YORKTOWN, Va., Jan. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- There is a national discussion underway about gun control. The two arguments can be summarized as follows:
Pro-gun control -- Modern firearms are highly efficient weapons capable of killing mass numbers of people and have no place in our civilized society. For everyone's safety, they should be kept out of the hands of ordinary citizens.
Anti-gun control -- Firearms serve many important functions, including providing for personal protection, preventing tyrannical rule, and repelling invaders. For these reasons, our Second Amendment right to own firearms should never be infringed upon.
Those who argue for gun control cite highly-publicized mass murders, including the massacre in a crowded theater in Aurora and the unspeakable slaughter of school children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Those against gun control point to the incidents in which people have successfully defended themselves and their families from armed attackers. They cite cases such as the watchmaker who killed waves of gang members attempting to rob him, and a mother who killed home invaders seeking to brutalize her family.
The solution offered by gun-control proponents is to restrict access to law enforcement and those participating in sporting activities, such as hunting or target shooting. Recognizing that this is an ambitious goal, they settle for taking away the right to purchase the deadliest of weapons, starting with assault rifles and other weapons with high-capacity magazines.
The solution offered by opponents of gun control is to put in place more protective safety nets, which might include armed guards in schools, just as they are in other public venues such as airports or shopping malls, and to enable individuals to protect themselves by carrying concealed firearms.
Dr. Bradley, author of the Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family, and a life member for the NRA, offers a unique perspective. "The FBI estimates that there are more than 200 million firearms in circulation, and, given that guns can easily outlive their owners, that number will continue to grow. While the number of firearms should give our enemies pause, it also creates a serious dilemma for those in favor of gun control. Without reducing the number of firearms already in circulation, there's simply no way to affect the crime rate through gun-production limiting measures."
Dr. Bradley suggests taking a different approach. Start with better background checks. To be effective, they must include a system that can be used when trading or selling firearms at gun shows or between individuals. Next, enforce free mandatory training for gun owners. Bradley says, "Frankly, I don't want people carrying firearms if they can't safely handle them. If you aren't willing to invest a little time learning to use a firearm safely and effectively, then you have no business carrying one."
He goes on to say, "Instead of our politicians trying to turn us into a nation of sheep, I'd like for the laws to support those brave enough to act as our sheepdogs." He suggests that our law enforcement be supported by individuals inclined to act as the first line of defense against senseless violence. "I'm not talking about vigilantes. I'm talking about law-abiding citizens who are not only highly proficient but also knowledgeable of when it is appropriate to use deadly force."
Estimates put the number of citizens who lawfully carry concealed carry firearms at more than six million. That's a lot of sheepdogs. Put into place legislation that recognizes the value of these brave individuals and we might actually have an impact on the violent crime in this country.
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SOURCE Arthur Bradley, Ph.D.