Constitutionally Right

The only way to predict the future is to create it.

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Location: Yardley, PA (Bucks County), United States

Monday, February 25, 2013

The Gun Control Response - Bucks County Courier Times January 21, 2013

     The recent tragedy in Newtown, CT is overwhelming enough, but somehow made slightly more disheartening by the immediacy of the political response.  In a way, though, that response typifies where the answers that we all seek may be found.
     One side blames guns, another video games and yet another the moral fabric of our society.  All are wrong (since none gives anyone the right to be violent), but the efforts of some to debate and find the real answer are noble and necessary.   Many questions arise from tragedy, yet few have the courage to be honest.  So we pursue the easy path by immediately blaming those who didn’t do it.  We set out to implement policies that force the law-abiding to accommodate to the expected behavior of the sociopath. 
     It gets worse since these same policies assume that criminals are rational, but we’re just presenting more laws for criminals to ignore.  We miss the mark entirely by instituting no change whatsoever at best and, at worse, creating a thriving black market that further empowers predatory confidence against those who are actually following these new laws. 
     But gun control invariably ends up being more about politics anyway.  Just look at all the pork that’ll be associated with future proposals that will have nothing to do with guns.  The political opportunity on the back of victims is malfeasance at its worst, but it keeps happening and we remain blind and uninformed.
     Let’s consider a real solution by first trying to identify the cause of tragedy.  Most, if not all, of the horrific violence at schools have two things in common - the use of psychotropic drugs and an occurrence in gun-free-safe-zones.  Suppressing behavior in one area may tend to create an equal and opposite reaction in another.   How, then, do we really treat kids under duress and what caused these conditions in the first place?  And gun-free “safe-zones” are a magnet to the deranged where victims are at the mercy of police response time. 
     Mental health treatment is an entire discussion in and of itself, but what of our $2 trillion annual health care expense where pennies on the dollar even go to caring about health?  Running a physician’s office is mired in red tape as it takes valuable resources away from patients.  Morphing that into a medical center creates a bureaucratic fortress nearly impenetrable by those in need.  What message does it send when we continually allow politics to supersede the patient?
     We can look at almost every arena of our culture with similar conditions.  Like “political correctness”, for example, where we oppress the majority for the irrational whims of a few.  We suppress open thought in one area creating a condition worse than the original that didn’t even exist in the first place.
     “Tolerance” is another (that implies that there’s something inferior that needs to be tolerated).  What message are we sending when we make “tolerating” a part of our culture?  We can even add abortion which is the central theme of the politics of many.  Are we sending yet another message that devalues life thereby creating a dangerous tipping point for some?  Maybe a non-legislated Culture of Life is what we need now more than anything.
     So we continue to pursue more gun control aimed at those who haven’t done anything wrong.  These laws proclaim the moral content of one’s actions to be irrelevant sending a message that character isn’t all that important, that understanding the difference between right and wrong doesn’t matter and that it’s more important to follow orders than to act responsibly.
     Most of us, though, acknowledge our pro-gun status as long as someone else (usually of a government authority) is holding the gun for us.  We recognize the need for defense, but feel that a government official possesses a moral judgment superior to that of the citizen.  Gun control, then, rejects the character of citizens while embracing the urges of government - exactly what our Constitution is in place to guard against (no part of which allows anyone to misuse firearms or to hurt others).
     And therein lay the answer - to honor the character of citizens.  We forget history, embrace defenselessness and go to great lengths to force others to behave as dangerously.  The law-abiding gun owner is among the most disciplined, responsible, considerate and non-aggressive among us.  We cannot control crime by controlling the law-abiding, but must start by being honest with ourselves in what we’ve created.   We must restore our policy in all areas to one of an uncompromising trust and respect of the common citizen. 
     I have my thoughts on specifics, but it’s too early for that.  There’s too much politics going on, but maybe one day we can put our contrived differences aside in exchange for the unintended consequences of honesty.  It may be our only hope.

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