A liberals view on guns and why this may shock you

I did not grow up in a house with guns. We didn’t go hunting, or to the shooting range. My best friend in high school grew up in a family where hunting was a part of life and their house scared me cause it was animals everywhere and not live ones. I am also a liberal. But much to many peoples shock I do not agree with the liberal view on guns.

Here is a side story that is completely related. My sister is a recovering heroin addict. I say recovering because she’s sober FOR NOW. Also I watch the show Breaking Bad. Both situations involve something illegal that people can easily get their hands on. With my sister it means putting herself in bad situations to get a drug that could kill her. With Breaking Bad Walt and Co make meth and sell it to dangerous men.

If we make guns illegal, or try to take peoples right have guns away all we are doing is creating a worse situation. A situation in which you create a black market for dangerous weapons and maybe even more dangerous weapons.

I always think of the episode of Greys Anatomy where the shooter talks about how he went into a Costco like store bought a gun and bullets and it was no big deal. Don’t get me wrong I dont think guns should be sold at the local CVS to anyone who wants one and I do believe psychological testing, and more background checks should be involved. But here is the main point. Guns dont kill people…crazy messed up loonies kill people. Angry people kill people.

Maybe if instead of trying to outlaw guns we spent money on getting psychological treatment to people who need it. Do you know that most health insurance does not cover mental health. I see a therapist and I am lucky that Cigna covers it but places like BCBS do not. Maybe that should be a focus. Maybe people who have no insurance should get to be able to talk to a professional when they feel that rage.

Why punish people like my boyfriend, stepmom, friends who like protecting themselves, their families and like going shooting ranges or hunting because some whacko went into an elementary school and shot a bunch of kids. Yes its horrifying and I cried for those babies for days but the guns weren’t the issue. He was the issue. The person behind the gun is the issue. Always.

 

Keep that in mind.

 

Steps off soap box

Comments

  1. says

    I agree with everything you said! Me and my fiance have a lot of guns in our house, and whenever people want people like us to get rid of them, I cringe. No matter what, bad people will get a hold of guns, so why prevent people like us from protecting ourselves?

  2. says

    I completely agree with you Neely. It irks me to no end when people attack the means instead of the cause. To me that’s like outlawing a Big Mac because it causes health issues. Okay, definitely not the same level as guns and shooting but you know what I mean? lol

  3. says

    *applauds*

    I feel the same way. Kids under 21 aren’t allowed to have alcohol but does that stop every college freshman from getting a six pack each weekend? No. It just makes it illegal.

    If we just take away guns, then we will have absolutely ZERO knowledge of where the guns are. With the current laws, at least we will know where MOST of the guns are and who posesses them. I have no problem with stricter regulations on obtaining the gun, limits on ammo, no assault rifles, etc. Those things will manage some of the issues quite well (not all…and not entirely…but it might be better)

    I also have no problem with an armed security guard in schools…a trained, professiona secuirty guard brings me comfort. I like knowing there are secuirty personnel at the airport, the mall and the hospital, why wouldn’t I want that comfort where my CHILDREN are involved?! I don’t want every teacher packing (lol) but a trained person hired to protect them? That just makes sense to me.

    But then again…in the Pennsylvania forest, guns are a lot more common and almost every kid I know has taken gun safety courses. I myself have been taught, from a very young age, the proper way to handle a gun and also what to do if I find a gun unattended, who to tell, where to go, etc….maybe that part of living in such a redneck, hunting area is good.

    Ooops. Soap box in a comment. ;)

  4. Crystal says

    I agree with everything you said!! Our whole family owns guns and so do our friends, but it is for protecting our family. Why punish us for some psycho’s issues?

  5. Lexie says

    Neely you make your point very well. That is the heart of the issue, that first and foremost in this country we have to stop the discrimination by insurance companies to cover mentally health issues. Once the stigma is gone associated with mental health then people like these recent shooters could have sought help. I have been shooting since I was 3 and target shoot all my life. I would never hunt as I am a vegatarian. I believe we all have a right to be armed and I will always protect my own home with my guns. Gun control is not the answer, it is better screening of those that purchase guns.

