There’s no such thing as gun control in the U.S.

Opinion
By 
From The Editor’s Desk
Thursday, April 22, 2021
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On Sunday, my sister texted that there was a gunman loose near her Texas neighborhood. That’s too close a connection for me to ignore. Luckily, the man was arrested, but he had already killed three people. Does this have to happen in every neighborhood or to every family before something is done?

The most important function of government is to keep us safe. Yet, we allow bad guys to access guns with impunity. The answer always is, “criminals will get guns no matter what we do.”

But, how do we know that’s true? There has been no concerted effort made to keep guns out of their hands. The new laws implemented just make it easier for anyone to get a gun. And, the laws that are in place to protect people aren’t uniformly enforced, including background checks, waiting periods etc.

Most criminals probably don’t legally purchase guns. They steal them from pickup trucks, homes, stores and whereever they are unsecured.

If law-abiding gun owners were responsible, they would keep weapons under lock and key. But, there’s no law that directs them to do so. And, because most of us can’t tell the good guys from the bad, our government, if responsible, would restrict open carry instead of encouraging it.

If I go into a bar or a college classroom and see folks packing, as allowed under Montana law, I’m leaving. But, what of the people who work in those environments? Do they really feel safer knowing the guy drinking at a table in their establishment is carrying? How about the professor who may have angered a student with a grade they felt unfair? Even if he doesn’t own a gun, his roommate may leave his unsecured in their dorm.

The good guy with the gun is only a good guy with a gun until he isn’t. Many mass shootings have been carried out by men without criminal records. But, because they may have exhibited violent tendencies or had previous mental health issues, they should have been denied the privilege to own a gun (with the right to appeal) under red flag laws.

Americans kill themselves and others everyday with guns. Over 40,000 lives were ended with guns in 2020 in the United States. Compare that to most developed countries and we win. The prize: more death, more sadness.

What will it take for our leaders to take the threat seriously?

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