I have often heard the mantra from those who feel emotional about their gun rights that the majority of gun owners are safe, responsible and law abiding, and that if this country were only to endorse how to properly use a firearm, and firearm safety, that gun violence would great diminish.
Well, you had your chance.
The past holiday weekend, gun owners and groups had the opportunity to urge fellow gun owners not to engage in celebratory gunfire. Shooting a deadly weapon randomly in the air, as common sense will dictate, is a dangerous practice. What goes up, must come down. This practice shows a blatant disregard for the public safety of Americans, the shooters' neighbors. Not only that, it is illegal. It is a blatant exercise in irresponsibility and lawlessness.
On July 4th, reports of celebratory gunfire came in from across the country. In Illinois, it cost an innocent man his life. In North Carolina and Florida, innocent Americans were wounded as a result of celebratory gunfire. In Richmond, Virginia, at the one year anniversary of the loss of seven year old Brendon Mackey to celebratory gunfire, gunfire was reported as early as 8 PM on Independence Day, less than one mile from the Mackey home.
Urging gun owners not to engage in celebratory gunfire is not an infringement of rights. It is a promotion of firearm safety. Yet, in my thorough perusal of gun groups on social media, I did not see one message. Not one. Pages like the NRA, Gun Owners of America, Cold Dead Hands, Guns Save Lives, The Right To Bear Arms, etc, did not practice what they preach. They failed to promote firearm safety, on a day that would logically appear to be an opportune time to do so. A number of these pages did have sweepstakes to give away a free deadly weapon.
Gun owners and groups alike need to pay more than just lip service to the common sense notion that with rights, comes responsibility. Not just for oneself, but to the gun owning community at large. Gun owners are more than willing to wash their hands of the daily American blood shed by gun violence. Omitting to promote responsibility along with rights is in and of itself irresponsible, and they only have themselves to blame.
Saturday, July 12, 2014
More on Celebratory Gunfire and gun responsibilities
This blog ran something asking gun owners to not engage in the practise of shooting their guns in the air "in celebration", but it seems that many "pro-gun" blogs didn't bother with making the same request.
Come on, rights happen to come with responsibilities and you are far more likely to lose your "right" if you act irresponsibly.