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Whati is a Cliche?
Since becoming a gun control advocate, I've heard them all--and I learned to respond to them all! At one time the simplest cliches were sufficient--ones like, "If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns" and "Guns don't kill people, people kill people. Other phrases, such as "law abiding citizens," "we already have 20, gun laws," and "one more law won't stop criminals" have become common props for the gun lobby. In the end, those simplistic cliches and slogans don't solve our gun violence problem. Only action on a variety of fronts will address this shameful problem. But the gun lobby will continue to trot out its cliches, so I'm providing my brief responses to each of them. Since the cliches of gun supporters are short, mine will be the same. These gun control advocates just want to take away our guns! This is just a scare tactic of the gun lobby. It's their way of demonizing gun control advocates--by making gun owners think this is all about confiscation rather than having reasonable restrictions in place that mirror the Second Amendment's call for a "well regulated militia But most of us respect hunters and collectors and those who choose to have a gun for protection. We just want to do more to close loopholes, keep guns from children and irresponsible users, and make society safer. Besides, with more than million firearms in this country, taking away guns would be impossible! It's unfair to punish responsible gun owners with restrictive laws just because of the acts of irresponsible gun owners! Life can be unfair. But we don't allow guns on airplanes, do we? And we ALL have to undergo screening at the airport, don't we, for the protection of us all? Likewise, everyone has to undergo paperwork and a background check when buying a gun. We do so because it's impossible to define a "responsible" gun owner. So, we conduct a background check when selling a gun, to at least make sure the buyer isn't a felon or wife beater. But many pro gun advocates aren't even willing to support that type of step. I would hardly call that an unreasonable "punishment. Furthermore, we don't wear labels that say we're responsible. Today's responsible gun owner can become angry and use it in anger, as we see all too often. We can't write laws that define "responsible" owners and exempt them from all laws--laws must be written for all. If we lock up criminals and keep them there, we'd have no problem! This country has been doing that: And what has happened? Still more shootings, by others not yet in jail. The fact is that not everyone who uses a gun illegally is a felon before that moment. The boys who killed my son became felons when they took possession of the 9mm handgun and pulled the trigger. Even if they had been arrested for the threats they had made, they would not have been locked up for life. The fact is that guns are too plentiful and too easy to come by. Our jails are full of gun users who were previously law abiding citizens who suddenly shot others in a fit of anger, rage, jealousy or greed. When guns are outlawed, only criminals will have guns. This is one of the most worn out cliches of gun promoters. Look, hardly anyone is seriously promoting the "outlawing" of guns. What's being discussed are merely common sense laws regarding the kinds of guns and ammunition available military style assault weapons, armor piercing bullets , the capacity of gun magazines, and denial of access to kids, criminals, people under restraining orders, etc. More important, there is the irony of their statement! Gun supporters worry so much about criminals with guns. But one thing that enables criminals to have such an arsenal of guns is the sheer volume of guns and the ease of purchasing guns in this country-something that the NRA and others have promoted! We need guns for our protection! You can't take away this right. Who is talking about taking away your right to defend yourself? Again, this is another scare tactic. Unless you're a felon or kid or wife beater, you can get your gun so long as you pass the background check. Of course, many families have managed to get by without a gun in their home. They realize, and studies have shown, that far more people are killed by their own guns or because of them than are used to protect their own lives. One university study showd that a gun in the home is over 20 times more likely to kill someone in or known to the family than it is to be used to kill an intruder. Still, if you wish to ignore this high risk, it's still your right to buy a gun for protection. It's just too bad that some people insist they must have an assault weapon with a 30 bullet magazine to feel safe We need weapons to protect ourselves from a tyrannical federal government. No, we need to protect ourselves from those who say they need weapons to protect themselves from a tyrannical federal government! No reasonable person thinks the U. Military is going to be engaged in hand-to-hand, door-to-door combat with civilians. They would face mutiny. No, logically a tyrannical minded army would use its arsenal of far more powerful weapons. So shall we allow civilians to have bazookas? Surface to Air Missiles? Why not just let us all have our own nuclear weapons? Where does it all end? Isn't it time that America say it's had enough with the dangerous, paranoid, militia types who promote conspiracy theories and maintain their own weapons arsenals? We've seen the hateful consequences of these people in Oklahoma City, Waco, and other places. What have you got against the NRA, anyway? They're not the enemy! When the NRA is involved in gun safety programs, it's a good organization, and we respect many of its members. But it has become an organization with a Field and Stream magazine membership but a Soldier of Fortune mercenary magazine leadership. The NRA has a dark side. It fought the Brady Bill, the assault weapons ban, and most gun control legislation. For that they deserve our condemnation. The NRA is unduly influenced by a group of extreme right wing people who promote unfettered access to guns and high-powered weapons. This is counter to the beliefs of most Americans, and it has also led to many moderates leaving the NRA. Automobiles kill 40, people a year. How ironic to hear this statement from gun supporters! No, people don't call for eliminating cars. Cars are designed to provide transportation. But because they can be dangerous, we do require that cars and their users be registered, insured and that users be tested before using them. But we don't do that for guns. We require little other than a background check, which is far short from registration. No testing is required. And, guns are designed to shoot, and thus require careful control, because of their dangerous nature. Knives are used to kill people. Will you want to outlaw knives next? No of course not. Knives are a tool. They help us cut or slice things we can't or don't want to with our hands. To stab or slash someone is to misuse that tool. A gun is designed to shoot. Additionally, a knife can't kill multiple people from a distance and is rarely used for mass murdering. An assault weapon like a Tec-9 or AK 47 gun can kill multiple people from a distance and is used for mass murdering. Mauser is so deep in grief that he can't think rationally. This is something you'll hear them say about me or about any other victim who calls for gun control. They find it impossible to take on our facts and our reasonableness, so they try to simply dismiss or condemn us. Paul Thomsen, of Fort Collins, Colo. Thomsen that I capable of grieving and thinking at the same time! People in grief can't be so easily dismissed. In fact, I would contend that when you've been through a tragedy, sometimes some things become more self evident to you, despite your grief. Grief can make some things come more into focus. Thomsen's patronizing attempt to dismiss me was a poor one.
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