After the Manchin-Toomey and democratic led gun control bill failed to pass the Senate last week, the liberals have gone into a free fall, grasping at any reason they can find to blame conservatives.
On Saturday, a few of my Twitter compatriots and I engaged in one of the most entertaining and frustrating debates over gun control that I have ever seen. Cheryl, the user that engaged me after a remark about the left linking the Boston bombing to gun control, proceeded to rage on anyone who opposed the failed legislation by accusing them of hating children and encouraging more death. For hours, we tried to reason with Cheryl by letting her know that we do not really want “massacred children”, as she proclaimed repeatedly, but that we wanted common sense solutions to gun violence. Cheryl was quite adamant that nothing we could say would excuse the bill’s ‘No’ votes that led to its demise, at least temporarily. See Cheryl’s Twitter account here and enjoy the debate if you dare to engage her.
Today, I was again questioned regarding my opposition to the gun bill and told that it was the NRA’s lack of support that caused the bill to get ‘shot down’. During this two-hour debate, I reasoned with Stanley, advising him that the NRA is an organization that advocates and lobbies congress, as do other interest groups such as PlannedParenthood. To blame the NRA for the failure of senators to come to an agreement on gun control is unfair. My argument to Stanley was that the NRA, regardless of their money or power, cannot, literally, control a senator’s vote and if a senator voted no for the gun control bill, they did it of their own accord and at the will of their constituents. The NRA cannot be blamed for the seeming lack of cojones of our government representatives to stand up for what they believe or what their state’s citizens desire. It could be that those senators received numerous communications from the people of their states that advised them they were not in support of the bill as it was presented. But, Stanley was convinced that the NRA was responsible for the voting tendencies of all in congress and had they not been so powerful, the bill would have passed, despite the recent polls showing the falling support and dislike of the President’s handling of the issue.
Regardless of the excuses given for the ‘No’ votes, the fact remains that, in spite of the claim that “92% want stricter gun laws”, most Americans did not agree with the presented bill for various reasons. Whether it was because it opened too many different interpretations as to how to enforce the new laws, made it harder for law-abiding citizens to exercise their constitutional right to own a firearm while not hindering the criminals, included personal pet-projects from certain lawmakers, or the view of many democrats’ that it didn’t do enough, it wasn’t what the country wanted.
I would like to point out to all gun control supporters that the majority of gun owners were not against that specific legislation because we hate kids, want to give anyone any gun, or help criminals commit crimes; we opposed it because it attempted to provide solutions to a widespread problem with our society and violent acts by placing more burdens on the law abiding and lawful gun owners with new and expansive laws. Many gun owners are not opposed to improving the background check system to include gun shows and online purchases and if that specific language had been used, alone, in a bill, it probably would have passed with broad bipartisan support. However, the bill that was presented created more questions about what law enforcement would be required to do in the enforcement of the new regulations and how the information stored after background checks could be used in the future, despite claims that no national registry was planned. We also see that nothing in the bill would have prevented the so often used Newtown elementary school shooting last year. It wouldn’t have prevented the Boston bombers from blowing up the finish line at the Boston Marathon or shooting the MIT police officer. As a veteran, the language in the bill that put at risk returning combat veterans and their rights to own weapons was also disturbing to me. I do not believe that the federal government has the right to label any returning veteran, struggling with events they endured in another country or reintegrating to family life at home as mentally ill and therefore ineligible to own a gun.
I ask those who think that gun owners, conservatives, or even liberals who disagreed with the senate’s proposal on gun control, want dead babies or love dead people: Why do we have to support that specific bill? What was so special about that bill that it is the only one that will ever make sense? Isn’t it possible that some other senator or representative could come up with a plan that addresses the real issues surrounding gun violence? Are Senators Manchin and Toomey the leading authorities on the solutions to the country’s gun problems? Why not Grassley, who put up his own amendment, or one of the democrats that voted against the Manchin-Toomey bill?
Through the increase in media exposure of all “breaking news”, our society now sees more and more of the violence that has been there all along. In fact, acts of gun violence have decreased per government reports. But, because the television and the internet have the ability to reach every American at any location at any time, we are exposed to the details of the evils that exist without delay.
We are still not addressing the root causes of any violence. Are we really to believe that the guns, sitting on store shelves, hanging on walls, or locked in gun safes, are the sole reason for the desire of some to kill many? I believe we should address the ignorance of our country in regards to mental health issues and the unwillingness to punish harshly for harsh crimes. Why are murderers getting less than life in prison? They took a life, why not take theirs; either through a life sentence or the death penalty? Why is being in possession of an illegal firearm carrying such a light sentence in most cases? What is the intent of those who illegally possess a gun? Most likely, to commit a crime. Prosecute them so harshly that anyone thinking about getting a gun illegally will decide that a 20-year sentence isn’t worth it.
But, sadly, we will continue to expand the laws to make it harder on the law-abiding while not affecting the lawbreakers, because they do not follow the law, by definition. While gun owners will probably be limited on clip and magazine sizes, treated like criminals at the gun counter until the background check says they are okay, and forced to pray that in the event of a home invasion or other life-threatening event that their aim is accurate because they only have 7 or 10 rounds to fire, the criminals will stock up on ammunition, assault rifles, handguns, large capacity magazines; all the while, smiling at the idiots that made being a criminal that much easier. Breaking into a home will be much more appealing if they know the owner doesn’t have as much firepower as they do.
So, you guys keep telling us how much we love to hear of mass shootings with massacred kids and could have stopped the Boston bombers if only we had voted for gun control. We will move forward, searching for the real reasons for all violence and the real common sense solutions to reducing and hopefully eliminating most acts of violence, period. We will analyze each piece of legislation for its effectiveness, the ability to misinterpret its goal, and the drivers behind it before we support it. We won’t use some victims of a tragic event to guilt people into supporting our causes while ignoring the victims of that same or similar crimes that don’t agree with us because it isn’t convenient to let them speak.