Real Talk on Gun Control.

Guns are scary.

Maybe not just lying about (however, even then, they are kinda spooky-ish), but in the hands of unsavory individuals who aim to make them do their evil bidding, they are capable of seriously inflicting badness.  A can of whoop ass is WAY more frightening when inside of that can is a gun.

These feelings aside, I am a firm believer in the edict, guns don’t kill people, people kill people.  I grew up in a house filled with guns where I was taught to respect them, understand them, and not even think about touching them unless my father was with me at the range.  He enjoys collecting them and would possibly utilize one in the event of a home invasion, but that situation has never occurred.  Thankfully.

They were all purchased legally.  He has a permit to carry them, both on his person and concealed.  And, both he and my mother are trained by a professional gun shooting trainer person to use the guns both safely and effectively.  Oh, and neither of them are crazy.  So, there’s that.

Personally, I am not a gun owner.  I’m not against the owning of guns, I just have never found an extra $300 bucks lying about to spend on acquiring one.  Or, I did and instead, I bought shoes.

Priorities.

Like keeping my kids safe.

A number of recent incidents have served as catalysts to get our lawmakers to seriously scrutinize the current gun laws and consider how they can be written better and enforced more effectively.

As the federal government debates how to go forward without getting all Constitutional, some states are taking matters into their own hands.  Maryland, where I live whether I like it or not is one of those states.  And, after having a sit down with Governor O’Malley recently, here’s the break-it-on-down-version of Maryland’s gun control initiative.

Real Talk on Gun Control: Let Maryland Be Your Guide

maryland gun control initiative

What exactly is the Comprehensive Public Safety Legislative Package?

It’s “an agenda to improve public safety and protect Maryland families that focuses on three principal areas: gun safety, school safety, and improving mental health safeguards and services.”

Okay, gun safety.  How will this package prevent bad people from doing bad things?

Already the things the state of Maryland is doing to combat crime is working.  One of the state’s strategic goals was to reduce violent crime by 20% by the end of 2012.  Um, done, thank you very much.  The proposed package includes a ban on all assault weapons, limitations on magazine capacity from 20 rounds to 10, stronger licensing requirements on handgun purchases and restrictions on possession of guns and ammunition.

But, I’m a hunter.  I want to hunt!

Word.  The state hears you and they are not seeking to take away the sport of hunting or the deliciousness of deer jerky (that’s a tasty treat you shouldn’t have to live without).  Hunters can rest assured that the proposed package doesn’t include shotguns and rifles into the licensing requirements of the bill.  The aim is huge, mass kill weapons that can take out an entire herd of humans deer at once.  No one needs to kill a herd of deer at once.  Where’s the fun in that?

Well, I’ve never hunted a day in my life, but the Constitution says that it’s my right to bare arms, and dangit I’m gonna bare them!  They can’t take that away from me, can they?

Nope!  So long as you are a law abiding citizen (criminals can’t own guns, okay, you just can’t) who is willing to follow the rules (be a certain age and agree to training, fingerprinting, and a more comprehensive background check) you’ll still be able to buy a handgun.  Maryland calls these “common-sense” gun safety proposals that will not infringe on the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens.  Bare away, Marylanders.  Bare, away.

How does this help keep crazy people from buying guns, or criminals from getting them illegally?

The proposed bill makes it really hard for a mentally unstable person to acquire a gun through any sort of legal challenge.  And, while everyone knows that people who really, really want to break the law are going to go to great lengths to do so, we also know that having laws in place to make it more difficult to be bad work (at least in terms of reducing gun trafficking within a state).

Why do certain groups and people oppose these type of gun regulations?

Partly because they feel that it makes it easy to destroy the 2nd Amendment; a slippery slope to losing the right to bear arms.  Like, if we agree to give this up, it’ll be easier to get us to give up the next thing, and the next thing, until it just makes sense to give up some things entirely.

Also, there’s some of that whole anti-big-government thing going on too.  Some people just don’t like “The Man” getting all up in their grills to micromanage how they roll, especially if they’re not rolling dirty.  Think of it like the government is your mom and dad and you’re a really well behaved teenager.  If outta nowhere, your parents get all paranoid and start following you when you go out with your friends, and imposing a bunch of lame rules on your life just because some of your classmates act like jerks, you’d hate that.

Finally, many argue that these kinds of laws don’t get to the root of the problem: people dying from guns and guns being wielded by mentally ill people.  Handguns are most often to blame for human deaths and the laws don’t regulate those.  Just like having stronger gun laws don’t help mentally ill people get the help they need or prevent them from acquiring a gun illegally.

What are your thoughts on gun control and such?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments

  1. I think that comparing it to a driver license isn’t quite right. Driving is a privilege- not a right given to us by the constitution. But the bottom line is having some group determining what they think is a reasonable thing for us to have is a very slippery slope. What if some other group decided that they didn’t understand why you “needed” an iPhone. They don’t understand it but it comes down to how much we want others to control us. Taking the guns away or making it really hard on those doing it right isn’t going to stop the illegal trafficking- or our own government from purposely giving them to the cartels to “see where they end up” for that matter (hello- fast & furious). More people were killed with hammers (nearly 400) in the past year than were killed with assault weapons (less than 300). Are they going to ban hammers? I like what someone else said above- making it harder to get them just makes the people wanting to cause chaos more creative. For me this has more to do with the government deciding what’s best for me & sticking their nose into my life more than the actual guns themselves. What’s next? They already try to tell us what to eat, the way we should raise our kids, it’s just becoming too much.

