Being that today is Presidents’ Day here in the U.S., I’ve decided to write about something other than tech related topics but is still just as dear to me. Due to the growing number of mass shootings in America, there is a lot of recent talk about gun control and the possibility of outlawing different types of guns in hopes of preventing future tragedies such as the mass shootings that recently took place in Norwalk, California and Aurora, Colorado. Even though mass shootings have been happening in other countries for many years, it has only been in the last decade or so that America has suffered such horrible tragedies, or at least have made more people aware of such happenings. Just like every other crisis that happens in America, media outlets are quick to jump on anything gun related and love to begin pointing fingers. News channels like to put together panels of people all having different opinions and have them bash each other on public television. They claim to be looking for opinions from both sides, but it’s usually more about campaigning and one’s personal agenda. I’m not blaming the media, nor am I saying that mass killings (of any kind) are acceptable. I just want to take a minute to share my point of view about all of this.
Other than my closest friends and family, most people aren’t aware that I’m an avid gun collector. I collect guns for self defense as well as recreation. I have several guns in my collection that can be used to protect myself, my family, and my property if the need ever arose. I have a concealed firearms permit that I keep updated and carry on me at all times. I am a member of a local shooting range where I enjoy going every chance I get. I enjoy shooting guns, but I choose to do so in a safe, controlled environment. I have even taught my fiancee how to use a gun properly so that she would be prepared if the occasion every came up where she needed it. I don’t hunt, but I do own several pistols and rifles including a couple of the recently popularized .223’s. I’ll discuss some of the guns in my collection in another article.
On this website, I have talked in the past about the security cameras, security alarms, and other security measures I have in place to protect myself and my family. I believe that owning and more importantly, knowing how to properly handle a firearm is the final step I can take to help protect my family. I’ve been robbed before. I’ve even had my house broken into (luckily no one was home when it happened). If anything like that ever happens again and I am at home when it does, I prefer to have the option to defend myself and my family rather than sit back and wait for something worse to happen to any of us. Since the police can’t be around at all times, I feel that it is my duty to protect my family the best I can. However, with the growing number of mass shootings in America, I’m afraid that my last resort for protection might be fading away.
Currently, there are on going drives to have guns, mainly assault rifles, outlawed in America. Some anti-gun advocates are asking Congress to ban the selling and even the owning of such guns, saying that there is no reason that a civilian should ever have a need for a weapon that should only be placed in the hands of our military personnel. Those advocates claim that having the capability to carry upwards of 100 rounds in a single magazine is the reason we have had so many mass murders in recent years. I disagree. Having large capacity magazines and assault rifles are not the reason a select few have chosen to go off the range and end the lives of so many others. The anti-gun advocates say that “fewer” deaths and injuries would have occurred if assault rifles were banned from civilians and that no civilian-owned gun should ever have such a high capacity cartridge. Even if that were true, it still does not prevent “all” deaths and unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about that.
It’s been said before, but I will say it again. Guns don’t kill people. Bullets don’t kill people. People kill people! Once a person has it set in their mind that they are going to kill, they will do so no matter what. Those people can and will find other ways of killing, most of which no one would ever expect until it’s too late. For example, DeWALT has a new battery powered nail gun that doesn’t require a permit, doesn’t have to be registered, can shoot a nail through a 2×4 at 200 yards, and has a 100 round magazine capacity just like those available for certain assault rifle style guns. Does that mean that nail guns should be outlawed as well? Taking away guns from law abiding citizens such as myself is not going to prevent killings from happening. All we can do is be prepared for when it does and do everything humanly possible to prevent it in the first place. As I mentioned above, since the police can’t be with me and my family at all times, it is up to me to make sure that my family is safe and I will do so at all costs.
I completely believe in the United States Constitution, including and especially the Second Amendment. I believe that everyone has the right to own and bear firearms if they choose to do so. Even though our government isn’t perfect, I still believe in what our nation’s forefathers fought and died for. However, because our government isn’t perfect, there are still holes that allow bad people to slip through and cause bad things to happen. Whether it’s some crazy psycho in a movie theater or a burglar in my home, I believe that I should have the right to protect myself, my family, and my property. I believe that I should have the right to have a firearm (of any kind) in my home in the event that someone tries to break into my home and open up the possibility of harming myself or my family. I believe that I should have the right to have a firearm on my person in the event that someone tries taking another person’s life, including my own, in a public setting. If I have the ability to stop someone from doing harm, I believe it is my responsibility to do so. If that person has a gun (of any kind), the only way I can stop that person is to shoot back. Fight fire with fire.
According to the Declaration of Independence, I am endowed by my Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among those are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Taking away my right to bear arms completely goes against this very thing. If someone else decides that they are more entitled to my life, my liberty, or my pursuit of happiness, I want the right to protect myself against that person. I’m afraid that the people that are preaching to have guns outlawed are people that have never personally experienced anything that others have. I believe that they should be able to make decisions for themselves, but not for the rest of us. It is not up to you whether or not I own and / or carry a firearm. If I am licensed to do so, I should continue having my right to bear arms. Unfortunately, many of the people that are advocating stricter gun laws are only doing so for personal gain, usually political. No matter what the argument is, republicans want to blame the democrats and the democrats want to blame the republicans. Instead of pointing the finger at each other, why don’t you work together for a common goal? This goes for other things aside from gun laws as well. Instead of taking away our right to bear arms, how about working on the underlying issue at hand?
With all of the social networking systems out there today, there is plenty of information that can help us identify possible threats, including people that are considering doing harm to others, even on a mass scale. Instead of sitting back and whining that my government isn’t doing all that it should, like many of you do, I am stepping up and doing something about it. Currently, I am working on a system that monitors social networking sites and looks for information that can tell me when a person might be on the edge. If there is a possibility of someone doing something they shouldn’t, I want to know about it before it happens and not after it’s too late. Hopefully we can catch things in time and prevent them from ever happening in the first place. If you’ve never seen the movie “Minority Report” or the television show “Person of Interest”, you should check them out because if I have anything to do with it, our future will involve systems that can do those very things. Instead of outlawing guns and taxing ammunition to unbelievable proportions, we should focus on establishing some sort of pre-crime agency (PCA :-)).
Anyways, as you can see, I do not want to lose my right to bear arms. So, I’m hoping and praying that many of these over-the-top gun laws never see action. There are a few law proposals on the table that I don’t mind seeing put into place. But, I don’t want the stupidity of others such as the shooters in Aurora and Norwalk decide my future as a gun collector. With that said, I don’t always agree with my government, but I do believe in my government! I trust my government will make the right decisions.
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