Gun control laws offer false promise


As the owner of three legal, registered handguns I consider myself an average gun owner. But that doesn’t make me a gun fanatic. The weapons were purchased for my protection and the protection of my family, even though I live in a relatively safe suburban enclave.

However, it is my opinion that President Barack Obama’s proposed federal gun restrictions are a hyper-emotional response to the recent violence. They pander to our worst fear of some maniac igniting a catastrophic event on an unsuspecting public. More than that, they defy logic.

I don’t have a gun fetish. I’m not a collector of weapons. I have no mental or criminal history so I was able to obtain a concealed pistol license (CPL), which allows me to carry a firearm. Even though I feel that’s not necessary most of the time, I do carry on occasion.

On some of the broad gun issues, I have mixed feelings. Although Michigan gun laws permit it, for example, I don’t think it’s smart to “open carry.” There would be no advantage if a potential robber was stalking you.

Secondly, it would undoubtedly draw more than a cursory interest of law enforcement. But I respect that people who “open carry” do so within the law.

I am a peacetime military veteran who received an “expert” ranking on the gun range. I have fired pistols, rifles, high caliber machine guns and automatic rifles. Owning a military-looking semi-automatic rifle doesn’t appeal to me. Most people who have fired a weapon understand its tremendous killing power and the consequences from pulling the trigger. So I am sensitive to the mass murders of Sandy Hook schoolchildren and the theater shooting in Aurora. The terror, the pain and suffering of the survivors and their families are easy to imagine.

But while repulsive, nothing President Obama has proposed would have spared the victims of these shootings. His attempt to reinstate a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines make for good theater and sharp debate. But what’s offered as a solution completely misses the mark. A few sociopaths may buy the firearms in question from unlicensed dealers, but the vast majority of all gun sales in the United States are purchased at licensed stores. And most owners of such weapons are not mass serial killers.

The unintended consequences of weapon-control requirements could actually trigger a reduction in registrations and increase guns purchased via the underground market. They would not affect the criminal use of guns, or the ability of the criminally insane to get their hands on a weapon of their choice. Neither would they have an effect on urban terrorists who operate on the streets of inner-cities where homicide levels take a casualty toll that is comparable to a sizable war. In fact, the odds that a young person will be killed in an urban neighborhood on any given day are greater than in a war zone in some foreign country.

Although torn apart by a culture of random and out of control violence, I don’t see a broad inner-city constituency ready to lay down their weapons and rally to support the president’s initiative. That’s because not all guns are in the possession of the law abiding, and there aren’t enough cops to protect citizens. So disarmament for even high-crime areas like Detroit is out of the question.

Gun control laws provide a false promise of preventing mass murders typically engaged by people with deep-seated psychological problems. Because legislation can’t prevent catastrophes that result from such disorders, I must conclude that hidden in the president’s agenda is the intent to begin the process of completely disarming America. That’s not an outcome the average gun owner in a free society will ever accept.

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