To bear arms or not

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

Gun awareness should not always bring about condemnation. We live in times when the social and political climate is changing at whirlwind paces. Often the consequences are not always to our liking. In fact, most of the changes taking place to guarantee our security and protection decimate our choices and rights as citizens. But in the long run, we feel safer regardless of the cost. While we live in volatile times and irate and mentally disturbed people are wreaking havoc on innocent people in public and private venues, too much time is spent pointing fingers.

The public is up in arms about what to do. There is no clear and absolute solution as to what to do without resistance from arguing pundits representing different views on probable solutions. Is a compromise possible, or is this a double edged sword with no possibility of resolve?

The NRA (National Rifle Association) in which many Americans are members are staunch supporters of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, guaranteeing the American people the right to keep and bear arms. However, the biggest argument by many anti NRA Americans is that the requirements to acquire guns are not strict enough. The streets are inundated with people (especially youth) acquiring guns illegally.

There lies the argument that more stringent requirements for acquiring a gun won’t curtail the acquisition of guns illegally. Then we can find ourselves in a scenario where there are more criminals who acquire guns illegally, literally holding the law-abiding citizens as hostages. Everyone should have the right to feel safe and protect themselves and their families from those wishing to do them harm. While this sounds commendable, in reality it poses a myriad of problems.

The truth of the matter is that there are several factors that may contribute to crimes with guns—such as the iniquities of poverty, promoting a sense of hopelessness where some people just do not care anymore. Killing people with guns is inexcusable, but maybe when we live in a world with more equality, justice, jobs, affordable housing and affordable healthcare it will significantly curtail criminal offenses with guns. For we know, it is impossible and unrealistic to think we can control gun violence, totally—especially in public buildings such as educational institutions and public gatherings offering entertainment. Because of the times, the best we can do is to try to deter this horrendous practice.

We know many people are not comfortable with guns and feel law providing agencies should protect the public. Many families with children in the home feel that having a gun in the house is a disaster waiting to happen with the possibility of children gaining control of the weapon. Some people feel the proliferation of guns only invites more crime. Unfortunately, many of those who are adamantly against guns are the first to ask ‘where was someone with a gun’ who could have saved their love one in a futile senseless murder or attack.

The argument of those who are staunch advocates of the right to bear arms is that they are tired of being victimized and want at least to be in a position to protect themselves and their families from harm’s way. It is only when you have had a love one killed that you can really passionately address the issue of guns (right or wrong).

With the acceleration of felonious brutal and horrendous crimes (aggravated burglaries, premeditated murders and rapes) rising yearly, it should be no surprise that many concerned citizens are buying guns and spending their time perfecting their skills on the gun ranges. We know we must change state and federal laws to provide more safety and protection to citizens. This must be done by enacting stricter gun control laws, stricter sentencing for those committing heinous brutal crimes with guns, and harsher penalties for those complicit in selling guns (especially to youth) illegally.

One of the greatest fears that some citizens have is waking up and finding that all criminals have guns and the general public are at their mercy. Some say the same thing about waking up with the government having all the weapons, and the public is at the government’s mercy. It’s sad but we live in times where the mantra is ‘I’d rather be safe than sorry,’ and our definition on being safe often differs. We must compromise and work together to combat this ever-growing dilemma.