Biddy Bytes usually avoids polarizing issues, but in keeping with my theme of “Encouragement in a Difficult World,” and because I’m a former 30-year teacher (schools are often the arena of terrible violence), I’ve determined to weigh in on this major issue affecting us…
All gun proponents are not equal….and we all don’t subscribe to the same tenets. For instance, many of us realize that the present divide between those who adamantly follow the NRA (with its blind adherence to things as they are) and those who are opposed to leaving things “status quo” will only get sharper.
As member of an NRA household, I fear the consequences of the NRA’s uncompromising stand.
Most Americans favor some changes when it comes to gun purchase. That’s a fact. But we mostly never hear that….for all the hysterics.
Most Americans do not believe a mentally-unstable person should be able to walk into a gun show and purchase a warfare-type weapon (AK 47), Bushmaster, along with all the ammo they’d ever dream of (and for some, that’s their fantasy) to equip themselves for the holocaust…the school shooting…the Mall ambush they plan.
But that is the reality as things now stand.
Most Americans don’t want a dangerous felon who’s shown complete disregard for life having unfettered access to weapons, either. Most think purchase of weapons and ammo on the internet is a bad idea. Most want real background checks.
But we almost never hear what most Americans want. Their voices (in polls) are drowned out in the ramped-up rhetoric of those who side with extremes. Where does it get murky? The NRA portrays itself as guardian of American rights, the protectors of the Second Amendment, guaranteeing all will have the right to bear arms.
We know why we want this protection. We see evidence across the world stage of what can happen if people don’t have access to firearms: They’re at the mercy (and it’s never that) of dictators and autocrats who deprive them of their rights.
We’re also a country born in revolution from a repressive power. But today isn’t 1776. Today’s population is most diverse and some are really bad players bent on destruction.
Now, most of us decry the present gun situation in the United States and we fervently hoped we wouldn’t need to have this conversation, but the Newtown Massacre of Children makes it necessary. That event (and too many others) never should have happened. A lone loose player should never be empowered to wreak such destruction.
And now, if we do nothing, it will happen again…..
Here’s my concern: Despite the poll numbers that tell what most Americans want, the NRA insists on maintaining the current status quo. Then, too, their powerful lobby contributes to legislators, ostensibly to insure those legislators support their positions, a situation that’s flawed from the git-go..
Finally, I’m no prissy, tree-hugging type (not that there’s anything wrong with them). I’m a licensed gun owner; I’ve taken courses to learn the proper handling of weapons; we’re household members of the NRA. I believe, strongly, in the right of men and women, to arm themselves, especially in instances where they need to protect themselves.
If a gun evens the sides, I’m all for it.
But I stand in the ranks of those who want controls put on gun purchase in this country. The laissez-faire policy to date encourages misfits in the ranks to prey on the rest of us. To my way of thinking, the only parties that should have access to assault weapons are the military or police force, for they have legitimate reason.
The rest? They plan serious mayhem…and I won’t enable that.
NRA: Get in line with most of America, and agree to put controls on gun purchase, for many of us fear that with your unyielding absolutism, you’ll divide this country and make for a climate whereby others ban guns completely.
Then, we’ll all be at the mercy of predators….And we know there’s no such thing.
Why now? Because America’s blood runs in the streets…
……………And it’s the blood of our children.
Signed….Colleen Kelly Mellor (with Paul Wesley Gates)
P.S. The author’s husband, Paul Wesley Gates, was First Sgt. of his 861st. National Guard unit and Captain of his Rhode Island Army National Guard Combat Pistol Team. In addition, he’s a retired Correctional Officer for the state of RI. He is now an active member of the NRA. He joins his wife in this petition, requesting the NRA poll its own membership (83% agree on these points) and make the changes to gun purchase that most Americans want.
If you agree, sign the above copy and send to your Congressional representative (Senator Sheldon Whitehouse –if you live in RI.) Simply copy/paste it onto his website, noting your specific information. If you live outside of RI, you can sign and send to your own Congressional representative. This is an issue that knows no geographic bounds.