Saturday, June 18, 2016

Gun control, distracting from the real issues,


Felicia Tweedy 6/25/16

With all the talk once again about gun control, distracting from the real issues, I wanted to post this photo of myself to make a point.

I've heard a number of people, primarily liberals, and sadly a number of women, who have said remarks to me about being "afraid of guns", like it's a good thing. My response has always been - be afraid of a gun when it's facing at you and you have no way to defend yourself. Of course these people are for gun control. I find it funny that they will accuse conservatives of being afraid of things that are "different" (aka race, sexual orientation, etc) and that's why they want to ban or restrict others rights, yet when it comes to guns, their fear because of their misunderstanding of guns, the second amendment and gun control, is justified and ok. 

In this photo I am holding an AR. This is the same type of weapon the shooter used in the Orlando shooting and has been used in other terrorist attacks and mass shootings (yes there is a difference between the two). People who know me, know that while I defend the second amendment, I'm not out shooting every weekend, I don't collect guns, I'm not a violent person and I don't think I'm cool because I can shoot a gun or am posing with a gun like this. The gun may look daunting but in my hands, but probably a bit less scary in my hands than what it's known for. This gun isn't mine, it's a friends. I wasn't scared of it, in fact I wanted to learn more about it.
People may say there is no reason for an average citizen to have a gun like this. But how do people who are afraid of guns and know so little about them, able to make such a judgement? Who is to say who should have one and who shouldn't? Should only the government have access to such guns while citizens are banned from them? You should ask people who have lived in countries that have been communist, had a revolution, etc, how safe that is. Where is the line drawn?

Most importantly, say you and I agree that this type of gun isn't needed by the average citizen (just hypothetically) - do you think that outlawing this gun will stop terrorist attacks and mass shootings? How well have drug laws stopped addiction in this country? Heroin is illegal but how easy is it to get if you really want it? Since when do terrorist and criminals obey and respect the laws of the land? Will a law make them unable to get these guns? Of course not. Gun laws will simply take this gun out of my hands and people like me but it will keep it in the hands of people like the shooter in Orlando. Are you more afraid of me having a gun like this or someone like him? 

Gun control laws, to me, are just ways for people to give themselves a false sense of security without admitting to or tackling the real issues. They do nothing to stop criminals and definitely don't stop terrorists. Heck I don't remember guns being used at all in the worst terrorist attack on American soil. We need to get real about the world we live in. We need to get real about three main things in this country -

1. Terrorists want to kill is by any means possible. Orlando wasn't a hate crime. It was a terrorist attack. The LGBT community may have been targeted in that attack but they were also targeted because they are Americans. Terrorists are waging a religious war against us. Yes, radical Islam wants to kill us. And gun laws aren't going to stop them. Time to get real about the threat we face - all of us regardless of race, age, sex or sexual orientation - and what we need to do to stop it and stand against it. 

2. Mental illness - mass shootings that were not related to terrorism all have a mental health component, yet it remains the elephant in the room. Someone mentally ill will go to any means necessary to get a gun and believe me, the black market out there isn't that hard to find if someone is dedicated to getting what they want. Laws won't stop them. We need to increase both awareness and access to mental health services. We need to remove the stigma of mental health issues in this country. Passing more gun control won't change the tragedies that have happened from happening again. They always do and many have happened in States with some of the strictest gun control laws. 

3. If we had more people in society who were trained and educated on gun use and carrying a weapon, there would be more deterrents on soft targets and when attacks like this happen, casualties could be minimized. I've always said, if I was ever in such a horrible situation, I would like to have the option to fight back rather than only have the option to hide or run. I find it both appalling and elitist for someone like Hillary Clinton to stand up there and tell people that guns wouldn't have saved lives in an attack like Orlando, who wants to take guns out of the hands of responsible law abiding citizens yet tax payer money goes to have a secret service detail and armed guards around us. Our current President has armed guards that protect his family. If guns don't save lives then why do they need such protection. Average citizen can't afford armed guards but should have the right to get training and have the ability to arm and protect themselves.

One note to add: While the talk of things like love, tolerance, prayer, etc are important, they are not enough with what is going on in this world. The words may sound good, may be inspiring and bring comfort after a tragedy, they alone will not change or win the battles we face. It takes action from us as a nation.

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