The use of guns in mass shootings is a hot topic. Unfortunately, many of us have lost our perspective and have become confused, associating things that don’t belong together. To help explain, let’s look at gun ownership.
Let’s start with hunters. They own shotguns (and also hunting rifles). They use them for hunting. This group is likely to have learned a lot about gun safety and often take the ownership of their guns very seriously. Their guns are rarely involved in any activity involving purposeful injury to other humans. This group is the SECOND MOST likely to secure their guns at home.
Then there are target shooters. Here we find a mix of shotguns, rifles, and pistols. Most of these guns are purpose-made for targeting shooting. This group has a very high degree of safety-training. This group is the MOST likely to secure their guns at home.
There are also those who own firearms for protection. This group primarily owns pistols and has a lower percentage of people with safety-training although its still quite common. This group is likely to secure their guns at home.
Finally we have the people who think they need heavy-duty weapons to protect themselves from something (even though that something never appears) OR they have a need to feel the POWER of such a gun in their hands. Their guns of choice are assault rifles and other guns specifically designed to kill people. This group is the LEAST likely to have any safety training or secure their guns at home.
WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE? They aren’t you or me. I know a LOT of people with guns but none of them have or want an assault weapon.
WHOEVER THEY ARE, here is an example of three things we COULD DO to help address the threat.
1) Stop allowing guns designed for killing people to be sold, except to qualified military collectors
2) Stop allowing people to acquire guns who have DEMONSTRATED one or more behaviors likely to place them (and us) at risk
3) Require passing of a national safety course for all new gun owners.
I’m certain these three things won’t fix everything, but I do believe the vast majority of gun owners in this country would agree with my perspective and I am CERTAIN many of us have miss-aligned ourselves on the issue. Gun violence will not stop unless we stop it. The group of people likely to engage in gun violence is very small, and we have to cut them off.
This is not about abusing the 2nd amendment, it is about stopping the gun violence that has reached epidemic proportions in the US. Instead of making it into a fight is is NOT, we should all rally around a practical solution.
As a side note, while you will find gun violence in some of my books, my stories remain faithful to my beliefs. When my characters use weapons on other people, they are either defending their lives or they are acting on evil intent…