11:00 AM EST, January 13, 2013
The current gun control debate is being controlled by politicians and the media, both of which have self-serving agendas that have nothing to do with the merits of this most important constitutional right as it relates to our freedoms.
We all want the same outcomes. We all want to go about our daily lives enjoying life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The fact that the recurring gun control debate draws such a passionate response is evidence enough that one side is not being allowed to be heard.
When one continually hears that there are 300 million guns in America, and that the National Rifle Association, with a membership of roughly 5 million people, is speaking for everyone, something just doesn't wash.
I believe reasonable Americans accept that there should be restrictions on certain kinds of weapons for obvious reasons, and laws for them have been on the books for years. So what is the new variable in today's culture of violence and unacceptable behavior: A new tool or something else?
Most people believe we could take away all the tools of destruction and American society would still have a violence problem. We need to look elsewhere.
The core of the gun control debate is where to draw the line between what is allowed and what is not, while at the same time being ever vigilant against sliding down the slippery slope into tyranny. History clearly teaches this with respect to gun control, and it is self-evident as to why the Second Amendment is part of our Bill of Rights.
Two critical truths that get lost in the gun control debate are the fact that evil exists and that people respond to evil differently. Some take flight while others stay to fight (sometimes against their will). It's how we're all wired.
For one group to deny the other this instinctive survival response is not an acceptable option for most. And the gun is the great equalizer: Ask any woman.
At the core of the gun control debate is responsibility. Either we are a people who take responsibility for our actions or we abdicate this responsibility to the government.
Most people understand there a price to be paid for this responsibility. But the price is far higher when it is abdicated to the government.
As has been observed, "those who give up freedom for safety will in the end lose both." For the common good, allow both sides of the gun control debate to be heard with respect. An informed choice will promote compliance.
Dan Ells, Lothian
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