In the name of full disclosure: I, yes, the above person, am a gun owner. Multiple gun owner of both rifles and handguns-- no assault rifles. I had my first .22 at twelve-- which I had asked for as my Christmas present. I treated it with great care with a gun cleaning kit which I still have even though with the bullets of today cleaning guns doesn't happen with the regularity it did back then.
In our home right now there are loaded rifles and handguns. That only changes when the grandchildren come to visit and everything goes into a locked gun cabinet which is steel, bolted to the floor and has the kind of keys that if you lose yours, you have to send back to the company that made it to get another. Our home in Tucson also has a gun, ammunition, and a locked gun safe.
My first gun was gotten because I had seen our sheep torn apart by neighbor dogs who were coming up to chase and shred living animals. I wanted something to patrol our 80 acre farm and kill those dogs if I saw one in killing mode. I still have that .22 but prefer another one now that has more range. I have shot all my guns. I have shot them at living beings. I didn't want to kill coyotes, but I also didn't want more dead lambs and crying ewes.
When Oregon allowed for concealed weapon permits, Farm Boss and I were among the early applicants. I hear a lot of fear over these permits but haven't heard much about the crimes committed by someone who has one. In Oregon it required taking a class, fingerprints, photographs, references, no record of offenses, and approval by the state. We got ours to enable us to carry a handgun in the vehicle and have it loaded and hidden. We do sometimes have a gun with us when we travel. We never have one with us when grandchildren are part of the travel.
A handgun, a loaded one, is not far from my reach when I am on the computer. I would not think of using it-- unless someone broke into my home; and then if I didn't know I could use it, I wouldn't have it. That was one of the points of the class. A handgun is not a deterrent. It's not something to wave around and threaten. If it is pointed at someone, it should be only when fully prepared to pull the trigger. Otherwise it becomes a danger to the one carrying it.
My father taught me good gun safety. Like when walking with a rifle (or handgun) no fingers inside the trigger guard. Safety on. Never put a finger near a trigger unless ready to pull it. Do not fire at something when you don't know what's behind it. Don't fire at something when you don't know for sure what it is.
Guns are tools and like a chain saw or a tractor or many other tools, they are not to act macho or impress someone. For me, they are meant for protection from a predator. They are to kill an animal that is down and needs to be put out of its misery. Where I live, a lot of people hunt and they need that food. I know others enjoy them for target practice. The rules for gun safety should be part of all of that and the recklessness that I sometimes see where someone shoots up a highway sign infuriates me because it means that person didn't deserve having a gun.
I expect to keep my guns until the day I am dead, too senile or weak to use one. I do not feel any threat from the government to take them.
As a gun owner, I totally believe in the kind of gun regulations being proposed not only by the President but what was done in New York.
Reasonable regulations are NOT a threat to a legal, responsible gun owner and everybody who is one ought to speak out in support of effective gun regulations. When they don't, do they truly believe they are immune to being at a political rally and having someone start shooting, that they could not be in a movie theater when bullets are rapidly fired, or their children/grandchildren in school when someone comes in with a semi-assault rifle?
The argument that guns prevent crimes is as stupid as saying taking all guns will prevent it. There is a picture out there showing President Reagan right before he was shot. Guns were all around him. Did that stop the shooter? Nobody can take all the guns. They might get those from law abiding citizens but the ones most likely to commit a crime with a gun? Are they kidding!
At Tucson's political event, there was an armed citizen there. Because he was responsible, he wasn't sure who was the shooter and he waited, then he helped to subdue him rather than use the gun with the risk of shooting the wrong person.
In the Aurora movie theater, the shooter was wearing body armor (what's up with letting that be sold to ordinary people), so like where would the citizen with a gun shoot assuming in the chaos they could get a good shot.
In the school, really we want guns around kids when we could just make the doors impossible to break through? Seriously we want all janitors armed? Do they get checked now like I was for my concealed weapon permit? What about having panic buttons in the front offices that bring the police on a dime? There are a lot of things that could be done but having more guns in the school, around children, doesn't strike me as one of them
The extreme right is launching an attack on Obama and even his family. Frankly some of them seem to have gone over a legal line in their threats. Are they asking for attacks on this man or his family? You'd think Obama was Hitler and out to take away all freedoms. When you hear them rant or write, they sound ready to shoot anybody who disagrees with them-- which would include gun owners like me.
From the GOP, even elected leaders, I hear a lot of loose talk about the Bill of Rights and how Obama would take our rights. Excuse me but this is the same bunch who said nothing when Bush did exactly that with his Presidential assault on the Bill of Rights (as in the right to a trial for all citizens).
Real background checks, delayed purchases to give time for those, and a ban on extended magazines, semi-assault and assault rifles would be a good start. As a gun owner, I don't see this as a threat on my right to own guns. I see it as making it possibly safer the next time I go to a mall. I wouldn't stop with banning the sales of these war weapon. I'd make their ownership illegal after a year's time to do a buyback.
And the NRA, don't even get me started on them. They began many years ago to push assault rifles as a macho need for Americans. They offended Farm Boss at that time so much that he stopped being a member. Every responsible owner of guns should do likewise. What on earth is wrong with the NRA or their defenders? One thing I can say is they regard those who follow them as gullible and stupid.
Without a doubt, guns aren't enough. There has to be more done on mental health, but war weapons are a good start. I do not believe that responsible gun ownership means the right to help ordinary citizens stock up enough arms to attempt to attack Washington DC or stand up against the US military when they decide they didn't like the laws passed in a democracy. Supposedly we vote-- not shoot someone or blow up their buildings (thinking Oklahoma City now).
The Second Amendment to the Constitution says:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
First of all that refers to a well-regulated militia under the auspices of the government, doesn't it? It was done during a time when the Indian wars were still a part of everyday life and during the time where there were still wars against other countries. It relates to the security of the State which is anything but what I hear from the radical right. It also refers to well-regulated which means regulations are in order.
Wild talk won't help anything, but it will make more money for talk show hosts and those who have no other way to get dollars other than such causes. I even heard Ted Nugent suggesting the police should stand against any laws that he and his ilk don't like.
Listening to a right wing talk programs as they ranted about this, I heard a list of Oregon (and some other states) sheriffs who said they would disobey any executive orders. Isn't that asking for insurrection? We enforce the laws we like and not those we dislike? Likely this will all head for the Supreme Court and which way will they go?
Hopefully responsible gun owners will speak up and support reasonable restrictions before half the country gets so angry at the carnage that another Amendment to the Constitution is attempted-- one to ban all guns-- while the other half sets out to start a civil war. Listening to that talk program and the idiocy advocated there, I can see how this could turn very violent.
The support for owning assault rifles just amazes me. And why are they supported-- according to that host because they fire bullets and anything that does should be legal.
Recently two guys walked around downtown Portland with assault rifles swung over their shoulders to show they could. So how do citizens tell the difference between them and the guy who recently started shooting in the mall? My best guess is only after bullets are flying.
Every time I hear someone talk civil war or revolution so casually, I wonder if they ever pay attention to who leads a nation after such in other places-- the meanest, most brutal, charismatic dictator, that's who. Really, that sounds better than elected officials? Anyone who says yes is ignorant and shouldn't be owning any gun-- let alone a war weapon.