Editorial: Gun Control for 2013

ACROSS-MG-DESKThis will be a good year to have behind us, so I wanted to drag out this dead horse and beat it a little — consider it my New Year’s gift to our readers, feel free to agree or disagree as you individually see fit.

I first received formal firearms training with a handgun when I was 18-years-old. I previously owned a shotgun and rifle, and, for the record, I owned a b-b gun when I was about 15-years-old. I have a Florida concealed weapons permit (W-license), and, as a licensed private investigator, I also maintained a statewide firearms permit (G-license) in order to be armed on paid assignments.

When I hear politicians and special interest groups clamoring for “gun control”, I flashback to my first firearms instructor, Sgt. Wayne K. Tanner, who also believed in gun control — he called it “sight alignment” and “trigger squeeze”.

Also, let it be known that I am a Republican; and, I agree with my party’s constitutionally supported position regarding the right of the people to keep and bear arms. Does that mean “everybody” should have a gun? No.

I don’t believe criminals should have weapons of any type. I don’t believe that alcoholics, drug abusers, the mentally ill or infirm should be armed. Most importantly, perhaps, is my strong-held opinion that no one should carry a firearm of any type on which they have not be properly and regularly trained and re-trained.

The Second Amendment to our Constitution, contained in the Bill of Rights, gives guidance and prohibits any future government from depriving a citizen this essential right without due process of law; yet in the face of enormous tragedy, the time when many people are emotionally unsettled and most vulnerable, opponents seize the opportunity to advance their mission to rid the world of guns.

I can best describe it as a contest between theory and reality. In theory, if no one had the means to arm themselves with a firearm, illegal use of weapons in the commission of crimes would be abolished. In reality, criminals will never surrender their weapons and will obtain them on the black market, if necessary.

All too often I find that we forget our history; which is the best instruction we have to predict and plan for our future. The first amendment gives us liberty and freedoms, such as freedom of speech, of the press, and of assembly as well as the right to petition the government for grievances.

The second amendment gives us the means to enforce the first.

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