If the number of bullets in your gun safe is greater than your IQ, you may not want to read this
By Ginger Costen
Since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, last month I’ve struggled with what is the best answer to gun control in America. It wasn’t until I was watching the Alaskan Troopers on television Monday night that I was finally able to put those feelings into words.
So let me start by saying that if the number of bullets you have in your gun safe is greater than your IQ, you’re probably not going to like this editorial. Furthermore, if you think owning an assault rifle is what our founding fathers had in mind when they gave us the right to bear arms, you probably won’t want to read any further. I’ll even venture to say that if you think adding a marksmanship class to the required professional development courses for our teachers is a good idea, please let me know if you ever decide to run for the Webster School Committee because I want to be your opponent.
I think we can all agree that the shooting was a horrible and senseless tragedy that should never have happened. But if every teacher in the Sandy Hook school had a loaded hand gun that morning could the shooting have been prevented? No. Would it have stopped 20 year-old Adam Lanza from shooting through the locked doors of the school and killing 26 innocent people? Not unless there were armed teachers at every door prepared to shoot first and ask questions later.
We have trained professional law enforcement officers and military personnel that practice shooting their firearms on a monthly basis, and we still have innocent people accidently killed from friendly fire. Can you imagine what would have happened in the halls and classrooms if the teachers, custodians, office staff and principal were all shooting?
Giving everyone a loaded gun isn’t going to make us safer, it’s just going to help us all die sooner.
Do I believe in the right to bear arms? Yes! But I don’t believe that assault or semi-automatic weapons nor large magazines have any reason to be included in that thought process. Guns are meant to be used for hunting or for protection. Unless you’re hunting in a herd of stampeding wild buffalo, you don’t need that many rounds of ammunition. And, if you need an assault rifle for protection then you’d better be in the middle of a war zone or armed conflict.
I’m all for having a hobby and many of you see me engaging in one of my favorites all summer long as we plant flowers in the Veteran’s monuments. I also like to shoot guns and have even owned a hand gun or two in my lifetime. I’ve traveled all over this country during times of crisis and have been in a few places that I seriously wouldn’t have wanted my children or grandchildren to have been by my side. But not once would having had an assault or semi automatic rifle made any difference in the outcome of the moment.
And speaking of children… I owned a daycare center with 55 children for 17 years. I’ve seen my share of children with emotional problems. I can’t think of one, including my own son, who would have gotten any benefit from learning how to shoot an assault rifle. The last thing a rational adult and or parent would want to do is to give an emotionally volatile child a weapon that could kill anyone or anything.
We, as a country, have gone too far in protecting human rights. We’ve protected the questionable few by giving away the safety of the rational masses.
Maybe if all the money that the National Rifle Association has spent on lobbying against gun control would have been spent on providing mental health treatment for the hundreds of people turned away because of budget cuts, maybe families in Colorado and Connecticut would’ve had a much different Christmas.
What was I watching on television? An episode of Alaska State Troopers as they loaded their assault weapons and prepared to take a known felon with mental health issues and more guns than Sparky’s Gun Shop here in Webster, into custody for assault with a deadly weapon and burglary.