Another shooting of innocent people by a mentally deranged youth seeking retribution for the way he perceived he’d been treated has brought emotionally charged demands for “sanity” in our gun laws. The father of one of the victims insists “not one more.” Of course, it’s an opportunity to play the “blame game.” The easy targets are the gun manufacturers and certainly the NRA. Why not blame the millions of our fellow Americans who exercise their constitutional rights by buying and possessing guns? But “blame” implies guilt, and they’re not guilty of anything.
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I understand the grief that violence brings. No one wants to lose a child or any loved one to violence. We are all diminished and we all mourn when that happens. Unfortunately, life does not give us a free pass. Evil and the evil-minded will always be around, somewhere, and for our safety we must always remain vigilant and able to defend ourselves. All living beings have a fundamental right to self-defense. The evil-minded will always have the means to do violence. The rest of us must be allowed to have the means to defend ourselves. Those who want to legislate to remove guns from our society need to reconsider their efforts. Senator Diane Feinstein comes to mind. “If I had my way I’d say ‘Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in.’” Fortunately, America is not Nazi Germany.
Legislators exploit the fear and ignorance of the public for their own political gain. At the present time a bill (SB53) is making its way through the California Legislature. This bill would require purchasers of ammunition to first register with the state Department of Justice. It requires fingerprinting, a background check and fees. This is a “police state” tactic. Any rational person would realize that this law would be totally ineffective. The result would be that shooters would 1) buy up all the available ammo before the law is in effect, 2) buy their ammo out of state or 3) buy ammo on the black market that would inevitably evolve. No criminal is going to submit to fingerprinting and a background check. The only effect of the law would be to penalize otherwise law-abiding citizens. Do you want to live in police state?
Gun control in the United States is a fool’s errand. It is estimated that there are almost 300 million firearms in private hands in this country. The number increases daily. There is simply no way to eliminate guns from American society. As a prominent local sheriff once said when speaking about this issue, “There is no way to squeeze the toothpaste back into the tube.”
Criminals will not relinquish their guns and otherwise law-abiding gun owners would be foolish to disarm themselves. Laws designed to disarm the public would make us all less safe. Of course, a society completely free of guns and violence would be like Utopia, a fantasy. Don’t live in a fantasy. This is the real world.
Don Lenney is a resident of Placerville.