A PROGRESSIVE'S VIEW OF GUN CONTROL

About 20 years ago, I lived in a rather crime infested area of Denver just outside downtown. I was burglarized and had a transistorized television and radio stolen during broad daylight while I was away at work. In the immediate aftermath, I felt like many do after something like this happened, violated. The ‘Columbo’ looking investigator that came by to assess the crime scene told me to get elaborate alarms systems and consider obtaining a gun. I got the alarm system which never seemed to work when it needed to work. I was kept awake at night pondering how I was prepared to deal with a break in that would occur while I was in the house as I knew that the criminal element was casing out the place. I was angry and certainly came very close to obtaining a gun, a small gun, mind you, to incapacitate or kill if necessary as I was not going to ask the intruder whether his intention was to take my color TV or my life. If I caught anyone under such circumstances, ‘shoot first and ask questions later’ was my motto. I found out that a bunch of teenaged kids were involved. I ultimately came to the conclusion that for my peace of mind and security it was best that I move from the apartment there and buy a house in a relatively crime free suburb of Denver. I was able to dispense with the violent thoughts about what I would do if I could only get my hands on those kids. This obsession was subconsciously ruining my disposition and my life. So, Conservatives, I wanted you to know that I am not just another liberal here to take your gun. I clearly understand the need to possess firearms to protect you and your family on private property from intruders who are becoming more and more ruthless and callous by the day.

That aside, however, I have a few questions for the Conservatives and the Pro-gun lobby.

Looking at Arizona in particular, a state where one can carry a handgun on his or her person without a permit, how do you control sales of handguns to minors, felons, or medically certified nut cases? The incident in Tucson must alert many of us to the dangers of being able to obtain guns more easily than I can get my ‘Quarter Pounder’ burger. Conservatives say that registration and licensing is an imposition. I am for law abiding persons being able to obtain a firearm without a lot of fanfare, but without regulations in the form of permits and licenses, how do we screen out those that most of us agree should not have access? Let’s be realistic here, I am not Wyatt Earp and this is not Dodge City. One of the most heinous incidents of gun violence took place a couple of miles from my former residence, in Littleton, CO. Perhaps, you have heard of the Columbine High School Massacre in April, 1999? In this case a minor, a 17 year old, acquired a semiautomatic weapon and, of course, the rest is history.

The right to bear arms obviously includes access to a pistol with a magazine holding over thirty rounds of ammunition, as was the case with the shooter in Arizona. Are grenade launchers, tanks, missile launchers included? I don’t mean to mock, but where do we have limits as to the kinds of weapons accessible to general public under the explanation of self defense?

And then, there is this one incident in Houston suburb some three years ago. It was the case of this man who called 911 to report a burglary in progress at his neighbor’s home. He knew that the neighbors were away for a time. He, it was reported, was the grandfatherly type and wouldn’t hurt a fly. The 911 staff repeatedly advised him to stay in his home and not get involved and that the police would be along to deal with it. The man kept on saying that he could not allow these two men he identified to get away with what ever they were taking. He said that he had a shotgun and was prepared to go and stop them. It turned out that he did confront the two men and shot them both. The autopsies on both men revealed that they were shot in the back. Through some twisted application of a Texas law that allows assaults of this nature, this man was not held accountable for this act. Doesn’t the ‘Code of the West’ frown on shooting men in the back? Could the fact that these men were non-white allow this man to do this and not have his conscience seared quite as much? I could consider the law a splendid one, if he acted to protect the lives of his neighbors or his own life. I could understand lethal force if the men had broken into this man’s home. As it was though, this fellow was not in any danger and there was not anyone in either house whose lives were at risk by the activities of these burglars. He deliberately took action to kill when he was told by professionals not to, and he is not held accountable, how? How does the Conservative Pro-gun group respond to this?

