No, Guns Are Not What ‘Ails’ the Nation – Opinion

It is a commonly accepted fact in the gun community that most of the people who support stricter rules on firearms don’t truly comprehend the gun rights issue. These people have rarely owned a firearm, let alone fired one. These people see that gun violence is rampant across the country and are convinced those who try to reduce gun ownership for responsible citizens can save more lives.

An op-ed by Dean Minnich was found in the Baltimore Sun, in which he suggests that guns are “at the core of what ails us as a nation.” Let’s go ahead and break this one down.

Minnich opens the piece with a discussion about a Baltimore gunman who opened fire on his street. The shooter fired 60 shots, wounding four people and killing one. “That night on local TV news, the police commissioner was pleading for someone to come forth and speak up, so the cops can catch the shooter,” he wrote.

Continued the author:

Let’s not forget: The incident was recorded by no one. It was middle of the afternoon, and it was nice. Someone had to see something, someone had to know something, and heaven knows, if cops were trying to arrest a suspect there’d be all kinds of video and people on camera complaining about police brutality. Where are today’s neighbors?

Perhaps someone will come forward and say something and share a clip, then even be willing to testify.

Minnich pointed out that even if someone is willing to come forward, “it will take more courage than the average suburban resident can imagine.” He notes that most who don’t live in inner city neighborhoods have to worry about the repercussions of “snitching.”

He’s right. In many areas, there is a code which discourages anyone from reporting to authorities that they have witnessed violent crimes. The shooter fails to understand that Baltimore PD will most likely discover that he was illegally armed. That means the gun control laws he is fond of would have no effect on his ability to kill anyone. States like Maryland have stringent gun laws. This is putting innocent people in greater danger.

Further, he explains how urban residents can be shielded against the reality of living in suburban areas. He said:

Gun ownership can seem like a basic right to suburban citizens. They are interested in how gun ownership protects their community and helps keep them safe. The average suburban citizen has the transportation and time to travel 20 miles to test out the 30-round magazine they purchased and all the gadgets that make it an automatic weapon. They have assault-grade weapons, too, but they could use them for deer hunting if they want to, so they have the right to have — and brandish them — on the steps of the building where the school board is meeting.

This paragraph shows a surprising ignorance regarding guns. I’m not even an expert but I know that 30-round magazines do not turn a pistol into an automatic weapon. People who don’t know anything about guns are trying to get legislation that would restrict them.

But I digress.

Minnich goes on explaining why guns are so problematic:

The residents of these areas, where shootings occur almost daily, live on a completely different planet from those who claim to be citizen patriots. However guns remain at the core of our problems.

It’s too easy to get the weapons and use them, and too hard for good people to actually do the work that really defines the freedom we like to believe is our American birthright.

The author fails again to recognize that gun crime victims are violating the laws. Millions upon millions of gun owners are responsible and legally acquired their guns. Only a few use the weapons for hunting, self-defense or recreational purposes. America doesn’t have a gun problem. The country has a problem with its heart, which I will discuss later.

This is also explained by the author:

Just witnessing a crime can make you the victim of another in some neighborhoods; just being from other neighborhoods makes other people think they’re immune from the consequences of their misjudgments.

Minnich loses sight of the main point. Ironically, Minnich actually made my case for me. The problem lies in a culture where witnessing crime and notifying authorities could put someone at risk. Guns do not make people punish others for “snitching.” This is yet another reason why this is a heart issue – not a gun issue.

This reality cannot be addressed by removing guns from those areas. In fact, it makes it difficult for people living in such areas to get firearms. This is also making them more susceptible to bad actors who can easily acquire illegal guns. There are far more firearms being used for self-defense than there are criminals using them to perpetrate violent crimes. This only encourages criminals to obtain weapons by preventing law-abiding individuals. Minnich and others who wish to save lives must understand that arming the population will achieve the exact opposite.

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