Monday, January 7, 2013

The Looming Battle Over Gun Control

Mrs. Zipp and I are building our retirement home in rural West Virginia. Close enough to Morgantown and Pittsburgh to enjoy the advantages of big city life;  far enough away not to have to worry about the neighbors ...much less what they think.  It is a little slice of "Almost Heaven."

One concern, though: police protection.  If someone were to show up on our doorstep and demand money ...or worse ...we would not be able to rely on a sufficiently fast response from the local gendarmes. So we decided to buy ourselves some insurance:  a couple of semi-automatic handguns (one bullet discharged for every pull of the trigger) and later, another semi-automatic and a revolver. We also obtained his-and-her concealed carry permits. Neither of us actually carries a weapon, concealed or otherwise.  We just wanted the training and experience.

Then came the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, followed by a drum beat for gun control ...louder and louder, faster and faster.  So we bought a 12-gauge shotgun ...while we still could.  (The shotgun is to scare off the bears that frequent the local environs; it might scare off bad guys, too.)

Gun control advocates seem to believe that everyone obeys the law and that when Congress slaps restrictions or bans on gun ownership, everyone immediately will comply.  More realistic people understand that law-abiding people might go along  ...but that scoff-laws will not.  Net result?  See the illustration above.  The bad guys will have the guns.  The good guys will not.  Who would that help?  Would you feel safer?

And what about the kids in your local elementary school. Would they be safer in a world in which the bad guys have guns and the good guys don't?

I am in favor of stricter record checks, to reduce the chances that a criminal or someone with poor mental health legally can buy a gun.

I am in favor of harsher penalties for anyone who commits a crime with a gun.

I am in favor of armed police officers in public schools. Many West Virginia schools have prevention resource officers, or PROs. Why not all of them?

I am not in favor of government-imposed limits or restrictions on the kinds of guns law-abiding citizens may own. Any government-imposed limit or restriction would fly in the face of the intent of the Second Amendment.

The purpose of the Second Amendment is to give citizens the means to protect themselves, not from each other or from foreign invaders, but from a tyrannical government.  How could any limit or restriction on gun ownership, imposed by the very government against which the Second Amendment offers its protection, be anything but unconstitutional?

And yet:

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