Sunday, February 28, 2010

One Liberal's View of Guns

I'm a liberal. I support liberal candidates and ideals. I think this nation (and this world) are far better off because of the influence of liberals.

That does not mean, however, that I blindly support all liberal causes. Because I don't. Specifically, I do not support the excessive restrictions on private gun ownership. Yes, I agree that there is a need for appropriate checks and balances. For example, I don't think a felon convicted of weapons-related charges should ever be able to own a gun again. And I believe that people considered mentally unstable should not be able to own firearms, either.

But those people are exceptions. When it comes to Mister and Missus America, I believe that we all have the right to own weapons. And we should have the right to carry those weapons on our persons in a safe manner.

The big arguments right now are about people bringing weapons into national parks and onto college campuses. Arguments are being made that allowing these weapons will put everyone present in danger. Respectfully, I say bullshit. The only people who obey these gun bans are law-abiding citizens, the very people who should be allowed to carry a weapon. The people that disregard the laws banning weapons are the same criminals already carrying illegal weapons.

If I'm camping in a remote area of Yosemite, and someone who means to do me harm approaches my campsite with a gun, it isn't going to be enough for me to say "stop, you aren't allowed to have that gun in here." And there isn't going to be a ranger or other law enforcement agent close enough to help me. It's going to be me against the bad guy. And quite candidly, I would prefer to be armed in that situation. Likewise for a campus scenario. A crazy person determined to kill fellow students will not care one bit about the law that forbids concealed carry on campus. They will bring their gun, anyway, and they will use it to murder as many people as they can. Personally, if I am on campus and a bad guy begins shooting, I would rather have my own handgun to take him out.

Look, it's not some street vigilante scenario run amok. It's just that no matter what the law says about weapons, the bad guys are going to continue to buy, sell and trade them. They are also going to continue to use them in the commission of crimes against the rest of us. As a law-abiding citizen, I feel I should be able to have a chance to defend myself against such attacks. And, let us not forget, the Second Amendment specifically gives me that right.

Yes, I'm a liberal. But I'm also a gun owner. And I should not have my right to own and carry a weapon infringed upon because others cannot distinguish between criminal and legal weapon related activity.