I saw The Daily Beast asking its readers why they owned guns and thought I would pose the same question here. So here goes, come make your case: Why do you own a gun? The dialogue on gun control has reached high intensity levels since Friday’s school massacre in Newtown, Conn.
As the nation tries to cope with the unfathomable savagery of it all, the subject of what gun critics call America’s culture of violence and our attitudes in dealing with it has resurfaced.
Every time there is mass murder by a maniacal male with semi-automatic rifles, the gun conversation gets jump-started, only to die out once the memories of the bloody victims fade. We return to business as usual, with gun shows across states and manufacturers and importers, churning out weapons to the general public.
But this time the air feels different. Maybe it’s because 20 children ages 6 and 7, along with school faculty and teachers, are now dead—gunned down like rabid animals on a hunt by one lone 20-year-old crazed gunman carrying three high-powered killing machines in his hands.
The National Rifle Association (NRA), has been eerily silent since the murders, until Tuesday, when they released a short statement blaming their silence "on respect for the families." The juggernaut gun association now vow to make "meaningful contributions" to put an end to mass shootings and had even temporarily closed its Facebook page as the clamor for additional anti-gun laws grows louder. Gun lobbyists are extremely powerful and efficient at what they do, spending a reported $17 million in 2012 federal elections alone. This way, they have been able to not only control the conversation on gun restriction but effectively muzzle our legislators in Washington.
Until now. After ignoring the problem during his first term, despite having to comfort victim’s families after three mass shootings, President Obama vowed, during his speech at Sunday’s vigil for Sandy Hook victims, to fight for change.
"In the coming weeks, I'll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens, from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators in an effort to prevent more tragedies like this," said Obama. But does this change include change to the Second Amendment? Does it include dealing with our manufacturing of assault weapons for ordinary citizens?
I’ve heard some right-wing crazy explanations for the Sandy Hook Elementary slaughter. Arguments from some, like former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association, and pundits over at Fox and Friends and –other gun enthusiast and staunch defenders of the Second Amendment.
One surprising conservative voice of reason came from MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, who said this following the Newtown tragedy, “I am a conservative Republican who received the NRA’a highest ratings over four terms in Congress. I come to you this morning with a heavy heart and no easy answers. Still I have spent the last few days grasping for solutions and struggling for answers—while daring to question my own long-held beliefs on these subjects.”
“I knew that day that the ideologies of my past career were no longer relevant to the future that I want, that I demand for my children,” added Scarborough. “Friday changed everything. It must change everything.”
The argument that guns are for our protection was blown to smithereens when killer Adam Lanza’s mother, who owned the guns, could not protect herself from her murdering son. In fact, instead of being able to use the guns to protect herself, they were used to kill her and others.
Interestingly, instead of gun sales dropping after this shocking school shootings, they have reportedly increased as gun enthusiasts rush to stockpile their arsenal, fearing restrictive legislation coming.
Are you one of those hitting gun shops and shows? What’s your argument for owning a gun?