‘When the bad man breaks into my house, I die’

My father grips my stepmother’s hand at the dinner table. She lost her niece in the Aurora shooting, and now her voice breaks as she says the word, “children.” While the nation cries gun control, she just cries.
In the safe: rifles, shotguns and handguns. She asks me, what if there was one off-duty cop in that theater? What if one teacher had carried a gun?
She has a point. As much of the country rallies against the Second Amendment, I can’t help but be wary.
Banning something doesn’t make it go away. The proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing will get the guns he wants, and we will be left comforted knowing that we live in a “safer society.”
But when I no longer have the right to bear arms, what happens when the big bad man breaks into my house? What happens when he tries to rape me? Beat me? Kill me?
Do I reason with him? Do I attempt to explain the urge to dominate me as a twisted mommy issue? No, I don’t. When the big bad man breaks into my house to kill me, I die.
But what happens when I have the handgun in my house? My relative weakness is compensated by the incredibly powerful stopping-force mechanism in my hand, and my knowledge of how to use it.
Now, I understand that a handgun is different from a semiautomatic weapon. In the context of self-defense, a handgun seems sufficient. But it is important to note that to military families like my own, banning semiautomatics feels unjust. Shooting, to them, is not just a skill, but a hobby. Their semiautomatics better perfect their craft. A car enthusiast doesn’t need a car that reaches 200 mph, but wants it, anyways. A semiautomatic isn’t necessary, but that does not mean people should be denied the right to own one.
Moreover,  I do understand that the Sandy Hook Massacre was not the product of an 18-year-old girl defending herself from an intruder, but a mentally unstable 20-year-old who stole a semiautomatic rifle from his mother to shoot her, six adults, 20 children and himself.
In the light of this tragedy, gun regulation is at the very least logical. A title and tag with each sale, gun training, a written test before purchase and periodic inspections and reviews are necessary in a nation with nearly 315 million people, 200 million privately owned guns and over four  major shooting incidents in the past 13 years.
But stricter gun laws alone will not stop massacres like the recent shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School
More money and energy needs to be put into mental health research and treatment. Our sensationalized news needs to be tempered with a clearer understanding of how our world works. People die every day, and children will be murdered. These things will happen. While we cannot stand idly by, neither can we let our sadness about this lead us to unsound conclusions.
A balanced approach to the issue will yield positive results, but attacking the Second Amendment as dated and unfounded will not.
I have heard people argue that our founding fathers weren’t thinking about semiautomatic weapons when they wrote the Second Amendment. Of course they weren’t, – they didn’t exist. They were thinking about overthrowing a tyrannical government, and the natural right to self-defense, among other things. We cannot disillusion ourselves into thinking that our society was founded on mutual love and respect and that the way to preserve these ideals is to limit our freedoms.
We are a nation of gun owners. Out of every 100 citizens, 89 own guns.  The birth of our nation came about through war, and defense of it through an incredibly advanced military.
This may not be a pleasant image, but it reminds us that securing our freedoms is not always a pleasant business. We can, though, make it the best we can. We can regulate, we can invest and we can balance emotion with pragmatism.

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