May 24, 1999


We need more guns, not less

By Steve Scroggins


Just as copycat violence was predictable following the tragic school shooting in Colorado, so was the knee-jerk rash of gun control legislation and the hand-wringing search for a scapegoat cause. Of course, we all want to "do something" to prevent such events. Polls materialized overnight----again, predictably--- showing some support for more varieties of gun control and legislators were all too willing to grab the easy feel-good placebo because the true solutions are too complex to implement immediately.

Even those who generally advocate gun control will admit that more gun control won't prevent such tragedies. The gunmen at Columbine violated numerous laws with willful intent; another series of laws won't make any difference to the next suicidal loon or loons.

The long-term solutions, at the risk of oversimplifying, require a broader perspective. We must demonstrate a willingness to spend the money to lock criminals away----especially dangerous ones---from the innocent. We need to overcome the ridiculous notion that any reference to God violates someone's rights. Removing God from schools and public life violates us all and removes the basic foundation for ethical and moral behavior. We must redefine deviance and overcome the fear that condemning deviant and dangerous behavior is too intolerant. When we tolerate everything under the guise of open-mindedness, anything goes.

That being said, we obviously can't make these changes overnight but we need to start dealing with crime now. Crime has always been a populist issue and in the wake of FBI crime statistics recently released, one mayoral candidate has come forth promising that he will address the crime problem in Macon. The FBI's statistics suggest, at face value, that in 1998 Macon's crime is up over 1997. Macon officials challenged the numbers suggesting that they were misleading.

From the recent Jack Ellis press conference, I didn't read or hear any new ideas on how crime would be addressed but instead only the usual platitudes and tough talk. I'd like to challenge candidate Ellis and all the local governments to do something constructive and do something that's proven to have beneficial effect. Ellis suggested that his administration would make things difficult for criminals.

One simple thing would strike true fear into the hearts of criminals all across our community: Let them know that most of our citizens will be armed. Surveys of incarcerated felons show that the one thing they fear more than police and prosecution is encountering an armed "victim." Simply the knowledge that most will be armed will give criminals pause to think. Because they won't know who is and who isn't, we all will be safer.

The community of Kennesaw, Georgia saw dramatic results in reduced crime by passing a ordinance requiring every home to own a firearm for self-defense. Of course, Kennesaw officials did nothing to enforce the ordinance. The idea was enough. And since most people are law-abiding, many previously unarmed households acquired a firearm to comply.

Those communities where firearm ownership is banned or strictly limited endure a much higher crime rate. Washington, D.C., and New York city are but two prominent examples. Criminals may be deviant, but they're not stupid and they much prefer communities where they're less likely to encounter armed citizens.

Owning and bearing a firearm carries with it a solemn responsibility for appropriate safety knowledge in handling and storage. Part of Macon/Bibb's plan should address appropriate firearms and safety training for citizens. The Bibb county sheriff's department has trained firearms instructors and a range on which to train citizens how to safely use their weapons. The NRA has firearms instructors for the asking. The NRA has safety programs for children including the Eddie Eagle program that teaches children not to touch firearms but rather go find and tell an adult.

Rather than just talking about crime reduction, Macon and Bibb County's leaders could actually do something constructive. Pass an ordinance encouraging gun ownership by law-abiding citizens.

Copyright 1999 Steve Scroggins - All rights reserved.

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Paul Harvey on Guns


>>>>For the life of me, I can't understand what could have gone wrong in >>>Littleton, CO. If only the parents had kept their children away from the >>>guns, we wouldn't have had such a tragedy. Yeah, it must have been the >>>guns.

>>>It couldn't have been because half our children are being raised in broken >>>homes.

It couldn't have been because our children get to spend an average >>>of 30 seconds in meaningful conversation with their parents each day. After >>>all, we give our children quality time.

It couldn't have been because we >>>treat our children as pets and our pets as children.

It couldn't have been >>>because we place our children in day care centers where they learn their >>>socialization skills among their peers under the law of the jungle while >>>employees who have no vested interest in the children look on and make sure >>>that no blood is spilled.

It couldn't have been because we allow our >>>children to watch, on the average, seven hours of television a day filled >>>with the glorification of sex and violence that isn't fit for adult >>>consumption.

It couldn't have been because we allow our children to enter >>>into virtual worlds in which, to win the game, one must kill as many >>>opponents as possible in the most sadistic way possible.

It couldn't have >>>been because we have sterilized and contracepted our families down to sizes >>>so small that the children we do have are so spoiled with material things >>>that they come to equate the receiving of the material with love.

It >>>couldn't have been because our children, who historically have been seen as >>>a blessing from God, are now being viewed as either a mistake created when >>>contraception fails or inconveniences that parents try to raise in their >>>spare time.

It couldn't have been because we give two-year prison >>sentences >>>to teenagers who kill their newborns.

It couldn't have been because our >>>school systems teach the children that they are nothing but glorified apes >>>who have evolutionized out of some primordial soup of mud by teaching them >>>evolution as fact and by handing out condoms as if they were candy.

It >>>couldn't have been because we teach our children that there are no laws of >>>morality that transcend us, that everything is relative and that actions >>>don't have consequences.

>>>What the heck, the President gets away with it.

>>>Nah, it must have been the guns.>>>

-->>>Paul Harvey