Earlier this week I had 16 people “unlike” my Facebook page because I wrote a Liberating Word about gun control. I’m always amazed by the reactions I get about these missives, particularly the ones about guns. Neither I nor anyone I know is advocating that we take guns away from law-abiding, mentally-healthy people. Someone on my page pointed out that more people are killed by cars than guns (which isn’t true in many states). They said that blaming the NRA for gun violence was like blaming AAA for car wrecks. I was glad they made that analogy.
It is a poor one because automobiles are designed for transportation while guns are designed to kill. Oh, I know they can be used for target practice, but their principle purpose is to kill. That being true, why on earth are we incapable of having a rational debate in this country about regulating guns in the same way we do automobiles?!?
No one is advocating that law-abiding, mentally-sane Americans give up their cars, but we do require that drivers be trained. Why doesn’t it make sense that we require training before we sell someone a weapon? In every state, you have to take a safety test before you are allowed to drive. Given the incredible rate of accidental shootings of and by children, who can argue against gun safety training? We license people to drive, and then we require that they obey common sense, mutually beneficial laws. If a person’s sight fails or their mental ability is no longer healthy and strong, they no longer can drive.
How do you think people would regard AAA if they started advocating that everyone should be allowed to drive without training, or if they started spending millions of dollars to buy politicians so there would be no speed limits or traffic signals? That is precisely what the NRA does.
In the end, the most evil thing they do is create paranoia among gun owners that someone is going to take their guns away. This paranoia is most effective with rural white men, but it seems to work with others, too. Because they have bought our politicians, and terrorized our neighbors, no one can have a sane conversation about how we treat guns in this country. The irony is they keep crying about the Second Amendment … from which they seem to have excised the word “regulated.” I swear that word was there when I was in school …
Rev. Michael Piazza