Freedom and Guns
By Trish Overby
In my previous article I talked about our gift of freedom, especially freedom of choice. Being a gift it should not be taken lightly or without being responsible for the consequences. Now I would like to bring up the possibility of this freedom of choice in relationship to guns and gun control.
I realize there are people who are using their guns in a responsible manner, i.e. keeping them secure and locked up when not in use. That is a choice they have made. Also, there are a very small percentage of gun owners who do not. (no statistics available on that). The private ownership of guns in the US far surpasses those in China (3.6 out of 100) and Russia (12.6 out of 100). We Americans like our guns because it is our right to have them, according to the Constitution.
The Washington Post did a survey about the percentage of gun owners in America. The survey first approached non-gun owners who said they thought 39% of the US population owned guns. When they asked gun owners, they estimated 45.5% gun ownership. Both of these estimates were high. It is more around 25% Americans who own one or more guns. With this small population, why is there so much fear that guns are taking over our society?
Our media is highlighting the fear when there are mass shootings, like Las Vegas and Parklands FL. The public are given statistics on how many of these shootings have happened over the past 10 years. It seems to be increasing -- therefore we think guns are increasing -- whether gained illegally or not.
As a result, a gun moratorium is called for from the public and the NRA members and gun enthusiasts fight back. The second amendment is quoted over and over by the gun lobby. But wouldn’t it be better to work together to find a solution to keeping guns out of the hands of people with problems? Or keep the number of guns one individual can own from escalating into an armoury?
Once we see that people are precious and that their lives matter, perhaps we can truly realize that some sacrifice is better than none. That goes for gun owners as well as for those who want all guns in private ownership taken away. The freedom of choice we have has been won by so much blood being spilt. The freedom we have comes with compromise so that all may live freely because we consider all men equal and worthy of freedom.