- Posted July 26, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Gun ownership in America
Why do I Own a Firearm?
I understand people’s fear of rampant gun ownership. Personally I would have no problem with citizens passing a competency exam to own a weapon, as long as the test is standardized, and fair. Some would argue that a test denies Americans of their rights; however I would point out that no one claims taking a driver’s test strips us of our right to own a vehicle, unless we are proven unfit to operate one. Just as I wouldn’t want a person incapable of driving allowed on the road, I don’t want someone unable to accept a firearm’s responsibility waving one around.
Firearms come with heavy responsibilities, this is indisputable. When you purchase a firearm, or carry one, you are accepting responsibility for everything that occurs because of it (just like when you buy a car). Just ask Mr. Zimmerman in Florida about the consequences of carrying a firearm. I carry one because it gives me a tool to defend myself with. Does this mean at the first sign of trouble I draw it and threaten someone? Not at all, carrying that weapon means I must show a level of calm and restraint beyond what I would show without a firearm.
The idea that a citizen with a gun in the Aurora Colorado (Theater) could have prevented the massacre is also highly unlikely. I know a thing or two about firefights, Police and military operators train for years for a situation as chaotic and intense as a man shooting up a crowded theater as terrified civilians run around in a dark, smoke filled room. A civilian, scared, worried about friends or family, engaging an unknown assailant is more likely to harm another civilian in the crossfire. I am not arguing against the right to carry. In a small engagement, like getting jumped on the street or other similar scenarios having a gun can prevent a robbery, assault, or worse.
The events in Aurora are heartbreaking and tragic. They should cause everyone to examine their positions and views on firearms and their use. A well informed and educated populace is the best way to lower crime and injury from firearms, not more or less weapons on the street. As the fear and unease around them lessens, the stigma of firearms disappears. Proper control of firearms, just like vehicles, chemicals and other dangerous items results in a proper balance. It is the price of living in a free Republic, that we accept some risk in return for enhanced liberties.