Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Guns, God and The N.R.A.

Of all the things which bother me the most it is perhaps the lack of civility, good manners and just plain decency that really sticks in my craw. Add to that mix the fact that most of the people, who lack these qualities, own guns and you have a recipe for disaster.

Shortly after the debacle at Columbine, Moses, a/k/a Charlton Heston, the then President of the National Rifle Association, went to Colorado, a decidedly inconsiderate move given the distress and hurt with which that community was trying to fathom and deal with. He had the gall to insist that guns do not kill people, people do. Well, excuse me for being naive, but is it not the fact that the bullet is coming from the gun that kills the victim? I doubt seriously that I, or anyone for that matter, would be able to spit a bullet with enough velocity to do anyone serious harm. And yes, I do understand that it takes a human hand to pull the trigger, but what if that hand had nothing to wrap itself around. We would then be back to the bullet spitting technique, and, at best, that would be fodder for a reality TV show.

The city in which I live has just started a gun "Buy Back" initiative with. so far, limited success. I am sure it is too early to say it is going a long way towards ridding the streets of my fair city of fire power, but, I would hazard a guess that we have far more than just 35 guns (the number counted the first day) I am hoping it will swell and every gun in my city will be off the street. Too many young lives have been lost to the fire power which is far too easily obtained.

Many feel it is their God given right to own a firearm. I have often wondered why it is that that idea seems strongest, not in my area of the country, where the blood of the Sons of Liberty still runs thick and strong, but in the hinterlands of the country. Those areas where the belief is that God is a card carrying member of the N.R.A. and it is your Constitutional right to bear arms. Arguing that part of the Constitution is another whole essay.

For some reason it escapes a whole segment of the population that our right to have guns and carry them, has not made us the envy of the rest of the world. In fact we are one of the most violent countries in the world, with the highest murder rate, and just about the only industrialized nation which still has a death penalty. We also now, in many states, have a law which states that should you feel threatened, you, as the owner of a firearm, shoot first and ask (or not ask) questions later.

I hope that this Buy Back policy in my city is successful. I would like to believe that more and more people would come to see that we would be much better off without all this firepower about in the streets.