Niagara Gazette

Columns

December 25, 2012

CONFER: A critical time for Second Amendment

Niagara Gazette — It’s obvious to even the most pedestrian of political observers that 2013 and the years to follow will be fraught with lengthy debates over gun rights, from state houses to Washington D.C. Such is to be expected when a classroom of innocent youth are executed by an unhinged, evil soul flaunting an assault rifle.

That debate really began the day of the shooting, playing itself out in volume at workplace water coolers, family dinner tables, and on broadcast news and talk shows. Unlike past events, everyone had an opinion – there wasn’t a person who didn’t – because of the pure horror of what happened in Newtown and the belief, no matter how remote, that their children could be gunned down at anytime.

As with past debates, this one showed extreme views from both sides. Both sides have their loons. Thing is, this time around, the loons on my side (staunchly pro-Second Amendment) are the loudest. Thanks to the wonders of social media, the most insane theories, arguments, and counterclaims made their way around the world and were spouted and re-spouted ad naseum. Facebook and Twitter – and ultimately real-life conversation – became saddled with ideas that leave me shaking my head and saying to myself, “there go our rights,” because it’s obvious not very many people have the ability to intellectually defend our natural right to self-defense.

Through their foolishness, they are digging a grave for legal gun ownership.

Case in point: The theory posed that had one of the teachers or principal been carrying a gun, the massacre would never have happened. Let’s look at that in a logical fashion, distancing ourselves from the emotion of Newtown. Handgun owners (some 6 million strong) represent a minority of gun owners, who in themselves represent a minority of Americans (44 million out of 312 million). That’s 1.9 percent of the population.

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