Saturday, October 10, 2015

Gun Control Lessons From Miss Manners

I don't know if Miss Manners, an etiquette columnist, ever wrote about gun control, but the lessons she taught us can still be applied.
One letter to Miss Manners from a boat owner explained that he had invited several friends to come for a day of boating and fishing. One of the guests got terribly ill with seasickness. The friends continued to enjoy their day while the ill guest threw up and finally slept.
Miss Manners, also known as Judith Martin, explained:  "It is wrong to prolong one person's suffering for the sake of recreation...."
And that is the lesson I would like to apply to gun control.
Many hunters insist that their pleasure in shooting guns is more important than the massacre of thousands of people throughout the country each year. Not the world, our country, the United States.
When the founding fathers wrote the constitution, they included a right to bear arms, and people needed them to survive in many places on the frontier.
Today, most people who use guns use them for fun, because they enjoy shooting -- whether skeets or animals.
I know hunters will argue that they hunt for food. They fill their freezer with deer meat, but when most people add up the cost to buy firearms, ammunition, a hunting license, travel to the hunting grounds, perhaps camping supplies, the cost of a freezer to hold the meat, processing for the animals they shoot -- they could have purchased meat for the same price or less.
For most hunters, it's about the enjoyment of the experience. Does their enjoyment hunting trump the rights of all the people who have been killed with guns this year? Not according to Miss Manners who says, "It is wrong to prolong one person's suffering for the sake of recreation...."
Here's my son at age 8 at an FBI shooting range. The Tommy gun, which
is illegal for civilians to own, had not clip in it. 
I have a friend, Dan, who really enjoys shooting fast guns at a shooting range. It gives him a rush of adrenaline and buoys his mood. Sorry, Dan. "It is wrong to prolong one person's suffering for the sake of recreation...." Giving you the right to shoot, allows all the mass shooters to get their hands on guns and ammunition.

I'm not saying we  need to get rid of all guns.
Some people need guns for protection. I have never been in a situation where I felt a gun would help make me safer, but perhaps we could compromise on the kinds of guns people have for safety.
We could safely ban semiautomatic weapons for all civilians. I'm no gun expert, but the way I understand it, semiautomatic weapons self load and the shooter can release a bullet as quickly as his finger pulls back and lets go -- no need to stop and cock a shotgun or pull back the hammer on a pistol. This is what allows mass shooters to kill so many people so quickly. A semiautomatic comes in handgun and rifle form.
If in your life you need to own a semiautomatic weapon, sell the weapon and rethink your life choices.

Of course, there are other good ideas to restrict the free-flow -- the overflow -- of guns that are killing thousands of people.
Each gun should be registered and licensed like a car. And people should have insurance on their guns, so if it's stolen, they report it to the police. If it's used to kill people, the gun owners' insurance is going to spike up high. Maybe people would begin putting their guns in safes, places they can't easily be used against innocent students at elementary schools or colleges.

It's time in this country that we put the rights of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" for all the children, college students, moviegoers, and other innocents above the rights of those who have guns, simply because they enjoy shooting them.


Just Me said...

Using Miss Manners is just like you to inject humor AND make your point. Like your ideas. It is interesting that guns are easier to obtain than automobiles and much less regulated.

grammajudyb said...

Thanks for these comments. They echo my thoughts almost exactly. I live in the west, in a state that is SO against gun control. Almost all of our friends own weapons, mostly hunting weapons. But we have some that have handguns for protection, and even semi-automatic weapons. We do not. I like your thoughts on gun safes, insurance, registering. If we could find a way to keep guns out of the hands of thugs and the mentally unstable, that would probably help a lot. It is a problem that we have to address soon rather than later.

Terra said...

The places that have the most violence are the places like Chicago and Washington D.C. and other areas that have the toughest gun control laws.

Paulita said...

Thanks, Just Me and Gramma Judy. The people who protest gun laws usually make very weak arguments. They'd rather do nothing than do anything that might help.
Terra, Tell that to the people in South Carolina who were killed or the parents in Newtown. Gun laws would definitely help, as evidenced by what happened in Australia after its only mass shooting. 19 Years After Passing Strict Gun Control Laws, Here's What's Happening in Australia

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