I (used to) Love Guns
tyler page

Wow, I hardly know where to begin… This is such a one-sided and biased piece that I almost didn’t even bother to respond. Your portrayal of anyone who ones a gun as borderline psychotic does nothing to make your point. The vast majority of legal gun owners are responsible people who would no more like to find themselves needed to use their gun as they would like to find themselves finding out if their car’s airbags and seatbelts work! I was not raised in a home where I wasn’t even allowed to play with toy guns, due to my parent’s religious beliefs. I did not even own my first firearm until I was 50 years old. As with anything I decide to do, I got professional training and practice often to maintain my skills. It is both a hobby to me and a means of protecting myself should that become necessary. I have NO interest in finding myself in that situation so I can be a ‘tough guy’ like you portray in your comic.

The problem with the gun debate in this country is similar to the general political climate. The most vocal seem to be polarized at the extreme ends of the spectrum, with the average American falling somewhere in the middle. For some reason, we rarely elect moderates, and the problems are perpetuated. A statistic often bandied about is how many gun death of ‘children’ there are each year. It is disingenuous to not mention that the vast vast majority of those ‘children’ killed are teens under 18 involved in gangs and other illegal activity, not small children finding dad’s loaded and unsecured gun in the nightstand. Of course that happens too, and it is a tragedy, but it represents a very small percentage of accidental gun deaths of children, let alone the small percentage it represents of accidental deaths of children from all causes.

As a gun owner (I now 6 firearms of various caliber and function) I keep them all locked in a gun safe, along with the ammunition. I have a loaded pistol, along with a flashlight, in a ‘thumbprint’ lock safe in my bedroom. I believe the same rules should apply to gun ownership as apply to having an automobile. I believe a license should be required, and that it should involve a number of hours of instruction and both a written and skills test. I believe that I should be required to renew that license periodically. I believe firearms should be registered. I believe that if I own a firearm that I wish to sell, that I should be required to transfer that ownership via a registration process, just like a used automobile.

I have talked to many of my firearms-owning friends; teachers,doctors, business owners and people from all walks of life. Most of them feel like I do. Do I sound like a ‘gun nut’ to you? Of course not. Most anti-gun people think that all gun owners think like the NRA propaganda, which is also untrue. That said, most gun owners have serious reservations about the heavily-biased opinions and information coming from the other side of the argument. Cities with the strictest gun laws, like Chicago and New York have some of the highest rates of armed robbery and homicide in the country. States with the most ‘lenient’ gun laws have some of the lowest rates of those same problems.

Most of the mass shootings occur in legal ‘gun free’ zones; ensuring that the ONLY person in the area that will have a firearm is someone intent on doing others harm. Do you honestly think that a criminal or psychopath will walk up to a school or movie theater with ‘gun free zone’ signs and say ‘Oops! My bad, I can’t come in here with my gun!’ Of course not. Only the honest and law abiding gun owners will do that. For the criminal, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel. Do your homework on these incidents; soon after someone who is armed (private citizen or law enforcement) arrives that can actually shoot back, the perpetrator often surrenders, or hides in the corner and commits suicide.

It’s preposterous to think that things like ‘gun-free zones’ and banning private ownership will solve the gun issue. Do you really think that if such a law was passed that all the gang bangers, thieves, muggers, rapists and drug dealers will be lining up to hand in their guns (usually illegally owned already). Of course not!

To put up a homogeneous culture like Japan as an example is not a fair comparison, compared to the melting pot that is the United States. If you insist on that, then I’ll throw my own example in the mix. Switzerland has one of the highest percentage of guns in private homes of anywhere in the world, with compulsory military and reserve service, and yet they have an extremely low incidence of homicide or accidental death of ‘children’. Why? Because of their culture, not because of the guns. Our culture is in serious disrepair, and until we are willing to look at the root causes of our problems, the Second Amendment right to keep and bear firearms will be an easy scapegoat.

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