As one who I feel has at least a cursory knowledge of both sides of the gun control issue, I offer my humble opinion of the situation and the seemingly implacable positions that have been taken up by each.
In the first place, I will not deal with the fringe elements of either camp here, as I feel that it is unproductive and you cannot reason with anybody who doesn’t have the ability to see at least a modicum of both sides of an argument, but just to the – hopefully – reasonable folks who really want to address the unreasonable amount of gun violence that brutalizes our nation.
Okay, a few words to those of you who approach this many-sided conundrum from a pie in the sky, idealistic direction.
If you were able to confiscate everything that fires a projectile short of an air rifle, you will, BY NO MEANS, do away with violence in America, because the violent will always find a way to do violence with whatever weapon at hand.
For instance, there have been almost forty-thousand knife attacks in the UK and Wales the first six months of 2018, and for a nation that has not allowed private gun ownership in many years, there were 2,544 cases of gun crime in London from April 2016-April 2017, according to BBC. And there have been almost twenty-five hundred gun crimes in London in this year alone.
I know everybody has heard the old phrase, “when you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.” I know, I know, it’s been overused and misused, but stop and consider it for a moment.
Is there anybody foolish enough to think that, even if all law-abiding citizens would honestly and voluntarily turn over every firearm they own that the violent gangs, street thugs, psychopaths and anti-American political fanatics would surrender theirs?
Can you disarm the Mexican drug cartels, organized crime or ferret out the groups of insurrectionists like the ones David Koresh led to their deaths in Waco Texas a few years ago?
I also understand and sympathize with the apprehensions of the honest gun owners in America who keep guns for sport and protection and who fervently and rightfully believe that their rights to do so are protected by the Second Amendment of the Constitution.
But the Second Amendment goes a step farther than just sport shooting and personal protection. It was amended to the Constitution by men who had just stood up to and defeated a foreign and oppressive country who tried to annex America, make it a vassal nation to the British crown, to conceive and enforce our laws, and take away our individual rights and sovereignty.
So, the Second Amendment intends for American citizens to be able to defend themselves from oppression, terrorism and invasion.
It was said that a famous Japanese Admiral was asked, after the destruction of our Pacific Naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, why Japan would not land troops on the West Coast of America and invade?
His answer, “Because there would be a rifle behind every blade of grass.”
With the laxity of our immigration policies and the porous conditions of our southern border, there is a near certainty there are sleeper cells of Islamic terrorists in our country, and should they decide to take it to the streets, if all guns were confiscated, what would we fend them off with, water pistols?
The other side of the coin, and the reticence of legal gun owners to even discuss anything that smacks of gun control is simple, distrust of government and their “give ‘em an inch and they’ll take a mile” overkill, and the fact that most of them know about as much about guns as a hog knows about an airplane.
So, how do these two seemingly intransigent groups ever even have a civilized conversation about our gun problems?
First of all, “gun control” is a misnomer, because in reality, it’s not the gun, but the person holding it that has to be controlled. And that involves opening a very complicated, convoluted and controversial can of creepy crawly things, involving civil rights and a large gaggle of ACLU lawyers.
In my opinion, the first thing that needs to be done is for the two sides to find some common ground, which is a foregone conclusion because what everybody wants is to keep guns out of the hands of people who would use them to hurt and kill innocent people.
Actually, the big problem is a series of smaller problems, and it should be dealt with individually.
Basically, a lot of the problems could be solved by enforcing laws that already exist.
Unscrupulous and illegal gun dealers need to be dealt with, and that’s a good starting place, to put sharper teeth in current laws, shut these people down and get them off the street.
Eliminate the ability of “straw buyers” who buy guns and pass them along illegally, as is the case in the Obama-Holder “Fast and Furious” debacle.
Harden security at our schools by whatever measures it takes to keep children safe, and if this requires armed personnel and metal detectors, so be it.
I know I have just scraped the tip of a very large iceberg here, but at least it gives us something to think about.
As a lifetime member of the NRA, and a legal gun owner all my adult life, I believe that all reasonable interested parties would be glad to see a civilized and reasonable dialogue started on this most pressing issue.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops our police and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.