October 3, 2012

You Get The Picture: Guns do not create violence, people do

By Magen McCrarey
Staff Writer

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — I was literally shooting in the breeze, my camera shutter was clicking madly as assault rifle shots rapidly echoed bouncing off of the tree line.  Members of the Laurel County Sheriff’s Office, military, Kentucky State Police, and assault rifle enthusiasts were all practicing their tactical shooting skills with ease.

I was completely upstaged as my puny DSLR Canon didn’t even compare with the AR 17 rifle that had fire erupting from its slender barrel with each shot fired.  I kept my distance from the massive gunfire for safety, but wasn’t afraid one bit.  Because all present were skilled men who protect our lives daily.

My deep respect allowed me to capture the strict focus and immense precision that each of them carried during the training.  Many people that I know believe guns are an unnecessary evil, but I’m sure if you asked these fellas — guns are necessary because of evil.  Gun violence is an age-old issue that I’m sad to say probably will never have a final resolution.

Guns do not create violence unless the individual is themselves violent.  I understand that this is my own personal opinion and perhaps someone would argue that if guns didn’t exist then no one would be shot in the first place.  But when life gives you lemons make lemonade, and in the case of violent individuals, when life gives you jail time make a shank.  A violent individual will always find a way to wreak havoc on our apparent peaceful lives.

As far as the current presidential candidates go, neither have responded to calls for a debate on how to prevent gun violence.  Although, President Obama reported in the New York Times that he favored new gun control initiatives to protect Second Amendment rights, although he called for an assault-weapons ban four years ago.  Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney moved away from his position on the issue, in which he previously supported background checks and the ban of some assault weapons.

Neither candidate has mentioned making a change to current gun policy despite tragedies such as the mass shooting in Aurora, Colo., this year, and the 28 mass killings that have occurred in the U.S. since two teenagers rampaged at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo.  The future leader(s) of the U.S. are simply playing it safe and my viewpoint is that communities need to play it safe as well.  

I strongly disagree with the OK for assault weapon ownership for individuals without tactical training for law enforcement purposes.  And no, Batman is not applicable for that category.  Personally, my faith is stronger than a weapon and I don’t feel the need to carry one around for my personal protection.  But if the time ever came to protect someone I love, you better believe that I would feel the need to defend them.

As the day of shooting in the cool breeze came to a close, I felt comfort in knowing members of the community have dedicated their livelihood and extracurriculars to protecting me, my family and friends.  Their calling is to defend for honor, love and safety — not for the sake of violence.