s license, perhaps easier. It’s important to note that people who carry legal firearms are not the threat. They are more likely to be the solution should a random act of violence in a public place occur. Read American Rifleman if you desire examples. This is the main reason for the lack of progress, not the NRA membership. The NRA makes up only a small percentage of gun owners.
Of course since I was in a liberal gun state I had to go to a range and shoot some weapons. I went with several friends who possessed a variety of hand guns and had an awesome time shooting them off. When I spoke to the people at the range about shooting other weapons they assured me that I could fire an AR-15 or a machine gun if I so desired. If I had more time, I would have desired. The AR-15 is the same weapon that so many in the north and media fear but at the end of the day, it’s just a rifle, dressed up to look like a more menacing weapon. Any firearm, other than a revolver, can be set up to fire multiple rounds. The AR-15 is easy to shoot, not overly heavy, accurate and therefore desirable by gun enthusiasts. If you’re in to firearms, it’s a great piece of equipment. There were several fathers with their children, sons and daughters. They share this activity as a family and I assure you, they did not look any different from most families in New York City.
People who hate and or fear guns, did not grow up with them. Anyone who is familiar with firearms and how they work, appreciate them, treat them with respect and take all necessary precautions to ensure safe handling. Guns are not scary unless they are held in the hands of someone who intends to do harm. But I contend that an ax, machete or chain saw is just as frightening in the hands of someone with bad intentions. Let’s focus on the real issue, identifying and preventing those who are unstable from hurting anyone else, regardless of the method.