While I’ve always done my best to avoid controversy, simply to be controversial, one issue I strongly believe in, which is divisive, is the Second Amendment. I’m a life member of the NRA and believe wholeheartedly in the right to bear arms. I will never apologize for that. Before continuing, I live in NYC and the range where I shoot is crowded with law enforcement, doctors, lawyers, accountants, publishers and ad execs.. Sorry to kill the stereotypes. While many reading this might not understand it, the right to bear arms is truly what has separated and still separates us from the many autocratic governments that still exist in the world. We are the leaders. We are the government. Our representatives are just that, nothing more. Would a world free of violence be ideal? Of course. Violence is unfortunate. But that’s never going to happen. Cain slew his brother Abel and even if it’s only a story, it’s a very old story.
In a free and democratic country people have the right to protect themselves from criminals and theoretically, from the government. No dictatorship ever existed when the citizenry owned firearms for obvious reasons. It’s much easier to subdue those without the ability to defend themselves. It’s what made our experiment so unique. WE THE PEOPLE!! Understandably, there are people in this country, who don’t understand this.
It’s important to note that I’m not some “crazy right wing lunatic.” I have Master’s degree, I’m a strong supporter of abortion rights and same sex marriage. I’m just against government intervention of Constitutionally protected freedoms, across the board. Our Constitution guarantees our right to free speech, to assemble and to bear arms. It also guarantees a women’s right to choose and for same sex couples to marry. I know this may seem confusing or even contradictory to anyone reading this but I’m not a fan of labels. I weigh issues based on their merit, not on my feelings or emotions, the two worst criteria on which to form opinions.
Another important point that needs to be reiterated is that firearms do not kill people, people with nefarious intentions kill people. Never is the mental state or any other defense allowed to be presented when there is a mass shooting. However, when someone commits a mass stabbing, that person is deemed to be mentally unfit or have a host of other issues. People who are angry or mentally ill can be dangerous to our citizens at large. And while it’s true that an automatic or semi automatic weapon can kill more efficiently, than a knife or machete, the real issue is, what drives that person or persons to kill at all. If someone was able to get their hands on anthrax, they could kill more people than a firearm. Preventing that from happening is the issue, not the weapon of choice. That of course is only my opinion and I am entitled to it.
The vast majority of legal firearms’ owners will never use their weapons other than to hunt, skeet shoot or for target practice at a range. They will certainly never fire a firearm to commit a crime. But people must have the right to defend themselves in their own homes. The police or other law enforcement can not be expected to be in the right place at the right time, all the time. How one feels about firearms varies greatly by where they live. In New York City, a firearm is considered pure evil. But in Nashville, you will see entire families at the range. A large part of the reason for the hatred and fear of firearms in NYC is directly related to the fact that most people have never seen or held a firearm. Fear of the unknown. I teach self defense. I teach my students about firearms and how to defend against them if necessary. But I also teach defenses against knife, baseball bat and club attacks. Evil is evil and the weapon of choice must never be used as the reason to ban firearms. Otherwise, we need to ban knives, baseball bats and any other potential weapon that might be used to injure or kill innocent human beings. Perhaps we should ban cell phones, laptops, tablets and social media since they have been the weapons of choice in a number cases to convince poor souls to commit suicide and to threaten people with bodily harm.
This brings me to the subject of violence in general. If the game system manufacturers were banned from producing games linked to indiscriminate violence, there would be no gaming left essentially. Every year for decades, the gaming community has derived new and more dangerous ways of killing other gamers and aliens, to be fair. These weapons are traded and improved play, opens the gamer to new, more violent weapons. Hollywood it seems, only makes violent movies. The actors, writers and producers will say that they are only movies, not real life, but that’s nonsense. They only see it that way because they make money. It’s certainly not good for Children to watch these movies. It may make them feel empowered when they see helpless or not so hapless characters kill scores of “bad guys” but that’s not what we should be teaching our kids. So before all the preachy people rant on about how sick this country is because of our love of firearms, I suggest they look in the mirror.