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As Long as We Remember...

March 26, 2012

Guns do kill people, but thatís not the point!

Steven R. Berryman

Contrary to a famous National Rifle Association gun phrase, guns do kill people. Just ask anyone currently associated with a “neighborhood watch” community patrol.


Unless you live under a rock, you know that this occurred under suspicious circumstances in Florida, when an unarmed (mostly) black man was shot dead by a (half) Hispanic neighborhood watcher.


For the record, I’m a mostly Western European descendant of several flavors, or what you might call a “mutt.”


However, in this issue, or tragedy, as is the accepted term by all GOP presidential candidates, that’s not the point! That is the distraction.


The American human tragedy itself – an unarmed young man shot and killed in the prime of his life by a non-law enforcement vigilante type who was not duly deputized – that is the point.


Anyone trivializing the incident by injecting matters of race or ethnicity – and by inference hijacking this into a political and racial incident – is not only selfishly grandstanding, but is losing the point of greatest concern. We do not live in the old Wild West. Why did this man use his weapon in an offensive manner (as the other guy was not armed), castle doctrine be damned?


And the shooter was not even arrested.


That the Rev. Al Sharpton, man of the cloth without congregation, is involved in the wordplay in the aftermath of this shooting is no surprise. That the Rev. Jesse Jackson, also weighed-in from the seclusion of his banishment (for fathering a child with an unmarried girlfriend) is but from a parallel universe of race-baiting past.


That the man who would be “everyman’s president” in America, Barack Obama, would personalize this unwarranted and unjustified shooting by claiming the victim looks like the son he never had…is bizarrely inflammatory and campaign 2012-centric by diabolic design!


But this is about a bad Florida gun law, not enforceable on its own merits. Basically if you can breathe and don’t have a record, you can carry legally in this “shall issue” state, much like Virginia law. By Florida state law you may shoot another person if you “feel” threatened, even outside of your own home. This is the part that needs fixin’.


I am a “gun guy,” and can prove it: just Google-search my name and the word “gun” to see! I’ve belonged to the NRA since the age of 18 (on and off, cash be willing) and have even been published in their journal, NRA-ILA, or their Institute for Legislative Action as a contributor at their request.


Therefore, I am compelled to remind you that, in the spirit of the greater national good that America would not be the free nation you live in today without our forefathers association with firearms as tools going back to our founding as a nation, used to hunt and provide, as well as to pry ourselves free from the clutches of the King of England.


We are instructed to this day by our own embattled Constitution to keep and bear arms against the – predicted – rise of a large government that would creep into tyranny against its own people. You know this today, as more and more we citizens are made to feel that we work for and at the mercy of an overarching government.


Respectable gun owners do understand that firearms ownership is a responsibility as well as a constitutionally guaranteed American right. These people are horrified about this Florida tragedy.  But it merits saying again: This is NOT about race!


Do not become distracted.


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