Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Whitlock and Guns

By now most of you have heard or read about the Kansas City Chiefs football player that murdered the mother of his child and then took his own life in the parking lot of Arrowhead Stadium. Sportscaster Bob Costas spoke of the incident on Sunday Night Football and referenced the well known columnist Jason Whitlock, a frequent contributor to the Kansas City Star.
Whitlock wrote, “What I believe is, if he didn’t possess/own a gun, he and Kasandra Perkins would both be alive today.”

Uh, oh. Gun control nut! The web site where Whitlock’s column appeared was flooded with comments by everyone who had ever pulled a trigger. When I last checked, there were over 1500 and were coming in so fast you couldn’t read them before the page refreshed. Most were along these lines: When things get ugly, you’ll be the kind of people that will be hiding behind people like us. And that was a nice one.

But I think the point Whitlock was trying to make is that if guns were not so readily available, killings from impulse, hot tempers, and street gangs may not be as prevalent as they are today. Every red-blooded gun-toting American out there jumped on Whitlock with the logic that the football player could have committed his murders with a knife or a club or even a rock. True, but then how many drive-by stoning incidents do you read about? Truth is, guns are just so damn handy and easy to use. The best part is that you don’t even have to be close to your victim to do him in. Put a scope on a rifle and you can take him out without him knowing you were even in the neighborhood. I think we can agree that pulling a trigger takes a lot less energy and is much quicker than say… a baseball bat, a tire iron, or a chainsaw.

Problem is, it’s a hypothetical. Guns, like drugs, are out there and always will be. The government is not going to take away our guns any more than they can win the war on drugs. That fear generated and encouraged by the weapons manufacturers, the NRA, and the dealers is purely profit driven. Just look at the sales stats after the winner of the recent election was known.

Think about it. Do you honestly believe any elected politician would so much as hint of confiscating the millions of weapons out there today? The key word here is elected, not like the dictatorship of Hitler and Nazi Germany. And no, despite the rants of some, Obama is not a dictator.

Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that owning a gun and having the means to defend one’s self is one of our country’s most precious rights. Any logical thinking citizen understands that the responsibility of protecting yourself and your family falls directly on you and not some local police force that may or may not show up and far too late if they do. The old adage that says if you take away the guns, only criminals will have guns, is absolutely true.

And yet, wouldn’t it be nice if the United States wasn’t in the top ten countries with the most firearms-related death rates? Places like Columbia, El Salvador, and our next door neighbor, Mexico where they regularly find bodies piled up in ditches. Doesn’t exactly give you a warm fuzzy does it?

Nice idea Mr. Whitlock, just ain’t gonna happen.


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