Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Who's really in control?

I’m confused,  and I know what you’re going to say…

You’re always confused, so what’s new,

very funny.  

But on this issue, I am truly stymied by the rhetoric that continues to force a wedge between the good people of this country. 

This particular issue is about gun control, and right off the bat I have a problem, why do guns need to be controlled?  Shouldn’t we be asking for the people who use guns to be controlled? 

I know it’s a small thing, the difference a word makes or a simple statement but it’s in the words that we derive meaning and the meaning of gun control is to control the inanimate, a non-thinking piece of metal.  The word control is a noun and it means the power to influence or direct people's behavior or the course of events.  Kind of like the way I try to control my dog, I do try but in the end, he always gets his way and it seems to never be my way.  So much for control.

This term “gun control” has been bantered about for some time and for all that time no one has thought to question the phrase itself.  It is an incorrect phrase, in a sense a non-sequitur, there is no logic in the very premise of the statement making the very statement invalid.  The term control refers directly to the actions of a person or persons with the motivation to alter or regulate a stated or observed behavior.  

I would be less confused if the statement referred to the need to control the buying power of a person or the ability of a person to use a gun, or even the more broad approach that discussed the overall citizenry in specific terms but to attempt to put controls on a gun or a group of guns is illogical.  

Understanding the statement is not the problem, we all know what the statement is trying to convey.  But with so much at stake, whether you’re a gun loving liberal or a gun fearing conservative the issue is clear, some want to take away the rights of ownership and curtail the use of guns, the purchase, sale, and distribution while others want to be free to own, sell and distribute, (sounds like a drug dealer).  

Two obviously diverging points of view but the gun itself has nothing to do with this issue.  It must be agreed that the persons involved are the ones who need the control if controls are truly needed.
The other day I was swinging a hammer at some unsuspecting nail.  I’m actually pretty good with a hammer but on this occasion, my attention slipped as did my hammer hitting my hand.  I tell you, at that moment I thought it would be a great idea to have some controls on that errant hammer, especially since it caused me great pain and harm.  I can see no better law than to curtail the rights of that hammer, making sure that hammers around the world are controlled and regulated; my hand hurts and I want that hammer punished, banished, melted down; maybe we could have a hammer buyback program, I would gladly sell this instrument of torture back to the city or county…

The point I’m making is that people need to be responsible.  Hammers don’t kill people, hammers kill guns…oh, wait I think I have that wrong.  Hammers kill people with gun…No that’s not it either.  Hammers and guns have rights people don’t…sounds good but still not right…I think you get the idea.  The idea of control when directed toward the individual would not sit well with the American public, so it’s so much easier to talk about controlling guns and hammers.  Guns don’t complain and I actually still need my hammer so it’s not going to complain, especially since I hit it against the cement and taught it a lesson it will not soon forget.

The real lesson here is in the politicization of a simple issue.  If they wanted to control gun use why not simply say “we want to control the people who use a gun?”  I for one would be overjoyed to hear the truth of that statement, I might not like the plan toward their attempts to control me but at least I would know what they were really trying to do.   


  1. That is an interesting thought. When any other type of violence happens we always ask "what's wrong with you". Thanks for sharing this.

    1. thanks for reading Don, I appreciate the comments...they were quit numerous on google+

  2. My favorite post yet. I really like how you lighten and add a bit of humor to this dreadful issue. Your hammer analogy spells it out. Thanks for posting this dad.

    1. the hammer incident really happened, may hand still hurts...dang hammer...

  3. I like reading your blogs Uncle Rick, but I must disagree with you on this one. I think that guns should be controlled. Obviously guns are used by people, and those people kill other people. But to say that guns should not be controlled is to say that steps should not be taken in all areas of this matter. Guns, unlike hammers, have no use except to hurt people. Yes, in rare cases, to protect one's home or loved ones, but the purpose is to injure. Hammers have other functions, and an injury is an accident, whereas a gunshot injury is the purpose of the instrument.

    There are other things that can be better controlled as well, video games, media stories, mental instability. But our nation is one of the few in the West that allows for such freedom in this area. How many more tragedies must occur before we accept that maybe some more controls on guns could be part of a solution? Of course it's not the end all be all problem solver, but to be unable to ban assault weapons, especially after Sandy Hook, is unfathomable to me.

    We are all responsible for that, because we allowed this kid to slip through the cracks in many areas, including his access to guns at his house. Without that, he would still be mentally unstable, but we would have 20 more kids with bright futures and loving hearts with us now. In my neighborhood, which is not unsafe, there were two shootings in movie theaters within 2 days of each other. Thankfully no deaths, but now going to the movies is more risky than it was a week ago.

    No one wants to take away freedom, but freedom to do whatever we want is the cost for a society with rules that we agree to abide by. I don't know if controlling gun sales and distribution is going to do as much as I hope it will do, but I do know that by not taking steps, by not trying it, we are allowing people to continue shooting each other.

    1. If you read the words of our founding fathers, they were very clear on the topic of gun control and spelled out the consequences of a government who takes the weapons of its citizenry. Their predictions have come true on many occasions and in each case the death toll was horrendous and graphic and senseless.

      With a bit of tongue in cheek I would rather have a few errant incidents than a mass grave of thousands. Poll pot, Stalin, Edi Amin...etc..etc...We are a great country because our founding fathers understood the greatness of its people and the fundamental need of the people to defend themselves from each other and a tyrannical government, if it comes to that. Take away their guns and we will have tyranny and thousands upon thousands dead....

    2. The intent does not have to be to take away guns entirely though; banning assault weapons and making guns more difficult to acquire does not actually prohibit gun ownership.
      Also, the second amendment reads: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." This does not necessarily give every man, woman, and child the right to bear arms. Also, lest we forget, these laws were written at a time when muskets were the best weapon available. I have a hard time believing that Jefferson or Washington would look at the carnage that we see in our society and agree that this was the intent.

      As far as Hitler and Stalin taking guns away from their populations, I can't find anything definitive on the subject at all- the closest I am coming to a source is wikipedia.

      John Locke was a man that our founding fathers not only respected, but copied. Locke's theory of government is that people give up the right to be absolutely free in exchange for safety.

      I don't have an objection to self defense, my argument is protecting those who cannot defend themselves against a weapon designed solely to kill.

    3. The commas in the second ammendment provide an emphasis on specific functions of that ammendment. The first is the Need for a militia, the second related but specific in its intent is to provide For the right of the people do bEar arms, not nessessarily of the militia...The idea, as stated by many of the founders was to protect the people from the very government that might want to take those freedoms away.
      My mother in law lived under hitler and remembers the disarming of all society, especially the Jews...
      Its not about the specific weapon it's about the right to defend ourselves from those who would do us harm...criminals have no restrictions on size or power why should we? Governments have no restrictions either so we should not be restricted...
      We may not agree on this issue but I want to be assured that when my government steps in to take what is mine I want the ability for defense....
      Nice thoughts I like your logical approach..keeps me on my toes...thanks for participating.


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