A great human truth
Last week I, like some of you, read a Guest View describing the message that “guns don’t kill” as a great American lie. After reading the piece, it seemed to me that there are two major problems with demonizing assault rifles, or any guns in the United States.
Let’s say that we have now banned all assault rifles in the United States. Yet, somehow, crime rates have not fallen at all. We then realize that assault rifles actually constituted fewer deaths per capita in the United States than people’s bare fists and feet*.
So we ban all handguns, hunting rifles, knives of a certain length, baseball bats and clubs. Of course, cars kill more than all the above-mentioned put together, but that’s all right because they weren’t designed to kill.
So that should about do it, right? If we ban all instruments designed to kill, all homicides will go away.
Not so. All we have accomplished now is that people are now killing each other in more unique ways. Ways that we have yet to think of. Why? Because if anyone looks at any point in history, they will see people killing people.
Now, this is not to say that all hope is lost, and we should just give up and hand out fully automatic weapons at birth. However, if we truly want to stop all the bloodshed we must look at what is causing people to kill.
Since this has been in question since our existence, I understand why it is more appeasing to just put a band-aid on the problem and call it good. But we all know that this will not stop anyone who really wants to hurt another person.
The other issue with making any firearm illegal is the misconception that this will magically make them disappear. As we all know, drugs are still an ever-present reality, in every single state in the United States.
Unlike drugs, however, there is a real reason for law-abiding citizens to have firearms. When those who would seek to harm you or your loved ones are using a gun, words will rarely be enough to protect you.
In order to protect our citizens we need to have more people, both guards and civilians, armed in areas where mass killings can occur. We already have armed guards at the airport and in government buildings. Why not have armed guards at schools and malls?
While the idea of armed guards at our schools seems like a preposterous idea; so did the thought of school shootings up until some years ago.
Even though you will not hear about it on the news, all over the country are good Samaritans who make the difficult decision to end a life in order to save many others.
The only way to truly stop gun violence would be to un-invent the firearm. Since this is not possible, all we can do is restrict its sale to those without criminal backgrounds and those without a history of mental illness, like we do today.
We need to make sure that those who own firearms are trained in their usage and safety. To avoid accidental deaths more citizens who own guns need to ensure that they are locked away from children and young adults.
Contrary to popular belief, there is a responsible way for a person to own and use a gun. This means that regardless of the tool it is people we need to watch out for, not the instruments they use.
(* HYPERLINK "http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-20" www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/tables/table-20)
Dan Murphy is the son of retired Mukilteo Chief of Police Mike Murphy. He resides in Lake Stevens.