The Gun Control Debate: It’s Not About Common Sense…It’s About Indifference
Today I had an “ah-hah!” moment in the gun control debate. I’ve finally understood that there are two different kinds of people in this world – those who know about guns, and those who don’t. This moment came when discussing the topic with a co-worker. She said “I’m not for gun control….I believe everyone should be able to defend themselves. But something has to be done about those machine guns and things that can fire 27 bullets in 20 seconds or some such….nobody needs that for hunting.” I was disheartened by her response because I knew she was a hand gun owner. I tried to appeal to her sense of logic and reason by pointing out all the obvious facts. I pointed out that we had an Assault Weapons Ban for 10 years that neither reduced violent crime while it was extant, nor did violent crime increase after it expired. I pointed out that the Sandy Hook shooter had to re-load his weapons several times, and that having a 10 round magazine or a 30 round magazine would not have in all likelihood made any difference whatsoever. I also pointed out that the 2nd Amendment wasn’t about hunting or sport shooting…it was about ensuring liberty by preventing tyranny. My well-thought, well-reasoned, and oft-practiced responses to the typical pro gun control arguments fell completely flat with my co-worker. “You’ll never convince me anyone needs any of those assault weapons any more than I’ll convince you they don’t” was her ultimate response.
Like I said, I was more than a little disappointed that I had apparently failed. But it was clear to me that appeals to logic and reason weren’t going to be of interest to her – by her own admission, her mind was made up. With her, it wasn’t about logic, reason, or common sense. It was about indifference – she really doesn’t have or even see a need for a gun, so she really doesn’t see a need for others to have them as well. “But wait a minute John…you said she was a gun owner!” Yes she is. But I’ve never once heard he mention that she shoots her firearm. In fact, I don’t know that she’s ever fired it. How she came by this weapon, I don’t quite recall….I think she said she used to date a cop, and he encouraged her to get one, or might have even given it to her. And because of that fact she owns a gun, she’s ignorant enough to think she’s not for gun control. But would she be all that disappointed if Diane Feinstein and Joe Biden showed up on her doorstep and asked for her hand gun? I doubt it.
In truth, SHE’S the person whom I think needs regulating. The irresponsible gun owner. The gun owner who doesn’t treat the responsibility of owning a firearm seriously enough to actually learn how to use their firearm. A person who doesn’t appreciate the right and freedom to bear arms enough to actually practice using their firearm. The sad, frightening part is, she’s not alone. How many “gun owners” do you know that don’t truly understand and exercise their 2nd Amendment rights? Eddie who inherited a shotgun from his grandfather that’s hanging over his fireplace, or Suzzie who’s parents bought her a revolver she’s never fired. How many Concealed Carry Permit holders do you know that ever go to a range to practice or even carry a firearm? It’s these people whose indifference about firearms makes them nearly as great of a danger to themselves and others as is an Adam Lanza or a James Holmes. They’re indifference about their firearms fuels an ignorance which get themselves and anyone around them killed if they did have to use their firearms….and they have no problem restricting or banning the firearms of those of us who do actually have a chance of making a difference when the worst happens. If you’re not going to allow me to have the tools I need that can help stop an Adam Lanza or a James Holmes, you might as well be taking the guns right out of my hands and placing it in theirs.
Are you beginning to see the problem here? Opponents of further gun control are not only fighting against leftist liberals who want to take a bottle of white out to the 2nd Amendment, we’re also battling against other gun owners who are so indifferent about guns, they actually agree with the proponents of more gun control legislation. I USED to think I was up against liberals who were so ignorant about guns, they don’t know that banning clips is different than banning magazines, and don’t know the difference between a fully-automatic “assault weapon” and a semi-automatic “sporting rifle.” But now I realize I’m also up against gun owners who are so ignorant they think that placing restrictions on magazine capacities and banning “assault weapons” isn’t gun control! If you know enough about guns (the kind of knowledge which really only comes from practical application) to know that an AR-15 can actually be a very effective weapon for civilian home defense, you probably don’t understand why anyone would want or even need one. How does one battle against such indifference? Such ignorance? Can those who oppose increased gun control legislation possibly prevail when don’t even have a coalition of support among those who own guns? That my dear readers, is what keeps me up at night.
John B. Holbrook, II
John B. Holbrook, II is a freelance writer, photographer, and author of ThruMyLens.org, as well as LuxuryTyme.com and TheSeamasterReferencePage.com. *All text and images contained in this web site are the original work of the author, John B. Holbrook, II and are copyright protected. Use of any of the information or images without the permission of the author is prohibited.