Lyle Byler

The knee-jerk reactions to the recent shooting atrocities that have occurred blaming an inanimate object have been expected and are forthcoming.

It is not the guns that are to blame, it is the person holding that gun who has to take all responsibility for his or her actions. Does one blame a vehicle for killing people in wrecks and not the driver of the vehicle? Or water for someone drowning? These activities and more, which are all legal and fun to do, kill more people, including children, than guns. Shall we outlaw all of these just because someone becomes stupid and misuses the tools that are required to live our lives more comfortably? Sounds absurd, does it not? It is just as absurd to believe more gun control laws will have any effect on bad people.

The talk among the anti-gun folks seems to be centered around a certain style of gun, the so-called “assault rifle.” There are many men and women who shoot military weapons in competitions. To ban those weapons and the high-capacity magazines that go with them, would not only deny them their right to compete in their sport of choice but would also deprive everyone else from owning the rifle of their choice, which is guaranteed under the Second Amendment of the Constitution.

It also appears that those who are most passionate about gun control are those who have never been to a shooting range, gotten the proper training or actually shot a firearm of any kind and are therefore afraid of what they do not know.

Throughout the history of mankind, there have been and will be disturbed individuals who are hell-bent on killing as many people in one location as possible for no apparent reason using whatever means at their disposal. Even dynamite was used on a schoolhouse in the 1920s. All laws that are created were constructed so as to give the honest citizenry guidelines in their daily lives. The people who are not law abiding do not pay any attention to whichever law they are going to ignore. How will more anti-gun laws keep the non-law-abiding from doing their dastardly deeds? Even the federal lawmakers who wrote the so-called “assault weapons ban” of 1994 admit that it did nothing to curb crime.

Having all government buildings, schools and way too many businesses locally and around the country being so called “gun-free zones” tells everyone with any common sense that they are target-rich environments for bad people to do bad things. Who or what will protect the good people from the bad guys in those places? A law, which the bad guy will ignore anyway? A rule? Sure, you can call 911 but what will the response time be? How many people die waiting for the police to show up and neutralize the threat? There are not, nor will there ever be, enough police officers to protect everyone. We, the people, are our own first line of defense and we each have the God-given right to protect ourselves and others from harm. Otherwise, we are and will be at the mercy of the bad people who will show no mercy.

What to do? Better screening during purchases? Allowing those who have a concealed carry permit and the proper training unrestricted carry rights? In my opinion, that would be a good start. To be honest, most people who have carry permits spend a lot more time at the range practicing than your average police officer and are therefore better shots. I, for one, would rather know that there are honest, law-abiding citizens in these places of business with the training and fortitude to be able to protect all the other citizens from the mayhem that could be perpetrated onto the unsuspecting.

The folks who have the concealed carry permit have one for the same basic reason you have insurance on your home or vehicle. No one who has a concealed carry permit ever wants to take another human being’s life. That firearm is insurance and you hope you never have to use it.

In the grand scheme of things, it really is not about guns, it is about control.