Saturday, June 27, 2009

Guns in Church, Indeed!

In an article in The New York Times, someone is quoted as saying that guns are a tradition in our country's history and that in earlier times, everyone wore them to church. He is correct in saying that in our country's early history, in many churches, guns were necessary, sometimes because of fear of Indian attack or even outlaws. But I don't know that that they were ever in fear of other church members.

It is sad that anyone would want to uphold a “tradition” of wearing guns to church. In fact, if all firearms were forbidden in places of worship, we might actually be going forward toward becoming more civilized, as indeed many in the Old West hoped for. The idea is to have fewer guns, not more. It is too easy to discharge a gun; it is too accessible for young people to shoot in anger or children to grab in ignorance.

I agree with “Link” that all guns should be registered, and those who scream that they have a right to have a gun but don’t need to register it, seem to have no problem with the idea of having a driver’s license and registering their automobile.

I am astounded at the power of the NRA to convince this country for so many years to not require all gun owners to register their firearms. The sheer magnitude of the problem of firearms in the wrong hands in this country cannot even begin to be addressed without demanding that ALL firearms be registered and that no one be allowed to purchase a gun without a background check, including weapons bought at any gun show.

Background checks and gun registration should not hinder true sportsmen from pursuing their pastime, but it could very well deter a good number of felons and perhaps keep those with serious psychiatric problems from being able to acquire weapons.

No, it is not the perfect solution because there is no such thing. But that should not keep us from attempting to better the situation and start bringing the number of murders by firearms down. Guns are the easiest way to kill someone; without easy access, violence may well go down. To nothing? Never happened in history. But that doesn’t mean that things cannot get better.

No serious reasonable individual should object to either background checks or registration. That the NRA does so makes them appear unreasonable as far as I’m concerned. Uncaring and insensitive as well. Neither prerequisite hinders hunting. In fact, neither does banning assault weapons. Do you need one to shoot a deer or even a moose? Don’t think so. Those are weapons of war and don’t belong in the hands of anyone outside of soldiers and police officers.

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