  6. says

    As a fellow liberal I completely agree. I also grew up in a nongun household. I actually own 3 different guns including an AR-15 and they were way easy to obtain. Virginia has one of the most lax gun laws in the country and it took me all of 2 minutes to buy them. Gun shows happen every month here and people buying and selling are not required to do background checks or have a dealer license. Any joe shamoe can walk off the street (even a convicted felon) and buy at the gun shows.

  7. says

    Neely thank you for being so honest (as always!) and sharing your thoughts. I agree with your view that outlawing guns is not the answer, but I want to point out as a fellow liberally-minded person that the “liberal view” of gun control that the media and many conservatives are talking about is not necessarily accurate. In my experience, none of my (very liberal…some much more to the left than myself) friends and none of the Democratic lawmakers I follow have suggested that we take away everyone’s guns or outlaw them. It seems like the most common suggestion is to make military-grade weapons illegal or harder to obtain – better background checks, etc. I know that the gun control bill just passed in NY, the super liberal state where I live, targets people who own illegal guns, changes penalties for gun owners who commit crimes or exhibit symptoms of dangerous mental disturbances and limits the availability of high-capacity magazines. It explicitly doesn’t affect hunters and farmers and those who simply want to protect themselves. Sorry to get on a soap box myself, it’s just that I agree that it’s the person, not the gun, and I think so many other liberals and progressives believe that too and it’s unfortunate that the “liberal view” has been generalized so much in this debate as wanting to outlaw guns altogether. Thanks again for your thoughtful post!

  8. says

    I completely agree with your POV on this. My husband owns, guns, and hunts providing FREE fresh meat for our freezer, which ultimately saves us money. I am much more liberal than he is, and wish to never own a gun, a tazer maybe, but no firearm. I do not believe in taking the right away from those who choose to own, yes more restrictions, but completely will only make more problems.

    Thanks for sharing your opinion.

  9. says

    I’m a conservative and I agree with you 100%. If we can agree, surely Congress can as well. I have a degree in psych and that has always been my argument. We need to make mental health more of a priority and therapy/counseling available to everyone who needs it. Great post.

  10. says

    I agree that the person behind the gun is the problem, but I think the reason gun control gets brought up is because our culture loves guns and everyone has them. Sandy Hook guy wasn’t eveb the owner of the guns he used, people just have them everywhere and violence is sorta glorified in so many places. I personally don’t care for guns and think their only intent is to inflict harm, so I wouldn’t mind if they were done away with. I feel it is very sad state to be in when you are in fear of needing to protect yourself with a gun in your home, or out in the street, but the culture makes people think they need them. Vicious cycle.

  11. Jackie says

    I am with you. Right after Newtown, I got into a heated debate with a family member. As a healthcare professional AND someone who uses mental health service (diagnosed anxiety disorder), I felt that our mental health system in this country was broken. Do I think you should be able to own a gun similar to those used to kill people I war? No. But I don’t think outright banning guns is the answer. I commend you for your honesty!

  12. says

    Exactly…it’s like saying that spoons/forks should be blamed for obesity. It’s not guns or forks or spoons that are the issue. Law abiding citizens follow the rules. It’s the non-lawabiding citizens who don’t care what happens and will find a way to create mass-destruction if that is their goal. It doesn’t have to be a gun. They’ll find other alternatives. Look at the Oklahoma City bombing. He didn’t need a gun to accomplish what he set out to do. I agree some stricter standards probably wouldn’t hurt things…stricter background checks before buying guns: but here’s the thing on that…it’s your word on a piece of paper checking a box that says you have not had any mental health issues. Who’s checking on that? There’s no federal system that tracks mental health issues across the board. Now, if you are a concealed carry license holder, you had an extensive background check before the state government would issue a license. Fingerprints and all.
    Schools and churches right now are supposedly the safest places yet it’s because you cannot go there with a weapon; those areas are supposed to be no-gun zones, but again, it doesn’t stop the non-lawabiding citizen from going there (as has been proven).

  13. says

    owning a gun is a priviledge. I remember that girl you are talking about in high school and that was the only hunting family I ever knew. That kind of gun use isn’t what is under scrutiny. I am for tougher background checks, limits on bullets. It won’t hurt the people using guns for recreation, or even protection. mental health is a separate issue in my opinion.

