By Mickey Fineberg, PhD
That last tragic episode with all those children being slaughtered compelled me to write then, but I decided to give it a little time to hear opinions and sentiments on both sides, and to allow my distraught state to mellow before weighing in.
I'm not a gun owner, never was, but I do support a citizen's right to own firearms for lawful sporting and collecting purposes , and for self-protection as well. My dad was a World War II Ranger and hero. I recall that he once owned a handgun to protect us from home invasion. When he mistook my mom for a burglar and almost shot her, he got rid of the weapon. That's a key reason why I never bought a firearm, and that decision has been reinforced by hearing of so many tragic events caused by misusing guns in the home.
I was very moved by the parents of the murdered children who spoke so emotionally and poignantly about their profound loss, and so intelligently and eloquently about sensible control legislation to avoid or ameliorate future tragedies.
Their stance is to ban weapons that have the capacity to fire more than several bullets in succession without reloading. They also favor background checks and closing the loop holes like gun shows where this scrutiny is not required. Proposed legislation includes people with criminal records and those with serious mental or emotional problems.
The NRA is against this sensible legislation because they don't want to inconvenience or penalize law abiding citizens, and because they don't want to restrict freedom in purchasing any firearms whatsoever. And, it seems that they are rigidly and adamantly against any piece of control legislation because they feel it could snowball into further restrictions.
To me, the wanton and unchecked proliferation of guns of any kind poses a much greater threat to our collective safety than any other factor. The cocktail of firearms, despair, anger and/or stupidity creates an extremely dangerous environment for all of us. Adding criminal intent, hate and religious extremism to firearms access augments the danger. The idea of having designated administrators and teachers armed and trained to prevent and stop school gun violence is intriguing, but a two-edged sword in terms of what can happen in rapidly occurring, violent situations. And, let's not forget the potential for anger, despair and extreme beliefs to creep into the heads of civilians entrusted with firearms in our schools.
In essence, I feel that reasonable firearms control is essential for our times and still in line with what the second amendment was trying to accomplish in a very different period and society. I applaud politicians from both sides of the aisle for taking a strong affirmative stand on this issue, as well as gun owners and NRA members who are supporting sensible gun containment.
When it comes to who I vote for in local, state and national elections, this issue will be a major factor in my decision for the sake of optimizing safety and security in our society.Print Article