By Mary “Dynk” McDonald
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- I read with great interest the former Marine and firearms instructor’s editorial summary of a need for “solid intelligence sharing and common sense regulation” and his appeal for “Common Sense Gun Control” ( http://tiny.cc/sd37fx ) .
That sentence carries a great deal of truth, yet I differ with his conclusion.
His example of the eleven year old child who was shot by his uncle by accident is the prime example of where I believe this plan for ‘gun control’ should begin.
Gun control always starts at the top – in your HEAD. Knowledge is the greatest asset we can obtain, yet these accidents will occur when we fall short on using our brains and common sense. And there lies the hypocrisy of the gun control lobby. There is a push to teach sex education at an incredibly young age, advancing an agenda based on their natural curiosity of human nature. Yet we deny them the same education on other areas involving their personal safety, neglecting to prioritize the need to address their natural inquisitiveness.
Ask any parent and they will tell you, the quickest way to get a child to try something is to tell them to leave it alone as they are too young to understand.
If we are to teach sex education as young as the first grade, then balance it out with other life skills. Like gun safety. Despite being portrayed as an evil entity, the NRA has developed a very good program in the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program.
With four simple rules, children pre-K thru third grade learn:
- Don’t Touch.
- Leave the Area.
- Tell an Adult.
There are brochures that can be sent home for further reinforcement, yet educators seem to feel parents are not equipped to discuss this matter with their child. Accidents happen because adults are uneducated on gun safety, forgetting or not understanding the four basic rules. Rules that an uncle broke when he shot his nephew “on accident.”
- All guns are always loaded (to assume anything less is asking for trouble.)
- Never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
- Know your target and what is beyond it.
So, back to the issue of regulations – instead of advocating for stricter policies regarding ownership and gun sales, why not advocate for more gun safety education?
Regular classes that begin with Eddie Eagle in kindergarten and first grade, then follow up with youth training on gun safety in fourth, seventh, and tenth grades. In fact, a one hour class once a week could be devoted to teaching life skills, like how to boil water, cook an egg and toast, and wash clothes for a fourth grader. Teach a seventh grader basic finances and household repairs. Teach a tenth grader how to write a check, open a bank account, interview for a job as well as how to be a productive employee.
Why demonize and limit an object that is being used occasionally in a reckless manner? Just as we require education on traffic laws and safety to drive a car, we should require education to prevent these firearm accidents. Adult education could be focused on requiring a one-time, one hour gun safety class prior to the purchase of a firearm. When it comes to polls and statistics, that one requirement is something the majority of legal gun owners will endorse, remedying a downfall of modern education over the past thirty or more years.
As for legislation, extend that same need for adult education to the programs the government controls, requiring a class in gun safety, cooking, childcare, and personal finances for anyone accepting government assistance. This may sound discriminatory or presumptive, but it is the children of those on government assistance who are most often cited as being the perpetrators of “gun violence.”
Therefore, shouldn’t the taxpayer have the right to require their funds be distributed to those who have been educated in protecting the child through safe measures in the home?
To require a license and insurance to own a gun is only advantageous to the government entity collecting the fees as well as the corporations providing the insurance. It would also be deemed an infringement on the right to keep and bear arms, a violation of the Second Amendment. The number of uninsured vehicles and unlicensed drivers in this country is roughly equivalent to the number of individuals who carry a firearm illegally. We do not prohibit legally licensed individuals from driving their legally insured vehicles, and we should not further hinder the responsible gun owners from exercising their legal right to purchase and own a firearm. To be more precise, the number of firearms in this country has risen steadily while the number of firearms related incidents has declined. And just as we don’t deny individuals the right to drive a car or live in a high rise, despite those who have committed suicide or are victims of accidents in relation to those actions, we cannot deny individuals the right to self protection based on the reckless activities of those who may do harm to themselves or others with a firearm.
The proposal to require background checks and mental health evaluations for all firearms owners is a backdoor approach to total gun control, total gun confiscation. A simple admission of owning a firearm for personal protection could be deemed an admission of paranoia by a deranged individual, thereby requiring all firearms in the home to be confiscated. This requirement can never be allowed to be instituted as it is, at its core, an infringement of the gun owner’s rights. The idea of limiting the right to own based on “one slip up or a simple misunderstanding and an itchy trigger finger” gets to the heart of education. Reckless disregard of gun safety would require a two hour responsible gun owner re-education class, not total gun control of an entire populace.
As for the idea of limiting the number and types of firearms an individual can own, that is step one to total government control of the individual’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
This is a nation, a society, of collectors. It is in our nature to want to own something newer or better than what we have, or to have items to be used for different instances, different occasions. Start with guns and then advance to what? Cars? Fishing equipment? Jewelry? Shoes? Little black dresses? The list is endless. Who has the right to determine how much of any one item an individual needs to own?
A conversation on “common sense gun control” will never happen as long as education is removed from the equation. When you start there, common ground will be found.
About Mary “Dynk” McDonald
Mary “Dynk” McDonald is the author of “Concealed” and the “Heartstrings Legacy” series of books. At this time, Concealed is the only novel about women's concealed carry. A Girls, God, and Guns story, it is the embodiment of the strength of the Second Amendment. Concealed is available in paperback as well as in ebook formats for Kindle and Kobo readers. Heartstrings Legacy — Choices Made is available on Kindle. The next book in the series is in edit.