    • Agreed, it is different. I think it is the same in that driving, if left unregulated, can be dangerous. Guns, if left unregulated, can be dangerous. Personally, I don’t know that banning assault rifles is the right answer. I don’t know what the right answer is. But, I do agree that who is allowed to buy a gun should be regulated (it is already, felons can’t legally purchase guns and everyone seems fine with that). And, I’m also of the belief that just because it was deemed a good right for people to have or not have hundreds of years ago courtesy of the Constitution doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good fit now. Slavery wasn’t originally abolished by the Constitution, fortunately they decided to go ahead and add that later. And, at one time, I couldn’t go out and have a nice mixed drink with friends thanks to the workings of the Constitution. Thankfully I can do that now! I think that it’s okay to reinterpret the Constitution of 200 years or so if need be. Although I don’t think that’s necessary now. I think it’s more about people just doing a better job of following the law. Maybe like with prescription drugs. You can have them, you just need to be approved first. Of course some people are still going to buy them illegally, but regular patients don’t complain about having to get a prescription to get their Xanax. I just don’t understand really why people would complain about having to take an extra day and form to get their gun permit (one of the complaints here is that people don’t want to have to fill out more paperw0rk).

  2. How does this help keep crazy people from buying guns, or criminals from getting them illegally?

    Please define crazy because I’m bipolar……..
    Also, people who are not “crazy” kill people because they’re assholes.

    • I think I’d define crazy as it pertains to gun ownership as someone who isn’t getting treatment for whatever form of mental illness they may be suffering from that leads them to behave irrationally and.or violently. And, yep, as I mentioned when I started this post, bad people kill people because they’re bad (or mad, or whatever). I think mental illness comes up because people with a mental illness can be helped; are worth helping, whereas assholes, not so much. This post isn’t expressing my personal opinion on the matter and I honestly don’t know how gun control is going to help or if it even will. This is just explaining the proposed law and why people are for it and/or against it. Personally, I don’t know what should be done. I just know that something probably will be. People are reactionary like that.

  3. Thank you for tacking a difficult subject so thoughtfully. I also appreciate the comments left, it really helps to have different perspectives on a matter with so many layers.

    Ps–shoes trump a gun purchase any day!

  4. I think it is time for responsible gun owners to acknowledge that part of being responsible is making it harder for criminals and mentally unstable people to have access to guns. If that means stiffer restrictions and longer background checks, I’m all for it. I also think there needs to be stiffer penalties assessed when someone that isn’t supposed to have a gun (criminals!) to make it less desirable for them to have one.

    • I agree with the post and with Jennifer’s response. Part of responsibility is jumping through some extra hoops if it means making it more difficult for those who should not have weapons. I am curious about the logistics of how to identify the mentally ill. I too suffer from depression and anxiety and wonder how restrictions would handle someone like me (though I personally would not want a gun). I think part of being in a civilized society might also require someone like me to give up certain things like owning a weapon if we as a society deem I could be at high risk. But I know that also isn’t a popular perspective. I’ve written several posts lately about gun violence and my thoughts on it. It’s been on my mind a lot.

      • Logistics seems to be one of the largest challenges. It’s so hard to regulate something like this so that it’s done fairly. But, like Arnebya mentioned, they figured out driving pretty well (although I have some beef with who they give licenses to these days!), and we may have to work a little harder to figure out guns too.

  5. Jessica Reader says:

    Much like the above reply, my ideas, opinions, feelings views about guns and the control of said guns is too vast and complicated to discuss in a simple blog reply. However, I do have something to say about “mentally unstable” individuals acquiring guns. While I don’t like the idea of a sociopath walking into Academy and purchasing a firearm for the purpose of murdering people, I also don’t like the idea that my right to privacy could be violated. If somehow a person’s medical/psychiatric records could become a matter of public record when that person decides to buy a handgun, why does it stop at that gun dealer? Does that mean that an employer, neighbor, friend or foe could get that info eventually?

    Limitting access to crazy people will not stop crazy people. It will require them to become more creative crazy people. I am mentally ill (depression, anxiety, and occassional agoraphobia) and I own guns. I will never hurt your children.

    If you have a mentally unstable person in your life, lock up your firearms, hide your ammunition, and keep your eye out for changes in that person. If you have a child in your house, please lock up your firearms and as soon as your child is old enough maybe you could teach that child responsible gun handling/ownership.

    Please don’t think that viloating my or your right to privacy will solve anything.

    • I haven’t expressed my opinion on this matter as of yet because it’s still forming. I think that gun ownership probably needs to be better regulated, but I don’t have an idea about how to do that. As the law makers continue to come up with suggestions I will continue to evaluate how I feel about them, but I don’t think anyone has the right answer yet, probably all just best guesses.

  6. I repect how you feel, how your parents raised you, that you can talk intelligently about such a hot-button topic and that you’d spend $300 on shoes. Shoes rule!

  7. My thoughts on gun control are too vast to list here and be coherent at the same time. At its base, I think reform needs to happen for the acquiring of a gun or multiple guns, regardless of the reason. Someone somewhere gave the example of our having to renew driver’s licenses and the like (although in DC now even that isn’t annual). I just think that it should be, not necessarily difficult, but…what’s the word? I don’t know, just, more? More to the process? More often reaffirming that one is still able to have the gun? I don’t want to make it so intolerable that responsible gun owners get fed up at the process, but then I think: if it saves one life, why would you care that you have to show more paperwork?

    And then I think about the little girl killed a week or so ago because she thought a pink gun was a toy. Much like we market to kids with toys and food, this needs to stop (sure, as adults we know the pink gun was just cute but to a child, pink means kid means toy.) Overall, I just want the damn killing to stop. Every day…EVERY DAY there is a new, more depressing story about gun violence (and yes, I do get that these are usually illegal guns, handguns, not those typically used in mass murders.) It’s just…it’s too much to think I (or any politician) has all the right answers.

    • I like the driver’s license analogy. Lots of things are regulated well and maybe gun ownership should be too.