Gun Violence And Common Sense In America
Editorial-Opinion March 2023
Daryl Kirby | March 1, 2023
Few events are more distressing than waking up to the news of some deranged idiot shooting people at a school or mall. Is there a solution—a magic wand move that would make it 100% certain we never wake up to that news again? The answer is no. But if we’re going to do something to make it less likely, what’s the best action or effort? Proponents say gun-control measures are ‘common sense.’
Seems more logical and ‘common sense’ to recognize that tougher sentencing for existing laws would be more effective than a new law that only impacts people who won’t break a law.
Shooting someone is already illegal. Passing a new law banning a certain type of gun or how someone gets a gun isn’t going to stop someone already willing to pull the trigger on another person for money or because they got disrespected. Maybe focus on the bad guys. Instead, gun-control proponents want to wave a magic wand that does no good but smacks everyone in the face—except the individual willing to use a gun for ill will.
Most gun crimes are committed by repeat offenders. Many have already been convicted of firearms-related offenses but escaped punishment, like the man who recently killed students at Michigan State. Instead of a new law that impacts people who aren’t a problem, how about we deal with the individual who is a problem?
Instead, America is spiraling quickly in the opposite direction. A criminal now gets cashless bail—released immediately while awaiting trial. They receive light sentences, if not just probation. If they go to prison, they are released early. The new message is that crimes are not taken seriously. The new message emboldens criminals rather than deter them.
Back in 1994 under Gov. Zell Miller, Georgia passed a “Seven Deadly Sins” law, requiring juveniles charged with crimes such as murder, rape and armed robbery with a firearm to be tried as adults. In 2009, the law was softened, allowing juvenile-court judges to decide which offenders would be tried as adults. Unfortunately, in areas where crime is the worst, prosecutors and judges are more likely to follow an ideology that promotes a culture war against police and against punishing criminals. Their actions embolden criminals rather than deter them, yet these same people feel a sweeping law that impacts the 99.99% of people who don’t break laws is the correct action. And they call that common sense?
Take the calls for an ‘assault weapons’ ban. By focusing on semi-automatic rifles that look scary, lawmakers want to punish law-abiding citizens and many hunters who have done nothing wrong. Common sense? The vast majority of gun crimes are committed with handguns, not rifles. According to the latest FBI stats I could find, there were 14 murders committed by rifle in Georgia that year, while 34 people were murdered with knives and nine were killed with fists.
Why is gun violence the only aspect of crime where ‘common sense’ means we restrict the law-abiding while ignoring the criminals? There’s no call to ban Dodge Chargers because of street racers taking over streets in Atlanta. There aren’t calls for banning objects related to other offenses. The difference with gun-control measures is that there is a percentage of the population who have never owned a gun and can’t fathom the possibility. Their parents never hunted, and they probably live in a gated neighborhood with a security guy riding around all night on a golf cart. Make no mistake, regardless of what these people tell you when they support ‘common sense’ gun control, most see the solution as a complete ban on all guns—period.
Ensure criminals face harsh penalties. Send a strong message that gun crimes will not be tolerated.
Gun violence is a problem. It’s more of a problem in our amazing country than most others. Our amazing country was shaped and molded by men and women who used and needed guns to provide food for their families and to protect them from the bad guys. Many of those same guns were handed down from generation to generation. In this amazing country we still use guns to provide food for our families. And there are still bad guys.
No magic wand, and certainly not ‘common sense’ gun control, will change that. Instead of restricting people who don’t do bad, maybe get serious about the bad guys.
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