Editorial: Gun control shouldn’t be considered dirty words

Published 7:43 am Tuesday, June 7, 2022

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A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Oh, if it were only that simple.

I’ve always supported the Second Amendment to our Bill of Rights. I still do.

But we have to do something.

I understand the feelings of my friends who say the only way you’ll take their guns is “out of my cold, dead hands.” The Second Amendment says so.

I understand the feelings of my friends who say that military-style assault weapons need to be outlawed. “They don’t need them for hunting.” Those who wrote the Second Amendment couldn’t have dreamed of an assault rifle.

Both sides are right, that’s why the debate will go on for perpetuity. I think that most Americans – myself included – are somewhere in the middle and remain, for the most part – silent.

The first side to this debate is to look at it from the other person’s point of view. Don’t think of those with opposing views as inferior. Don’t call them “Trumpers” or “Snowflakes.” Don’t go into a tirade about Biden or Trump or Obama or Harris.

Just think about the issue at hand.

Should an 18 year old legally be allowed to walk into a store and walk out the same day with an assault rifle?

I don’t have the answers here. But we have to do something. Thoughts and prayers just aren’t getting the job done. There is hope, but that, too, is just a word.

It makes me wonder what our founding fathers were thinking when they wrote the Bill of Rights. It was inspired by Thomas Jefferson, written by James Madison.

Jefferson was probably overseeing his Virginia estate, complete with hundreds of slaves tending to the animals and fields and cooking and cleaning. Hmmm. As written, the Bill of Rights includes all people. Were the slaves to be given the same rights? Women, too, were somewhat of second-class citizens at the time, sort of seen as being owned by their fathers or husbands. It’s just the way it was. Did the Bill of Rights pertain to them, too? Heck, it was the 1920s before women were even allowed to vote.

Yes, things were different back in the day. Our fledgling new country relied on an armed citizenry to help protect themselves and their new government. Even back then, there was debate about whether gun regulations should  come from the federal government or individual states. It’s scary these days to think about what a well-armed militia could do. Back then, it was don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes because of the crudeness of the weapons. Nowadays, the shooter doesn’t really even have to look, just aim in the general direction and start firing.

The tragedy in Uvalde, Texas is bringing the debate back to the forefront, as it should.

Gun control are dirty words in these parts. Take this gun, then another, then another until there are none left. We’ve got to get out of that way of thinking, just as we’ve got to get out of thinking that all guns are bad and should be banned. Neither extreme point of view will do any good to help prevent what happened in Uvalde from happening again.

Folks, government got us into this mess, and I’m not confident that with our divisiveness these days, that it has even the slightest chance of solving the problem. There’s just too much name calling and false claims out there.

The hope lies with us.

We’ve got to learn – again – to respect one another, even if the person has a differing view.

We’ve got to find a way for our young people to get this same view of respect. Bullying starts at a young age, and it can send young minds into a spin. And it makes for adult bullies. We hear them all of the time.

We’ve got to put our faith into something much more powerful than a government.

We are “We the People.” Let’s act like people again.

– Mike Barnhardt