Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Careless Gun Violence Continues

It remains so amazing to me that people, who own guns and fight "windmills" about having them taken away, keep killing their family members and shooting themselves "accidentally." The most recent was Plaxico Burress, a pro football player, who shot himself in the leg in a Manhattan night club. How he managed that is a mystery to me. Maybe he felt the need to feel the cold steel in his hand and forgot to keep his hand off the trigger. Who knows?

At a Massachusetts gun show recently, an eight year old boy was killed while shooting an Uzi machine gun. The gun recoiled, of course, and the muzzle was left pointing at his head in time for the next round to kill him. He was firing with the permission of his father, and supposedly under the supervision of a trained instructor. Just exactly why a father would give permission for an eight year old to fire an automatic weapon remains a mystery to me. The "trained" instructor wasn't very well trained, obviously, or he would not have taken part in such a travesty.

Then there was the man unloading his .45 semi-automatic a month or so ago, who managed to shoot a 10 year old girl in the stomach. Carelessness, but not accidental, in my mind. There is no excuse for that. There is no excuse for anyone to shoot someone, while cleaning a gun as well, but that is often the excuse. Just exactly how you clean a loaded gun has never been explained to me.

These scenarios repeat themselves time after time, day after day throughout each year. Thousands of adults and children are killed and maimed each year because of the careless handling of guns. Yet, again this year, the NRA has run a major fear campaign, stirring up its base with the lies that President-elect Obama will take their guns from their "cold, dead, hands." Of course he has only advocated control over assault weapons, enforcing laws against illegal gun sales, and continuing background checks on purchasers. He has always said that he will uphold the second amendment.

The NRA is one of the most irresponsible organizations around today. It's leaders harp continuously about the government taking away gun rights, and it has all of the right wing fear mongers on its side. It is a gold star for a politician to claim that he/she has been endorsed by the NRA. If I were running, I would not want to be associated with an organization that gives gun safety lip service, but keeps very quiet about these tragedies caused by "law abiding " gun owners.

As usual, let me say, that I am a gun owner, and I believe in the right to own guns. I don't see hobgoblins sneaking around the corner to take by weapons away. I see no need for anyone to own an AK-47 or any of its many brothers in chaos. I also have no problem with background checks and waiting periods. Unless someone wants to kill really badly, he/she can wait a few days before taking possession of that new rifle, pistol, or shotgun. If a someone needs a rifle or shotgun to go hunting tomorrow, then he/she needs to plan better. It's that simple.

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