While my Progressive instincts react to the idea of people carrying firearms as it emboldens many to be provocative or be imprudent when they otherwise would not be. Small minded people like to brandish firearms, fire them into the air in bravado or protest and use them to intimidate others. There are the macabre types that are looking for an excuse to try it out, actually pull the trigger and watch the rounds rip through flesh and devastate bone tissue. We all are in constant contact daily; would a confrontation with another result in hurt feelings, a bloody nose or a body bag? We need to take to heart what it was the President said about the need for civility in our discourse. It needs to start with us as individuals, respecting the rights of each other to hold and share alternate opinions without resorting to violence.

So, eventually, I got another portable TV to replace the one stolen for a price that was far less than having to deal with consequences of shooting some idiot teenager on my conscience for a lifetime. I think that it was a pretty good trade off.

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24 comments

Joshua0853 5 years ago

Credence2, I understand your concern and I appreciate your balanced approach in discussing this issue.

In an open society there can never be absolute safeguards on gun acquisition and use. However, depriving law-abiding citizens of their Constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms is not the answer. Reading between the lines of your post suggests to me that you probably would agree with that.

The problem with gun control is that if it ever happens in the US, only criminals will have guns. We'd really be in a pickle then. Let's face it...they are called "CRIMINALS" for a reason.

Unfortunately, there's always going to be those who misuse and abuse that right, like the moron in Houston who took two lives to prevent them from taking "stuff"...and not even his own stuff!

I'm sorry you had to move rather than face the prospect of one day perhaps having to shoot someone. But I respect that decision.

Going forward, there is something you might consider. That is the use of "non-lethal" self defense products such as pepper sprays, stun guns and tasers. In addition, I'd also recommend some home security protections as well (alarm systems, cameras, etc).

I've been where you are and now have those items in place. I can't begin to explain the sense of security I now feel.

I wish you well.

Joshua Warren


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hello, Joshua, I did say that I do not want to take the gun away from law abiding citizens, and I meant it. If the circumstances were different, I may have well ended up purchasing a firearm with the goal of obtaining security and peace of mind, if such is ever possible.

yes, there are many that abuse their right to possess firearms, but the problem I had was that this man in Houston shot two unarmed men in the back and was not punished as the law as interpreted said he was justified in this. So, conservatives tell me that the way to deal with gun violence is to ratchet up penalties for abuse of firearms, how do I correlate this with letting this guy get away with what he did with impunity. This was sanctioned by state law/municipal code. How do you answer?

The second point is: where are limits drawn as to what weapons can be sold at walmart and made available to the general public? Just because something is available to the Pentagon does not mean you can by it from a discount retailer. Obviously there are need for limit, someone recognises this. After all, can you buy a fully automatic Uzi submachine gun at your local Walmart? Where do you think that the line should be drawn, if there should be one at all?

I did eventually solve the crime problem, for myself anyway, by moving away from the areas where crime was predominant. But I know that everybody does not have that option. That is why being armed is necessary, oftentimes.

I want to join your team and have critical and intelligent analysis of my point of view on topics of the day, maybe we may all learn a little bit as a result.

Thanks again


Sembj profile image

Sembj 5 years ago

Awesome and thoughtful - something has gone very wrong with a culture that people feel that they need to own a gun to be safe. I thought that's how it was before the marshal came to town or they made someone a sheriff and gave him a star.

The proper debate around gun control should focus on putting the question in the right perspective, i.e., what kind of culture would you like you or your children to live in? If you are not free from fear, it makes other freedoms seem pretty unimportant. The Constitution recognized the importance of having the right to pursue happiness; if live in a neighborhood where gunfire and shootings rob you of your sense of living free from fear, I would argue the right of those bearing arms are robbing you of your freedom since guns are difficult to control when they get into irresponsible hands.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Thanks, Sembj, for your comments. I take the fear and intimidation surrounding having a gun and look to Texas where the legislature there is trying to pass a law allowing college students to conceal carry. Seems kind of rash to me. We will talk again.....


