By Erin Drushel
Not all American gun-owners are Yosemite Sam. There is a significant body, which believes in responsible gun-ownership with universal background checks. And then there are those who spuriously use the second amendment as a security blanket.
As part of the gun control discourse, American astronaut Mark Kelly – husband of Gabrielle Giffords, the former US Representative who was a victim of gun violence herself – set out to make a political point about how easy it is to obtain assault weapons.
So, he purchased the weapon of his choice and was in the process of waiting for the required 20 days and background checks when a funny thing happened… the gun store owner cancelled the order.
The store manager explained the reason for cancelling the transaction was because Kelly’s intent for purchasing the weapon was not for personal use. Kelly had previously stated that upon receipt he would turn the gun over to the authorities…he made it clear that this was a pro-gun control political stunt.
So let me get this straight…
It appears we have a store owner who is acting to protect his second amendment rights from allegedly being attacked. While doing so, he not only denies those same rights to another person but also (arguably) their first amendment rights of freedom of speech.
Doesn’t this situation just highlight – and even add to – the reasons greater gun control is needed?
Of course, in the business world you get to choose with whom you do business. But when you start picking and choosing who gets guns and who doesn’t, doesn’t that establish a dangerous and alarming precedent? Choosing to deny a weapons purchase because you disagree with a person’s politics…Excuse me, but isn’t that how anti-government militias get started? You can think that an overstatement if you want, but if the pro-gun lobby insists on using “slippery slope” as a reasonable argument against greater gun control, what are the other possible conclusions?
Productive discussion and action are what is needed. The only way to get to the point of reasonable discussion is to get the extreme rhetoric out of the way and then get down to the business of bridging the divide between the pro-gun and anti-gun lobbies.
And if the pro-gun lobby is more interested in crying “second amendment” than engaging in a productive discussion then, fine…they can have their second amendment and all of the single-shot muzzle-loading flintlocks they want because that’s the extent of what was available at the time the amendment was written.
Bottom-line: America has a gun culture.
You’re not going to fix the problem by taking all guns away – it would be nice if it were that simple, but it’s not. Doing nothing is also not an option. Greater gun control is needed but the sad reality is, no matter how many controls there are in place; violence will always find a way. People who are determined to destroy will find a way to do it. All we can do is make it harder for them to achieve their goals and not become those violent people ourselves along the way.
– Erin Drushel