We tend to over-react to terrible scenes such as those we witnessed this past week in the school shooting in Florida, and this time is little different. These scenes are always horrific, and always poignant since we cannot comprehend as adults that our kids can be placed in jeopardy so easily, and we certainly do not wish our family-member students or their friends to undergo such a terrible thing. Even those of us watching from half a country away felt those same things, but not all of us arrived at the same conclusion.
As that was unfolding, we also knew we were in for renewed demands for gun-free zones and the confiscation/banning of “AR-15s” and everything else that goes with the gun control hysteria. The ownership of what are usually called AR-15s stands at some 15 MILLION pieces. The idea that this weapon is going to go away is farcical unless the police forces and our armed forces in this country are mobilized and mount a campaign across this country to collect, forcibly if necessary, every one of these types of weapons.
That is simply not about to occur; however, if it did occur that would be forever seen as the action that took our freedom away from each of us. There are those who would nonetheless go ahead with such a forced collection of these firearms because they believe these weapons are bad in and of themselves. These people do not own guns, do not understand those who do and have no concern about the very obvious repercussions that would follow such an action. Their simple mantra is “Guns Are Bad” and that is more than sufficient to carry them to the conclusion that all guns need to be confiscated.
We then find ourselves back at the supposed beginning of this endless loop. This situation was significantly exacerbated by another ugly fact. First, we were told that one police officer failed to enter the building and instead hid behind a vehicle as the shooting continued. We now hear that there were several officers of the law on the scene that failed to follow their training: Go To The Gunfire. They will be dealt with as they ought to be dealt with; one has reportedly already been terminated from his position and the stigma will remain for him or her the rest of this life.
The vast majority of the men and women in Blue is dedicated to doing whatever is required of them in these situations. They train and they typically respond as they were trained. Where that broke down in this situation will certainly be determined and necessary corrections will be made. The leaders of those departments will see to that, and should that not occur, the citizenry will demand changes.
Back to the “AR-15″s. There are reportedly some 15 million such weapons owned by private citizens all across this country today. Since there are so many in the hands of people, it is very near an impossibility that these weapons would be subjected to confiscation even if authorities somehow determined they had the right to do so…and that would be a huge stretch given our Constitution. This is a rifle rather than a handgun. Approximately 2% of all gun homicides each year are due to rifles. 65% are caused by the use of handguns.
All this notwithstanding, the furor arising from these kinds of incidents will not help in assuring the rights of gun owners. Amendments have been made to the Constitution and this could be one of the areas that will see that kind of public sentiment reaching the proportions necessary to cause those wheels to turn more rapidly. Our right to keep and bear arms is only as sacrosanct as the Constitution makes them. Even then we have to judiciously follow the goings on in Washington, D.C. to be sure this will continue to be the case. We must be involved.
We see again where our votes make a significant difference even when we don’t necessarily recognize that to be the case. This is potentially one of the classic conservatives vs. liberals national debates. It certainly will enter into coming elections as candidates make their views known.
As a conservative, I believe the right to keep and bear arms is as important today as yesterday, if not even more important. I know we conservatives are going to be beat up verbally as this debate again takes center stage in America. We need to hold our ground. We need to make sure that our officers of the law do not shirk their duties as apparently happened to at least one, and maybe more, in this most recent case. I am certain of that in my locality, but as the boundaries are spread out further from my seat today, I lose the ability to know for sure where each department stands on such issues. This issue, as most issues, starts at the local level and you and I can and do have influence at that level.
We exercise our rights to vote and we vote for people we know to be conservative in their beliefs. We trust them to remain as they were the day before we sent them to their positions. This kind of issue begins at home no matter how big or small “at home” is for each of us. This begins where we raise our children and where they are educated as they rise to adulthood. This is an individual issue, a village issue, a city issue, a county issue and a state issue for each and every reader of this blog today.
We are the people who make the laws, and we are the people who can change the laws. This is a vivid example of the importance of the decisions you and I make at the lowest level, in the family unit, and at all later levels through our votes; all the way to the Office of the President of the United States of America where conservative jurists are named as candidates to the U.S. Supreme Court but who must be approved by our Congress. Every level on the climb up that ladder is an important level for we can fall down on our jobs anywhere along that path.
We mourn this loss of innocent life. We recognize the need for well-trained and determined officers of the law at all levels. We recognize that conservative principles will only be in force if we vote to keep our conservative politicians and judges in place and functioning effectively. And we understand that we are likely in the minority so our votes have to be made properly and regularly, and we have to defend those we’ve sent to a higher position as they work to do our bidding.