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

while I disagree with your conclusions, I very much appreciate this hub and the fact that your brought real life examples and logic into the discussion and did not rely only on emotion or platitudes. If only more people could state there views with as much clarity and respect, we wouldn't have these nasty political dialogues. Well done. Voted up.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

PDX, thanks for your gracious comment. We are all going to have to be level headed if we are going to have any hope at finding common ground on so many of these issues.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

Ya. But, for some reason, with religion and politics, it really is an us vs them mentality with no wiggle room or room for rational debate.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 5 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Thanks PDX, that is well the theme all our current political discourse. It is certainly unfortunate


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 5 years ago from Portland, Oregon

ya. i've had people unfriend me on facebook because i dared have a different opinion then them on religion or politics. It's always the ones who claim to be the most open minded who really can't deal with opposing viewpoints.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

PDX, thanks for your reply, just out of curiosity what conclusion would you have that would be different? What are your thoughts?


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

I tend to look at the film Unforiven as an example. Most guns committed by criminals aren't purchased through legal means anyway. Banning or restricting guns doesn't really help the law abiding citizens. The stats show that countries with the most lenient gun laws have the lower amount of violent crime. I can't argue with those facts. While I certainly think some checks and balances are necessary, there will always be a criminal element that will obtain things legally or otherwise. Prohibition generally doesn't work and, I will always defend a person's right to defend himself and his home and property.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hello, PDX, I did acknowledge in the article that I would never deprive those their rights under the Second Amendment. We all have the right to protect ourselves. I do question the conditions on when and how lethal force is justified by the average citizen. I don't know about the statistic you are providing. Just look at Toronto Ontario and say a comparably sized city like say Dallas, TX. I would be concerned about fully automatic weapons as being defense far about the need, for example. Basically we are in agreement with the last sentence in your comment. Thanks Cred2


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

I'm not arguing that you didn't acknowledge that, just telling you where I stand :-)


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Ok, thanks


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

have a good evening. Nice to see you lurking around hubland, gun free, of course.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hey, PDX Here I throw coconuts at trespassers. It is only a quarter till 11 here and I am in my prime. Regardless, Happy Holidays and we will speak again....


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

lol. coconuts can kill. perhaps a waiting period is in order?


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Yeah, don't believe the cartoons, getting hit over the head from one falling from the tree is more than just an incovenience, let me tell ya. YES A COCONUT CAN BE LETHAL, They only way they take my coconuts is to pry them from my cold dead hands!


frogyfish profile image

frogyfish 4 years ago from Central United States of America

Good discussion here. However, I believe AZ does require a permit or license...have a relative who 'carries' and he had to go through training to get permit to do so.

Thanks for sharing info/questions, and opinion.


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hi, frogyfish, most pleased that you took the time to read and comment. I could be mistaken about Arizona, although I heard otherwise. I think that is all that I am asking, that we do some basic vetting of people who want to access firearms.

Thanks, Cred2


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

lol, credence. if I ever decide to break into your home, I'll be sure to clear out all the produce from your fridge before I let the festivities begin


Credence2 profile image

Credence2 4 years ago from Florida (Space Coast) Author

Hi, PDX, thanks for visiting, with some of the weird things that the Missus cooks, you may want to stay clear of the icebox. You gotta run the gauntlet through the falling coconuts first.


PDXKaraokeGuy profile image

PDXKaraokeGuy 4 years ago from Portland, Oregon

i got it, credence. I feel safer now that we've talked


Anthony 4 years ago

Currently, Arizona state law does not limit the concealed or open Carry of firearms by those who may possess them legally.

As to the Texas case, Texas state law specifically authorises the use of force including deadly force to stop the theft of property, so that would require legislation to change.

The utility of trying to register or monitor gun owners and guns just doesn't seem to show itself readily. The Canadians have spent millions of dollars on their gun registry and less than 1% of

gun crimes involve registered guns. While we may wish to prevent unauthorised access to firearms by prohibited persons, the resources to do so are not available, nor does the research indicate it would be a good use of law enforcement resources.

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