  14. says

    personally, I abhor guns and really dislike people using them even for recreation. however, I am intelligent enough to understand that it would be incredibly unwise to take away people’s right to have them. this is really refreshing coming from a liberal =) (and I don’t mean that in a derogatory sense!)

  15. says

    I totally agree with you. He was the issue. He had some serious problems that probably could have been prevented. When I was seeing my therapist, I had BCBS and they covered almost all of my visits. I know that some insurance companies do, but I was happy that they covered almost 75% of my visits. This was after I had met my deductible, but the visits were still not full price. Anyways, I do believe that guns aren’t the issue. We need stricter restrictions on who is able to buy guns.

  16. says

    You forgot to point out that the guns belonged to his mother who wasn’t the insane one (though I can’t see why any sane person would want to have that kind of weaponry in their house). The nonstop “guns don’t kill people” stuff is just ridiculous. Those guns should not have been in the hands of anyone who isn’t in the middle of a war zone (and Newtown, CT is far from a war zone). I don’t believe that all guns should be banned but weapons of mass destruction (yes, I know that’s an exaggeration) should be. There really is no need for them.

  17. Jennifer says

    Nothing is being proposed to “take away everyone’s guns.” Poster above Michelle asks, “why prevent people like us from protecting ourselves?”

    NOTHING the President has signed will prevent you from protecting yourself or legally owning guns. People should really READ the executive orders for themselves and not let the media or NRA-talking points do their thinking for them. That is what prevents real reasonable reform from happening; the NRA can fund ads aimed at scaring the public that “Obama and the Democrats” are going to take your guns from you to influence elections. An uninformed public buys it “hook, line and sinker” so then elected officials are afraid to propose even basic reforms that most people would believe are common sense (like background checks, national registry, mental health screenings).

  18. says

    You hit the nail on the head. As a country, we are not concerned enough with mental health issues. We need to be treating mental health as a real medical condition. Drugs are illegal too and people who want them, get them.

  19. Chelsea says

    I mostly agree. I think a big emphasis should be put on obtaining guns as well as mental health. Shouldn’t someone be questioning why people need to own a machine gun or some crazy military weapon? It’s just not necessary to hunt with…is it?

  20. says

    I couldn’t possibly agree with you more. Buying guns at Costco ummm, no. But, outlawing guns entirely I think is just as bad, if not worse. Other countries that have outlawed guns have huge increases in crime because criminals know they aren’t breaking into a house or store where the owner may have a gun. And, it’s not like criminals follow the law anyways. Very insightful.

  21. says

    I complely agree with you. But BCBS does cover mental health. I’ve had it my entire life and so did my brother until he turned 18. I’ve only see a therapist a few times, but he used to see them weekly, sometimes twice a week. And you’re right it’s the person that kills, it’s not the gun, the gun doesn’t pull the trigger the person does.

  22. says

    There is nothing else that I can add to that to make your points more correct! I just want to say Bravo!! My boyfriend and I have been preaching these same points to each other for days now. About time someone actually said it! :)

  23. says

    I COMPLETELY agree with you.
    I actually posted something along the same lines as this post on a friend’s facebook status earlier.
    While I think the reasoning behind the amendment has changed, I don’t think that taking away our right is the option. It will just make a bigger mess, just like the drugs, like you said.

  24. says

    I applaud you for posting you opinion. I don’t agree but that’s mine. I do believe MILITARY grade rifles need to be outlawed and they shouldn’t even be allowed to be sold to the many who are trying to get them now before it happens. There are too many people in this country who think guns are the answer to everything. They see it in movies and whatever and think it will protect them from harms way. I am sure this kids mother thought that, yet he took her guns and all her ammo and used it on her and those little children and teachers. Yes, mental health needs to be resolved but there use to be a lot more attention on mental health issued I am sure and those were done away with most likely so that they can have their “freedom” too. I know of a child who has a gun for going hunting and I find it disturbing especially since I don’t feel comfortable with this particular kid having a gun. I have even heard both her parents say they think she has mental issues. It’s just WRONG.

  25. says

    yes and yes! i was raised in a home where my dad had guns around, both for work and personal protection. he taught my siblings and i how to use them properly and how to be safe around them. he and i are on the complete opposite end of the political spectrum, but i will always be on board with law-abiding citizens exercising their right to protect themselves and their families.

