This may come as a surprise to you, but I have never held a gun. I have stories I can tell about people around me who have owned or own guns, but myself, yea not so much. I have never been afraid to the point of needing ‘protection.’ I have never felt the desire to stop the breathing of another living being.
In most places I have lived guns have not been welcomed in public venues and I believe that at some point in the history of the West, public places made cowboys leave their guns at the door.
Today; however, we seem to be conversing about guns in the Public Square.
Gun advocates begin with their Second Amendment Rights, a piece of our Constitution that appears to speak to the “militia,” but has been argued as being for ‘all people.’ (See: http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/second_amendment) Then they begin making the conversation about the police or military both of which have nothing to do with the current conversation.
And yes, if I was to be completely honest, I am one who wishes guns were not so much a part of America’s favorite pastime, however, I do try to be consistent in my thoughts. For example, I believe women should have reproductive rights; thus, if women are granted the right to choose, consistency would warrant that others have liberty in personal rights including the right to own guns.
In saying this, I do believe that society should have some restrictions on termination of pregnancy. Allowing a 7 month pregnancy to be terminated beyond extreme medical reasons should not be allowed. My desire to be consistent carries though to our current conversation regarding guns. There should be laws regulating the ownership and venues guns are accepted.
At maybe quite possibly, the heart issue for me is whether humans become so able, so willing, and possibly so accustom to the ills of being human that we stop working to make humanity better.
Movies portray these societies (and to be honest some of these are part of the human history). Societies where people fight to the death while others watch cheering. Or societies where the first shooter gets the girl and becomes the hero.
I don’t know about you but those images are not the ones that touch the deepest part of my soul. Rather when I feel the most human it is those moments when tenderness is present, when humanity reaches out in generosity or compassion, or hope. Those images create feelings of awe and wonder. I have to say none of those most human mysterious moments include guns.
Today, we are conversing about guns, guns being carried down a public street. We are not conversing about an individuals right to own a gun or hunt, or even have it in a locked car or truck. Today we are talking about the public square and why, we in the 21st Century, are not questioning guns in the public square.