AN INSIDE LOOK - Commentary and opinions on local politics and life in general in Southeastern Massachusetts! Featuring the writings of Bill Gouveia, newspaper columnist for the Sun Chronicle and local cable TV talk show host. Feel free to read, comment and enjoy!
Monday, June 30, 2014
Don't Blame Guns - Because No One Actually Is
This column originally appeared in The Sun Chronicle on Monday June 30, 2014
AN INSIDE LOOK
By Bill Gouveia
In the wake of yet
another recent senseless and violent school shooting, one thing has become abundantly
clear to me.Those who keep saying guns
are not to blame are absolutely right.
Not a one of those
guns used in the school shootings went off by themselves.Every single weapon was fired by an
individual who intended to kill those in their sights.The blame for the deaths of innocent children
and adults in these situations lies with those people, and not in the inanimate
objects they fired with such effectiveness.
My friends on the
pro-gun side of the debate have totally convinced me of this undeniable
fact.They say it all the time.Gun Rights advocates tell us it is the people
firing the weapons who are defective, not the guns themselves.
They point out how
no one suggests we ban or restrict the use of automobiles after some crazed
killer runs down a crowd with a vehicle.It is senseless to blame guns for these national tragedies that just
keep occurring, they say over and over.
And while they are
correct, there is one glaring problem with their logical and quite effective
They are pretty
much the only people making the ridiculous suggestion that guns themselves are
being unfairly attacked.
Sure, there are
some extreme left-wing liberals who want all guns banned so the world will be a
peaceful place where everything is decided by calm discussion and the sharing
of crunchy granola.But they are in the
Most Americans who
favor stronger gun control laws do not want guns taken away or banned.They don’t
want an America that is weak and defenseless.They believe people should be able to responsibly own firearms for their
own protection, and for various other reasons.
Instead, they want
strong laws that make it harder –even if only a little bit –for these mentally unstable and
irresponsible individuals to get their hands on guns.They want preventive measures that try to
restrict guns to those who responsibly handle them, and away from those who
would use them to kill in our schools.
So I have decided
to back the more conservative voices in this great discussion.It is time to concentrate our attention on
those who might perform these heinous crimes, and less on the tools they use
Now –how do we keep these potential killers
from using innocent guns to kill our friends and neighbors?Hmm, let’s
think about that.
Hey –how about we require stringent
background checks on a national basis whenever someone buys a gun?I know, it won’t prevent all the nut-jobs from
getting their hands on firearms.But if
it only prevents one dead schoolchild a year, wouldn’t that be worth it?
Maybe we should
protect the poor guns by making sure they can’t be blindly acquired at gun shows by
people trying to find loopholes through which they can gain access?If we keep them out of the hands and homes of
people unworthy to own them, these “killing
be unfairly maligned.
Perhaps we require
mandatory gun training for those who receive licenses and make sure they
properly register their weapons.This
should be no big deal for the millions of people who keep and carry guns for
all the right reasons.They are merely
trying to protect their families and homes, or perhaps do some hunting or sport
shooting.They should welcome the chance
to keep guns away from those who don’t
follow their excellent example.
It is not the fault
of guns that they can now be virtual weapons of mass destruction in the hands
of the crazed or irresponsible.Guns do
not choose to be empowered with the ability to fire hundreds of rounds of
ammunition in mere seconds.It is the
people who purchase weapons designed for warfare rather than personal use who
put the pressure on law-abiding American gun owners.
This problem has
never been about guns themselves.The
real issue has always been who should have access to them, and how regulated
that access should be.
It is time to
listen to those gun advocates.They’ve been right all along - sort of.
Gouveia is a local columnist and longtime area town official.He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org and
followed on Twitter at @Billinsidelook.