  26. says

    well said, Neely. It’s crazy how much we have in common. I too did NOT grow up in a hunting/gun house and have no desire to own a gun of my own. Sounds like your sister and my brother could be twins except that my brother chooses ALL drugs, not just heroine. I hope you don’t get too many hateful comments for this post. I think you did a great job with it!

  27. Anonymous Today says

    “Maybe if instead of trying to outlaw guns we spent money on getting psychological treatment to people who need it.” AMEN! While I agree with restrictions too (including training), I think this would do more to help prevent future incidents like this. If crazy people want to do something like this and can’t get guns, well then, explosives can be made out of fairly common ingredients. It wouldn’t prevent this, just change the nature of it.

    We were lucky that our insurance did cover medication for my mom’s Bipolar disorder. When menopause threw off those meds and she had cycling episodes where she thought things like that my college was euthanizing people in the basement and my neighbor was the unibomber (the dilusions changed by the minute) and we finally were able to get her to willingly go to the hospital they told us that insurance wouldn’t cover admitting her unless she was suicidal or homicidal! But if someone’s THAT DILUSIONAL “homicidal” could happen at any time–it seems absurd to wait for it to show up! This is something the government would do well to cover the costs of.

    Luckily, research brought a better drug and nothing like that has happened since she’s been on the new medicine. A generation back when my great aunt was institutionalized for the same thing there was no treatment–and they didn’t even know the cause. I’m convinced putting money into treatment and research is the best investment towards stopping new tragedies–and it improves people’s life as well.

  28. Anonymous Today says

    PS: I feel the need to explain that the kind of delusions my mom experienced are not typical of all people with Bipolar disorder. This is something that shows up rarely with some people with Bipolor disorder but not most. This was not even typical for her–something that took our whole family by surprize.

  29. says

    This issue also makes me think of a comment a comedian once made. He said that when the amendment was written, the guns they were speaking about took forever to load and all that. I mean you could only put ONE bullet in at a time. People making a big deal about this are talking about guns that fire off a lot of bullets in SECONDS.

  30. says

    We keep guns in our home (in a safe, of course) and always practice good gun safety. It is important to us that we have them, and our neighbors on both sides have them as well. Obviously, we very much support the right to keep the guns that we have.

    I think one of the biggest reasons that outlawing all guns is the sheer volume of guns in existence in the US (I believe over 300 mil). Even if a ban similar to the ’94 Automatic Weapon came back (which, by their definition, would include guns that people we know own), it only applied to new weapons – you could keep your legal assault gun from prior to the ban. Meaning, hundreds of millions of them are still out there, and bad guys can always, always find a way to get there hands on something that plentiful.

    Seems like a fruitless search, and an impossible cost for a country already struggling with debt…

  31. says

    I couldn’t agree more. I am scared of guns – like – probably top 3 worst fears and my fear is irrational. I hate the thought of them, if I see one I clam up, if I hear one I get anxious, I don’t like watching movies with them.. I just really hate guns. I live in a place where hunting is popular so when I see them, or hear them, it’s a pretty non threatening situation but I can’t help but lose a bit of control on the inside.

    BUT – I agree with your theory about how having black markets for them will turn it into a more dangerous situation. My big thing is that if someone is going to be able to own and operate a gun they should definitely have testing, like you said. Lot’s of testing. Different types of testing. I think there are guns in the hands of way too many people who wouldn’t pass those tests. That, to me, is the scariest thing EVER.

  32. says

    I think people have a lot of misconceptions about guns… someones irrational fear of firearms should not take away my right to protect myself and my family. Bad people who want to do harm will figure out how to carry out acts of violence with or without banned firearms. It comes down to educating about gun safety and offering some sort of constructive reform on how people purchase weapons.

  33. says

    I couldn’t agree more with absolutely everything you said. Thank you for posting this!
    The underlying problem is that, sadly and horribly, we have people in this world who WANT to kill other people. And no gun control laws are going to fix that.

  34. says

    Honestly, I couldn’t agree more with you. People kill people, not guns. I don’t think the gun has a mind of its own and randomly shoots people. I, personally, have a hand gun for my own protection in the months/years to come with Nathan’s when Nathan is gone on trips. I see nothing wrong in that.

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