Friday, March 1, 2013
El Paso County Sherriff's Office and the Nat'l Sheriff's Assn notice:
As a progressive gun owner, I have this to say regarding the EPSO and the Nat'l Sheriff's Assn notice:
The NRA doesn't represent the individual gun owners, but most don't know this-the NRA represents only the gun manufacturers.
I am a gun owner, and believe that gun owners have a DUTY to be part of the solution to prevent tragedies. It is not enough to scream about 2nd amendment rights, as that amendment was created during a time when militia members had to bring their own weapons to battle, and there was no such thing as an automatic of any kind.
NO TRAGEDY is a simple, one-issue ordeal. Every situation must be analyzed.
As a gun owner I think it's our duty to regulate and be safe-law enforcement does this, the military does this, and even public gun ranges control access and shooting privileges. As should we. (how many shootings are there on military installations going back through history?)
Lets look at the state of our culture -I was reading recently about the spike in gun sales after the Aurora shooting and then again after the POTUS won reelection- buyers often tend to be of the mindset that they're in constant danger (despite the fact that the FBI and NCIS state that violent crime is down compared to recent years) and because they also believe that every shooting and every democrat will use the event to take away all guns, when that has NEVER happened ever-no one has ever even suggested taking away ALL guns, so that's just craziness to go out and buy things you may not need and may not have the money to invest in. Insanity. My husband told me that several of his soldiers wanted to buy guns after Obama was reelected, based on lies and rumors, even though Obama has made clear he would never take away all guns-my husband had to council those young soldiers that even though they want to run out and buy guns, they can't afford to do so and must prioritize their bills.... see what insanity and lies do to people? We even, here in our area, have lying radio commercials that lead people to believe that the government is going to take all their guns, when educated people, such as city counsel members, county commissioners, and law enforcement officials should all know and speak the FACTS rather than promoting fear mongering among those who are NOT educated to the facts.
We can't just call everything a mental health issue. Lets discuss hate groups-the guy who shot innocent people at the Sikh gurdwara (temple) in WI. Should we deny fire arms to all who are members of faith/race-based hate groups who are known to be aggressive historically? I don't hear anyone screaming for bans on weapons to KKK members or other white supremacist group members who "could" behave in such a deathly way. The guy who shot Gabby Giffords AND 18 others-politically motivated? He is believed to be incompetent, but speculated to dislike all politicians regardless of their affiliation.
If more guns made things safer America would logically have the lowest murder rate on Earth-but we don't, and we must, as gun owners, reflect on this and hold our society responsible.
I am a gun owner who loves to shoot. I'm a retired veteran who grew up in a hunting family and am married to an active duty soldier who has more than 22yrs. There's a reason the Army "trains as they fight." I'm a woman who believes that all women can benefit from training with handguns because of how the achievement can benefit and empower them-but not everyone is inclined to learn and train with weapons.
We must also consider the fact that Ronald Reagan supported the 1994 Assault weapons ban, after he and Brady were shot, and that many state supreme courts have upheld state level assault weapon bans as constitutional.
The right to bear arms is protected by the Second Amendment, but it is not absolute and lawmakers have introduced a series of common-sense restrictions. For instance, in the Heller case, the Supreme Court found that while a handgun ban is not constitutional, because handguns are in “common use,” a machine gun is not and therefore could be restricted. An assault weapon equipped with a clip that can shoot hundreds of rounds would likely fall into the same category. As conservative Justice Antonin Scalia wrote, “the Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes, such as short-barreled shotguns.”
Also, as a gun owner, lets just put the cards on the table... not one of us keeps an assault weapon on the living room wall, or in our car, for that matter, loaded, let alone readily accessible. Many folks keep all firearms locked up or in a place that it would not be readily accessible if someone broke into our homes, So to say we need assault weapons is pure... balderdash.
As a gun owner, I believe we can preserve the 2nd amendment, but ALSO keep people safe. And it is our duty to do so.
We can't buy an M1Abrams tank, and battlefield small arms have no business in our homes either (yes, my husband and I differ on this matter); battlefield weapons, obscene amounts of ammunition, and massive magazines are not necessary in our homes (though, admittedly, they're a lot of fun to shoot, and larger magazines are preferable-who wants to reload constantly)- we MUST reflect on this now.
Stephen King stated in his book, "...pro-gun forces in this country...must accept responsibility, recognizing that responsibility is not culpability (I disagree, not acting makes us culpable.) They need to say, 'we support these measures not because the law demand we support them, but because it's the sensible thing.'"
I am personally disappointed with the EPSO for blindly trying to cater to the voters rather than taking a logical and responsible and sensible stand on this issue. Just because taking the responsible and sensible stand would be difficult, doesn't mean it isn't the right thing to do.
Rev. Renée Lynn Ten Eyck
published in the El Paso County and Fountain Valley News