The topic of gun control in the United States is something that I feel very strongly about; my idea of gun control is having a steady aim. That’s not a saying I made up, it’s a saying that’s about as old as I am, and one that I believe in. Of course I am as sad as anyone when innocent lives are taken in a mass shooting, or a shooting of any kind, but we have to keep some perspective about this topic.
First of all, it is our right to own firearms, and that was written into the Constitution for a reason; so that the citizens of this nation can defend themselves, primarily from invasion from another country at the time. Sure, since the writing of the Constitution a lot has changed, including the capability of firearms, but still, more people are killed by hammers every year than by guns, and more than twice as many are killed by knives, but these acts don’t attract the media attention that gun deaths do because it is not media hype, and it is totally unfeasible to think of banning those “weapons.”
To think that the answer to crime is to take guns out of our society is ludicrous. Look at what took place in Chicago last weekend; 82 people were shot over the 4th of July weekend, 14 of them fatally, in a rash of gang-related violence, you can read about that by clicking here. And how many of those shooters were holding legally possessed guns? I don’t know, but I am guessing that the only ones were the police officers who were responsible for five of the shootings. In this particular example, keep in mind that Chicago enacted new gun control laws in an attempt to stem violence, apparently that didn’t work.
I don’t want to get into a political debate; everyone has a right to their opinion. But what is stated in our Nation’s Constitution is not an opinion; it is a right of mine, and yours. If you look at this picture and you know some history, you will know what the results were of each of the men listed, except for Obama, which is yet to be seen. If you are younger and you don’t know who these people are, I suggest you do some research on the results of their actions to their societies. Do some research on Adolf Hitler, Fidel Castro, Joseph Stalin, Idi Amin, and Vladimir Lenin, all great minds and leaders, but all with the concept to disarm their nations so that they could control them. If you don’t know who the names are in the top row of the picture, I am disappointed in you, go back to school. It is very important that our future generations are aware of what history has taught us.
The bottom line is that as a citizen of this great country I have the right to bear arms, for whatever purpose I choose. Not everyone who owns a gun is a hunter, so this is not about hunting and wildlife conservation, which is a completely separate topic. It is really important that people understand the difference between the two topics and not confuse them. This is about basic human rights, just like your right to free speech, or freedom of religion.
With the ubiquitous availability of information available to people these days, I could just as easily make an argument against the very things I am telling you in this article by manipulating or representing statistics in a manner to favor my point. But what I am writing comes from the deep belief in my heart about what is right for our country, and what is wrong with it. 90% of all violent crimes in the United States do not involve a firearm, so why would anyone think they should take my guns from me, or you? You can find more interesting facts about gun control by clicking here.
Part of my mission with Bear Miller Outdoors is to ensure that future generations will have wild places to adventure into, to see wildlife, and to experience true wilderness. This is where the gun control issue begins to cross over into wildlife conservation; it is hunters who are responsible for the wildlife populations we have, and therefore the wild places that hold them. When gun control goes beyond personal protection and infringes on hunting, that is where the concern is for outdoors people, whether you hunt or not.
Isoroku Imamato, the Commander in Chief of the Japanese Navy during World War II is quoted as saying “I would never invade the United States, there would be a gun behind every blade of grass.” That was over 70 years ago, and the exact same characteristic about our society that led us to freedom in 1775 is the same characteristic that protects us today; our ability to defend ourselves. The United States currently has the world’s largest army from our armed citizens alone, click here to learn more.
Whether you are an indoors-only person, a hunter, fisherman, hiker, camper, bird watcher, or anything else you can imagine doing freely, I strongly encourage you to educate yourself about the topic of gun control, and vote accordingly. Don’t be complacent about this topic if you value your freedom, and that of generations to come.