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Davis Journal

It’s time to talk about guns and rights – again!

Jun 09, 2022 10:26AM ● By Bryan Gray

Try not to raise your blood pressure…but we need to have a chat about guns and rights and the slaughter of innocent adults and children. OK, take the blood pressure pill now.

I am not against guns or gun ownership.  Part of the reason is that I’ve never fired one.  Never had to – even in graduating from high school ROTC training.  Generally, I don’t try to make rules for things that I do not participate in.  My legislating on guns (which I know little about) makes as much sense as Utah legislators who don’t drink alcohol passing laws on the sales of pinot noir.

But they do, of course. So much for that argument.  However, I also have stayed away from the gun debate since I acknowledge that the vast majority of gun owners use their weapons responsibly.  Shooting a pheasant is different from shooting up a grocery store, and I hate to see law-abiding gun owners being deprived of their sport by the mental illness and hatred of a few idiots.  Additionally, I admit the death-by-gun statistics are skewed since of the 45,000 gun deaths in 2020 more than half were cases of suicide, not the killing of strangers, ex-spouses, or third-graders.

And, of course, there is the Second Amendment in the Constitution.  But courts have not ruled that gun ownership is unlimited; try buying a bazooka in Utah County, and even your proud conservative Republican friends might be nervous.

But my silence on gun issues is reaching a breaking point, and polls show I’m in the majority.  Of course, the celebrities are already speaking. In sports, for instance, Warrior coach Steve Kerr called the lack of gun limits “pathetic,” Dodger manager Dave Roberts called Congress “irresponsible,” and the San Francisco Giants manager refused to appear for the national anthem in protest of gun killings.

But this has little to do with celebrity endorsements. More of us commoners are admitting “Something needs to be done!” And it’s not putting more guns in the hands of more Americans.  As one wag said, “Trying to solve gun killings by producing more guns is like solving drunk driving by opening more liquor stores.”

Just this year 77 people have been wounded and 27 killed – and that’s just in school shootings.  Last year, Americans saw the highest number of shootings in 52 years.  Last year American manufacturers produced 11 million new weapons, triple the number of 20 years ago. In one year, we have seen 53 “active fire” incidents.  And the most common response is “thoughts and prayers,” while the National Rifle Association suggests that this is just the price of doing business.

Look beyond the statistics.  Ten people were killed last month in a Buffalo, New York supermarket by an 18-year-old who hated non-white people.  This was in his Second Amendment bag: a Savage Axis XP hunting rifle which he received as a Christmas gift when he was 16 (good job parents!), a Mossberg 500 shotgun, and a Bushmaster XM-15 semi-automatic rifle which he modified to allow for more savagery – all this for a kid who posted in high school that his post-graduate ambition was “murder suicide.”

Let’s get consistent…New York is currently being sued by a gun rights group claiming that states should not have the right to regulate gun ownership of almost any kind, yet many of these supporters take the opposite view of abortion, favoring the rights of states to regulate it. 

We can never stop gun violence.  But we can separate the need for assault weapons as compared to rifles used on the elk hunt, and we can decide whether teenagers not old enough to buy a Budweiser can legally buy any weapon they fancy.

And since I know little about guns, this should come from responsible gun owners since they are the ones with the knowledge, and also the most to lose. λ