A Year After the Newtown Massacre, Gun Nuts are Still Nutty

1499543_10152099937627489_1345964120_nDespite what most conservatives who might read my articles think, I’m actually a pretty sensible person.  I’m much more of a “centrist” than I am a “true liberal.”  I just subscribe to the idea that while some principles shouldn’t be compromised, you have to be honest with yourself about what those should be.

Take for instance human rights — I’m uncompromising.  Yet when it comes to welfare reform, I’m more than willing to admit there is abuse going on in these programs and it needs to be addressed.  Granted I don’t believe blanket cuts to these programs is the answer, but I do believe stricter oversight would actually help curb some of the abuse.

But the one issue that seems to get people riled up the most is guns, and I’ve never really understood why.  I own 2 guns — big deal.  Self defense and sport are their main purposes.  I don’t overly obsess with these guns nor do I “fear” anyone is coming to take them.  Then again, I don’t live with the mindset that my ownership of a gun somehow keeps the “government fearful” of its citizens.

It’s honestly laughable that there are millions of people who believe that gun ownership keeps the government “in check.”  I mean, talk about being delusional.

But in this country you can’t even bring up sensible gun regulations without millions of people losing their minds.  I’m not talking about gun confiscation, or even registration, I’m talking about common sense gun regulations.

You know, like universal background checks.  Will this deter all gun violence?  Of course not, but it won’t hurt either.  Or something like magazine size limits.  I’m sorry, as a shooter, nobody needs more than ten round magazines.  If you can’t hit what you’re trying to hit with ten bullets, you shouldn’t be using a gun.

And no, don’t give me these ridiculous hypotheticals of groups of masked marauders breaking into your home, requiring you to need more than ten bullets.  Yes, I’ve actually had someone come back with that kind of hypothetical situation.  “Well, what if 11 guys break into my house, I’ll need more than 10 bullets then!”

I’ll tell you what, if 11 men are breaking into your home, you’re screwed — period.  You’re not Rambo and despite your delusions to the contrary, you never will be.

The problem is, these people really believe guns have nothing to do with gun violence.  As if guns magically shoot themselves.  Here’s the truth: Guns, by themselves, are harmless.  But when you mix crazy people and an easy access to guns, then you have a problem.

“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”  True.  And people prefer guns, hence the need for regulations to prevent access to those guns.

Which is why regulations are needed that aim to curb the likelihood of crazy people having access to guns that can unload incredible lethal force.   That’s just called common sense.

And no new law on background checks, or even the more unlikely situation of magazine limits, will drastically lower gun violence overnight.  These aren’t “instant” solutions meant to impact gun violence numbers once they’re passed.  They’ll take time.  And again, they won’t prevent everything.

But these rabid gun nuts really believe a citizenry that’s armed like it’s the old west makes more sense than a handful of sensible regulations aimed at preventing some gun violence.

I just can’t grasp the level of paranoia these people live in.  Part of it is based on this idea that their lives are in constant threat, with armies of criminals just waiting to overrun an unarmed society.  The other part is based on this notion that one day we’ll have to violently overthrow our government.

But what these people don’t realize is that they’ve been manipulated by the NRA and other gun manufacturers who profit heavily off their paranoia and fear.  The more afraid these people are, the higher the NRA membership totals grow and the more profits gun manufacturers make.

Though, when all is said and done, the “gun debate” is more or less pointless.  And unfortunately, even with horrific tragedies like Newtown happening far too often, nothing has been accomplished to try to prevent any of them.

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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