|01:56 pm - gun control|
Two people on my friends list have commented recently, with opposite opinions, on the issuing of firearm licenses in Washington, DC. I thought I'd throw in my two cents. This is one issue on which I disagree with the Democratic party, although obviously I don't feel as strongly about it as I do about the other issues or I would be voting differently.
I was raised with guns in the house, at a time when there were stories circulating about children dying because they'd been playing with their parents' guns. But my parents were smart and responsible about it, and there was no problem. First off, the guns were kept in a safe, and the combination was kept secret from my brother and I, even when my brother was shooting in the pistol league with my dad. Secondly, they didn't let it be a forbidden fruit. I remember the Sunday mornings when we would go to the shooting range as a family, and my brother and I were taught how to fire guns and how to be safe about it. We had fun making cardboard targets to bring with us, or taking the normal paper targets home as a trophy of our accomplishments that day. It was a fun activity to be done only with parents, and there was no temptation to try to break into the safe and play with the guns when they weren't around.
And so I've heard the usual pro-gun rhetoric, my dad and parts of my mom's family belonging to the NRA. If guns were illegal, criminals would continue to own them, and law-abiding citizens would be unable to defend themselves. That one does seem like a bit of a trade-off to me, because if guns were illegal, criminals could be arrested just for owning guns, where the evidence of them having committed other crimes was insufficient. (And if the guns are kept in a safe in the basement, as above, and you're sleeping on the third floor when someone breaks into your house, they might not do you much good.) To really have a strong opinion on that point, I'd have to see the results of a meta analysis showing whether crime rates are higher or lower where guns are illegal.
The piece of rhetoric that I can't really argue with is that in a democracy, the people should retain the ability to overthrow the government at any time.
And on to sillier reasons, I like knowing that my dad and brother are gun collectors and good marksmen, in case any man ever done me wrong. And in the event of a winter catastrophe, my parents might need the guns to defend their supply of firewood.