Recipient of millions from the NRA and quite possibly the most phony politician out there, Paul Ryan, announced yesterday that he will not support any proposals that restrict gun ownership in any way. This includes AR-15's and similar weapons with military power that can out gun the police and slaughter students and concert goers in seconds while causing incredible destruction internally. Simply put he supports guns that aren't meant to just stop an intruder or kill an animal when hunting, but guns that can cause the most destructive harm possible and have no practical use in day to day life.
Ryan supports this despite the general public being overwhelmingly in favor of the assault weapons ban as well as other "restrictions" like requiring a license, training, waiting period and a background check before obtaining a weapon.
Whatever your view on the 2nd Amendment and gun control, if you are being honest with yourself you would have to admit that our Founding Fathers did not imagine the type of weaponry currently available. In fact it's reasonable to think that 50 years ago politicians didn't imagine that you could just walk in to a store and buy a gun. There are some weapons available that are even more severe in their destruction than AR-15's either by design or with some alterations. We can only imagine what types of weapons will be available in the future.
So the question for Paul Ryan and other politicians who are in the NRA pocket and not with the general public on gun control, is what's your limit? Is there any gun or weapon you don't want people to have? You can hang out on Cicero Ave near Midway and with a rocket launcher you could probably take down an airplane. Does that fall under the right to bear arms? Is that weapon just like a gun in that until I show I have bad intentions with it I should be allowed to have it? Yes I'm aware that some guns with rightly placed bullets can already take down an engine, but what if the weapon comes along that makes it much, much easier or quickly blows up a whole airplane? Is that anti aircraft artillery gun good?
What if a gun in the future can suddenly work like a rocket launcher can? Is that alright? Drones are everywhere and military drones can fire bullets. Is Paul Ryan going to give the thumbs up to 18 year olds owning drones that can some day fire bullets in the same manner as an AR-15? What about a gun that some day is invented that can spray 1,000 bullets at once? Is Paul Ryan going to be cool with people walking around Summer Fest with those around?
I'm no gun expert, but I do know a few things:
- The Supreme Court has already ruled that it's not a 2nd amendment violation to restrict assault weapons.
- Nobody serious is proposing to take away all guns.
- Most gun owners are OK with background checks, licensing and a restriction as to what types of weapons people can have.
- If you think you need a gun that can easily fire more than 6-10 bullets in a short period of time I'd love to hear about all of the times that has been necessary for your safety.
- Nobody expects the USA to eliminate most guns out there and everyone knows that as a result we won't eliminate all gun deaths, but we sure can take away a large chunk.
- Study after study shows that you are less safe with a gun than without. If you can't leave your home without a gun it's possible you need the type of mental health counseling that should prevent you from owning one in the first place.
- The only purpose of a gun is to kill. AR-15's and other similar weapons aren't the cause of shootings, but they are the means. Mental health is often the cause, but before we work on the cause we need to take away the means.
Will bad guys have guns illegally that they shouldn't have? Yes, but it will be less and less and unlike now, if you see one of them with an AR-15 type weapon, you could arrest them. In Florida, Nicholas Cruz couldn't be stopped because until he started shooting he had done nothing wrong. In places like Arizona where Gabby Giffords was shot, the gunman didn't violate any laws until he pointed his weapon at her. "Good guys" with guns couldn't act until the first bullet was fired.
Paul Ryan expects that this issue is going to go away because it always does. This time feels different whether he realizes it or not. We can only hope that we don't have to wait until Emma Gonzalez is President for the change we need and the change most people want to take place.