Thoughts by Richard Bleil
Fair warning. Today’s blog is inspired by my frustration. This is for me to vent; I invite you to play along.
I am a responsible and legal gun owner. I have a .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, and frankly, I’m in the market for what I consider to be a novelty gun, a .50 caliber magnum handgun. To buy the .45, I was required to get a permit to buy a gun, and a license for the specific gun that I bought. This involved a background check, and my gun is now registered with the police. And that’s okay. I also have applied for a concealed handgun permit (CHP). This permit will cut the requirement to get a permit and license, so if I find my .50 I can buy it on the spot, but to get the CHP, I was required to go through a gun safety course, and yet another background check. And that’s okay, too.
That makes me a legal gun owner. What makes me a responsible gun owner is how I handle the guns. I keep the guns at home, secured, and unloaded. I’ve thought carefully about whether or not I wanted to actually carry a concealed (or open carry) handgun and decided that I will not. The reality is that it’s just not my style, but the CHP allows for easier purchase of new handguns (even though I only want one more). Recently I blogged about my experience in firing an assault rifle, but I have no intention of purchasing one. The reality is that I don’t hunt, but if I did, I certainly wouldn’t buy an assault rifle. They’re just too hard to control. It’s ridiculous.
For the past week or so, it seems like public shootings are more common than nuts in a pistachio bag. I’m so tired of turning on the news and hearing of yet another shooting. And every time I hear of yet another public random shooting, I have a dialog in my head. I’m certain that if this doesn’t apply to every single one of these dinks, that at least a majority of them are a holier-than-thou gun rights jerk afraid that “they” are going to take away their first amendment rights. But the reality is that every gun restriction put in place, every requirement to buy a gun, and every right chiseled away is the fault of these idiots.
I know a lot of people are like blaming “liberals”, or Democrats or Biden, but look at the number of shootings we’ve had recently. Look at the number of people killed. Look at the statistics with the weapons used, and if you look at it objectively, there is no doubt what kind of common sense laws need to be passed.
People are screaming these scare stories about how guns are going to be taken away, but let’s imagine, just for the sake of arguments, that handguns and assault rifles are made illegal. What police force would be dumb enough to try to enforce such a law? But every time there’s another shooting, in a school, church, movie theater, store, or anywhere in public where innocent people are killed it is followed by calls for gun law reform and rightly so. Reagan tried it with the Brady bill, a bill that was ultimately decimated and chipped away by Republicans that followed with memories shorter than their, well, let’s just say short memories.
It’s no different from the Affordable Care Act. Presidents at least since Roosevelt harped on the insurance problem and promised in their campaigns to do something about it, but because it was a Democratic president who actually came through on the promise, suddenly the pro-insurance reform Republicans complained. Now, a Democratic president is in office and seems to be moving towards clearly much-needed gun law reforms. These reforms will be cheered by most Democrats, liberals and especially by those who have had senseless losses in one of these stupid shootings and jeered by a select few who call themselves “patriots”, but it won’t be because of Biden that these changes will go into effect (assuming they do pass). It will be because those who should have been acting simply refused to.
I won’t even point out Republicans here because these changes should have been bi-partisan, so the fault is truly all elected officials who refused to act. It will be the fault of the National Rifle Association (NRA) who made it their stand to oppose any kind of gun reform, including very reasonable ones, rather than supporting the reasonable reforms or taking the lead and suggesting common sense reforms themselves. As a legal and responsible gun owner, I truly hope that the days of inaction are over. I support any and all reasonable gun law reforms, and at the same time hope we will see reforms to law enforcement to counter stupid actions like two officers pulling guns on soldiers in gas stations for no good reason. Wouldn’t it be a marvelous country if we could keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them, and the hands of cops off of people because of the color of their skin?
Well, I can dream, can’t I?