A gun-safety video by former policeman Mark Carman
When trying (usually unsuccessfully) to discuss gun safety with a fervent gun-rights advocate, that person will often use phrases like “banning all guns,” “taking guns away,” and “disarming law-abiding citizens.” But banning guns and taking them away from law-abiding citizens is not the goal of gun safety. Mark Carman’s video above plainly talks about some sensible suggestions for legally keeping firearms out of untrustworthy hands while respecting the arms-bearing rights of hunters and homeowners. Yes, there are a few people out there who support banning all civilians from owning any guns, but they are very much in the minority. For some gun-rights advocates to portray that minority position as the mainstream position is not an honest argument.
And given the spate of mass shootings in the U.S. — from Sandy Hook to Umpqua Community College and beyond — more needs to be done to prevent irresponsible people from obtaining firearms. We need to have a reasonable debate about how easy it is in this country for a mad malicious maniac to get their hands on high-powered guns. But we can’t have that debate if one side of the discussion misrepresents the other and turns any kind of gun-safety measure into an all-or-nothing issue.
There’s also a belief among some hardcore gun-rights advocates (I’m trying mightily not to use the phrase “gun nuts”) that the Second Amendment to the Constitution was written so that an armed citizenry could, if needed, overthrow a “tyrannical” U.S. government. Therefore, some say, the citizens need access to all forms of firearms in order to level the battlefield. That is an extreme position (who decides when the government becomes “tyrannical”?), and I question its adherents’ loyalty to the ideas of democracy and a truly representative government. If that extreme position is or becomes the primary voice of those opposing further gun legislation, I think this country’s in trouble.