Here We Go Once Again
The recent school shooting in Florida has, once again saddened, frightened and left a bewildered nation looking for answers, answers that are illusive and exasperated by the "quick fix" "one size fits all" rush to judgement of politicians, who are not above trying to capitalize on a crisis, even one as heartbreaking as this one.
And once again we're headed for a crossroads where political correctness, political expediency and common sense collide.
I would like to preface my remarks by stating something I've said so many times before. If it would truly stop the school shootings, the gang violence, the drive-by shootings, the cop murders and all the other horrible killing and maiming caused by guns, I would gladly watch while every gun I own was, by law, ground into powder and dumped in a sinkhole.
But I know, just as sure as I live and breathe that it will not, it would not cause the end to gun violence any more than prohibition put an end to drinking, or the drug laws put an end to drug use.
Because laws only deter law-abiding citizens and one more or a thousand new laws will not change the hearts of criminals, will not improve the rampant mental illness and drug use. It will not block the radical Islamic recruitment videos, nor dull the effect of the violent, life cheapening video games American children cut their teeth on.
The same characters who search frantically for a bank of television cameras as soon as a tragedy like this happens, and heatedly excoriate guns and all who own them, are the same bunch who are quick to condemn police for approaching anybody until they are charged with a crime, and by that time it is too late.
They claim they are protecting human rights, and all the while, they could be aiding and abetting a potential murderer.
The FBI was told about Nicholas Cruz, who actually informed the world on a YouTube post, that he was going to be a "professional school shooter".
He was known as a cruel, out of control kid in his neighborhood and in his school, where he was expelled. He watched radical videos online and was the quintessential square peg, a powder keg, and was recognized as such by those who were around him.
America is told if you see something say something, but the truth is, much of America is afraid to say something even when they do see something, for fear of being called a racist or that their words will fall on deaf ears.
So where does that leave us and what are we going to do about gun violence?
If every gun that could be located by whatever federal agency tasked with the job, was confiscated, would that end the killing?
I submit to you that it would not end it, but increase it, because criminals, whose guns would not be confiscated and seized would look at the unarmed public as a smorgasbord of opportunity, every house a potential home invasion target, every citizen a defenseless pawn to be robbed, raped or murdered at will.
More background checks?
Myself and every other legal gun owner in the state of Tennessee have gone through background checks and continue to go through another one every time we buy a new gun.
And though I can't speak authoritatively and specifically about all the other states, they all have background checks and requirements for purchasing firearms, some so stringent as to make it impossible to own a handgun.
Does anybody think that as long as instructions for making and detonating a bomb are readily available on the internet, that our schools and streets are going to be safe from nuts like Cruz, or the Tsarnaev brothers, or any other fanatic with enough gray matter to read?
Will our cities be safe from the Timothy McVeighs of the world as long as fertilizer and diesel fuel are manufactured and readily available?
Have you checked the rate of stabbings and knife killings in the UK, a place where guns have been banned for decades?
The point I'm making is that, no matter what is done about guns, whether certain calibers are banned or whether there is a clean sweep and all legal guns are confiscated, it will not stop the violence.
And I submit to you that myself and practically every legal gun owner in this country want to see solutions and are willing to be a part of them, but none of us trust the federal government to do anything meaningful about the problems.
How many statutes and existing laws did Eric Holder break with the Fast and Furious debacle, and yet Obama sealed up the evidence so Holder couldn't be held responsible.
And cities hold silly gun buybacks, where they pay a certain amount of money to those who will turn in a handgun, which, in so many cases, a piece of junk is turned in and the money is used to buy a much better illegal gun.
When you give our government an inch they always take several miles and legal gun owners fear that once they are allowed to embark on this course, increment by increment, they will decimate the rights of all law-abiding gun owners.
That is the reason for the reticence on the part of legal gun owners when it comes to federal involvement. They want answers as badly as any other citizen, but they want meaningful, not cosmetic ones.
I claim no official expertise in solving such tragic and divisive problems, but from view of a common man who operates on blue-collar principles and hard-won experience, I have a few
ground level, horse sense suggestions I'd like to pass along.
First, protecting schools.
My opinion, whatever it takes, metal detectors, adequately armed security to cover the whole building, nobody gets in without being seen and nobody gets out without being seen.
Availability of qualified personnel to confidentiality hear, evaluate and follow up on tips about anybody acting strangely or making threats in conversation or social media.
Clean up the firearms black market, street corner thugs who operate out of the trunk of a car, unscrupulous dealers who knowingly sell to straw buyers who will resell the guns to anybody who can come up with the price.
And yes, it's going to cost, but how could we better spend tax dollars?
There will be the anomaly, those who will slip through the net, the Las Vegas shooter for which no motive has been established and evidently, no prior warning signs were visible, but how he got all those guns and ammunition to a high-rise room without anybody being suspicious is hard to believe.
Somebody had to have noticed, that's way too much hardware to go unnoticed and in the unlikely case that it wasn't, how could a hotel have such lax security to let it slip through even the back way and service elevators?
You have to wonder if some employees had suspicions and were afraid to report them in fear of irritating a guest.
It's usually the little things, those deemed not worth mentioning that, brought to light, can avert bad things.
It's hard to realize that there are those who walk among us every day who are capable of great evil and leave a trail of subtle warning signs behind, visible only to the observant and vigilant.
The times are constantly changing and ordinary citizens, law enforcement, federal agencies, and yes even the lawmakers, federal, state and local must change along with them, providing legislation that will enable those charged with protecting the public with the tools they need to take on this monumental task.
It's going to take vigilance, commitment, money, compromise and leadership and lets all hope that the cooler heads prevail and check their tantrums, hyperbole and prejudicial ideas at the door.
Children should be safe in their schools, people should be able to walk down the street, fly on airplanes and go to mass public gatherings without fear of gun violence.
It's time to pursue answers, to consider all options and be willing to abide by whatever the real solutions may be.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels
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