Hello. My name is Sarah, and I believe in the Second Amendment. I am also a liberal, so I believe in gun control. There, now that I’ve said it, both sides can skewer me, but perhaps they’ll learn to work together and compromise in the process.
Let me back up for a moment. I believe in the Second Amendment for a variety of reasons. I believe I have the right to bear arms (I like a good sleeveless tee), bear knives, bear cricket bats (in the event throwing albums at the zombies doesn’t work) bear big sticks, and bear guns. I believe that many American families rely on hunting in the various rifle seasons for a stable and reasonably-priced source of protein. I believe I find venison and pheasant and duck to be especially tasty. I believe in the right for law-abiding citizens to purchase, register, and possess firearms—hopefully with a healthy dose of safety training. I believe in the right for individuals to protect their homes with a gun, if they choose, and otherwise, if they do not choose a gun (I prefer aluminum softball bats, myself). I believe that those who enjoy shooting as a competitive sport and have gone through lawful means to procure said tools for their sport have the right to own weapons.
Honestly, I believe our Founding Fathers were pretty darn smart, could think ahead a bit, and would still intend for our nation to have this right—if we choose to (you can always choose to not have a gun in your house—and I think that’s totally fine, too. Your house? Your rules).
Now, let me tell you what I DON’T believe in.
I don’t believe in the right for a nation’s citizenry to own implements of war. I don’t believe the Second Amendment includes assault weapons, extended clips, hollow points, grenades, tanks, anti-aircraft artillery, missile launchers, or nuclear bombs because they are implements of war. You get the idea, right? I don’t believe that you should be allowed to own an implement of war without at least six weeks of basic training and an active military ID. I find the idea that someone can conceal and carry in my state with an eight hour class to be deplorable. I will not send my children to public school in my state if Missouri passes the proposed bill to allow armed teachers and administrators in our public schools. I don’t believe in anyone being armed inside a school, church, or government building.
I do believe in more access to mental health care (let’s get to people before they want to shoot and kill others, why don’t we?) but I do not believe in a database of those who’ve been classified as ‘mentally ill’. For Pete’s sake, should my post-partum depression bar me from owning a gun? Where do we draw the line? Who gets to decide?
I do believe in training our teachers and administrators to better respond to an active threat. Hiding in the closet, bathroom, or corner of the room is about the worst option you can choose. I believe in better background checks and longer wait times (I’d be fine waiting a week or two, wouldn’t you?) and better police training and mandatory gun safety education… and I don’t believe in gun shows at all.
I believe in strict gun control, but I do not believe in an outright ban of guns. I know, I know, it’s a conundrum for many of those who I would consider to be on the far ends of the continuum.
I also believe that most people in this country think the NRA and Piers Morgan are all jerkfaces… and perhaps this will be the point that brings us all together and starts the ball rolling.
Again with the digressions…
Let me tell you, however, what I do believe in over all other things: I believe that most Americans want to discuss gun ownerships and laws. I believe that most Americans find themselves in the middle of the continuum where on the left there is the stripping of all weapons, and on the right there’s the NRA of present day. I believe most Americans are moderates. I believe most Americans want and CAN reach a compromise on the gun control issue. I believe we can find common ground.
Yet, I’m afraid Congress and the White House will not be able to do the same, especially if we sit back, quiet, and do not tell them (in small words) that discussion, compromise, and common ground is exactly what we want and what we will demand from them.
Tell me: What do you believe and not believe in?