LEAD LETTER OF THE WEEK

How to deal with nation’s guns

December 23, 2012 

I hope those kids and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary will not have suffered this in vain. There is no doubt some changes that have to be made and they are long overdue for a moral society, if that is what we wish to call ourselves. We can solve this issue with the same kind of dedication it took to, for all intents and purposes, create a fire-free environment in modern school buildings. It was done simply by designing systems and construction with as much fire safety in mind as possible, as well as fire suppression systems. It was mandated. It has worked wonderfully. It is not cheap.

How many of us would be willing to take the “gun free zone” signs and paste them around our house and take the locks off our doors just because we do not want to even imagine someone bad enough to want to harm us or persuade us into something by threat of force? I think we can start there. The “no guns allowed” signs just ain’t working. We moan and beat our chests about how we do not want our most precious resource in “an armed camp,” that it is just unthinkable! So as a result we see the unthinkable happening over and over.

It has never been about the equipment, but the ones who handle it. I know a few folks that have guns who I wish did not, and others who would suffer too much liberal angst from the thought of becoming trained with a concealed weapon permit as much as I wish they would. I would love to see both those problems fixed, but it is unlikely to spill enough blood to to change either one.

I will endorse an equipment ban, but it is foolish to do it over cosmetics rather than relative firepower. My granddaddy’s six shot K-frame S&W revolver, an antique, is capable of firing six rounds, reloading, and firing six more in 2.99 seconds, the world record. Four rounds per second. Any magazine-fed rifle or pistol can be reloaded in under a second with some practice. If you want to watch someone shoot a side-by-side shotgun, reload, two more, reload, watch a cowboy action shooting match to dispel your thoughts that those weapons are significantly less deadly than that scary black military style rifle. At least those style rifles that so many monsters choose to use will jam on occasion. The old six shot revolvers and break open shotguns are quite a bit more reliable in that way. I don’t want any of them pointed my way.

There are so many guns out there, confiscation would be harder than walking an alligator on a leash. People will bury them if they have to, and maybe a goodly 75 percent of them are old enough or have been passed through enough hands that there will be no paper trail, so where would you start? More guns in the hands of more people is no more the answer than less guns in the hands of fewer people. We need to start controlling who has them better than we do, even though I will be the first to say that there is no greater human right than the right to defend your family, and I don’t need the Second Amendment to tell me that. It is one of those “self-evident” things.

The gun show loophole needs to close. If you want to own a weapon, you gotta show proficiency in mechanics and safety for all guns. Just like a driver’s license. Only drawback is I know plenty of people with drivers’ licenses who, well, you know.

If you are a hunter, the guns you expect to use must be registered as part of the hunting license application, and you better be using those properly listed weapons if you are checked. Same with the concealed weapon permit. Both these steps will help reduce the trade in stolen guns.

If you want a gun free zone, make sure it is a gun free zone. They have had no problems, yet, doing it at our courthouse with a metal detector. If it is good enough for lawyers and accused criminals …

There are no perfect solutions, and everyone is going to have to take a bite out of this bitter apple and consider some things we may not like, if only to say, “We will try this just so it does not look like we are doing the same thing over and over expecting different results.”

The writer lives in Pawleys Island.

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