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As Long as We Remember...

January 17, 2013

The Real Gun Problem

Zachary Peters

As legislative sessions begin at the federal and state level, guns and the issue of gun control are set to take center stage among many other things.


When brainstorming a column idea this week, I couldn’t help but think about the eight bills introduced on the first day of the new congressional session that were related to gun control and the “Executive Orders” threatened by the White House. Further, I thought about all of the recent gun-related tragedies throughout the United States that prompted such legislation.


From the massacre in Newtown, CT, to slain firefighters in New York, even the Aurora (CO) movie theater shooting from back in July, political leaders everywhere are searching far and wide for “solutions” to these violent actions. My question to those who seek legislative initiatives to “fix” this problem is this: How do you legislate morality?


Going back to 1999, Darrell Scott, the father of two Columbine victims, testified before a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee in Congress. During his testimony, Mr. Scott really said it best:


"The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart."


The true problem with our society and “violent culture” is not guns, access to guns, or a variety of types of guns. Instead, one of the bigger issues is the desensitization of violence, death, blood, gore, etc., as exemplified in Hollywood movies and on television.


We cannot, to any extent, ban what Hollywood produces, let alone ban what people want to see. After all, the reason movie studios put out these violent movies is the demand. The mass audiences want these films; they hold a high entertainment value; and most importantly, they sell tickets and DVDs. Not to mention, the people that make and star in these films are largely the same “limousine liberals” who so adamantly and publicly denounce gun rights in op-ed pieces and commercials, but do so from the comfort of their own private armed security details.


Speaking of hypocrisy, look at The Journal News of New York. This is the newspaper that published an online interactive map of those in Westchester County, NY, who owned a gun. Not only did they equate legal gun owners to sex offenders by publishing their addresses and whereabouts, they effectively showed the homes that did not legally own a weapon, making them that much more susceptible to crime.


Further, the newspaper feared backlash and opposition to their online map and hired their own private security detail, fully armed, to protect their facility and staff. To these people, guns are only a problem until they’re the ones who need them or seek them.


Still, the Left cries out for some sort of gun control and has leached themselves onto “assault weapons,” which many still do not know how to define.


The problem with beginning to ban weapons, any kind, is that it puts the giant foot of government in the door and once that foot is in, the whole body will soon follow. Just look at smoking as an example.


As soon as smoking was banned on short airplane flights, next came all flights, then airports, then came businesses, restaurants, and now you can’t smoke indoors at all. While the effects and actions of owning a gun and smoking a cigarette are two drastically different things, the concept of government intervention remains similar.


To go a step further, what is so wrong with having an armed police officer in a school? Coming from our very own Frederick County Public Schools system, I fondly remember uniformed Resource Officers from the Frederick County Sheriffs Department in both my middle school and high school. These officers were armed, just like any other, and were always around and ready to protect our school from any sort of harm. From patrolling the halls, breaking up fights, or on a more serious note, quickly responding to a bomb threat at Linganore High School in 2008, these officers were key parts to our school’s atmosphere and provided adequate protection to the students and faculty.


Still to this day, I don’t see how having these officers in school served as any kind of hassle, nuisance, or cause for outrage. On the contrary, I was very thankful for them, especially during the bomb threat of 2008. Read this news report on that incident. (


If you are a parent and are concerned with the “violent culture” in our nation, then don’t let your children watch violent television shows or movies. You could even take it a step further and ban violent video games in your home.


Don’t like guns? Great, then don’t buy one or own one. If you want to be left defenseless in your home in the crosshairs of an armed intruder, be my guest and wait for the police to receive your emergency call and respond appropriately. My father always said, “A gun in the hand is always better than a cop on the phone.”


Finally, I ran across a photo the other day that really puts this “gun culture” into perspective. The photo was a dialogue between God and a worried student that read:


“Dear God:


“Why do you allow so much violence in our schools?




a concerned student”


“Dear Concerned Student,









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