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Monday, November 18, 2013

It’s Not about Guns, It’s About Power

The issue of gun ownership / gun control is not likely to disappear anytime soon.  We, as a nation, are deeply divided over what it means to own a firearm.  But as I see it, it’s not about guns, it’s about power – and in this country we do not believe letting power go unchecked.

Our system of government has established checks and balances to prevent one person, one party, one branch of the government from becoming too powerful.  There are speed bumps and roadblocks to the passing of legislation – even good legislation.  We do this because we understand the destructive nature of absolute power.  We fear, and rightly so, allowing supreme power to be concentrated in one person’s hands.  A benevolent dictator is good in theory, but… power corrupts. Power destroys.

It’s not about guns. It’s about power or, in this case, firepower.  Guns are powerful tools.  And like all tools they can be used for good and productive purposes, or they can be used for evil destructive ends. And just as we have established means to limit the amount of political power that any one person, party, branch of government has in our country, we must limit the amount of (fire)power that any one person can have – and which persons can have access to that power.  A benevolent dictator is good in theory, but we don’t trust them.  Responsible gun owners are good in theory too, but we shouldn’t allow them unfettered (fire)power without a more responsible system of checks and balances.

Even the 2nd amendment “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” that gun owners and the NRA are quick to quote begins with that phrase “A well regulated…”  Regulation. Control.  It’s written right into their favorite amendment.

Gun regulation, gun control is not un-American. It’s an idea built upon one of the foundational values of our country. It’s not about guns. It’s about (fire)power – and in this country we do not believe in unfettered, unchecked power.


  1. You seem to be under the same assumption that the ones seeking to regulate have - that the problem is with the guns themselves and not in the way they are used and by whom.

    Criminals will always find ways to get the guns they want, despite any and all laws or regulations that prohibit the sale or use of a firearm.

    In the end you are promoting the loss of a liberty that you yourself have chosen to not make use of.
    To deny others from the right to use it is a bit myopic.

    I do not own a firearm - I have chosen to not purchase one at this time yet I *have* been trained in the use and maintenance of many out there in the market thanks to the US Army.

    Knowing that if I wanted one, I could go get one is a freedom enough at this time - more than once lately it feels as though I may need to exercise that freedom before it is taken from me by a pen-wielding bureaucrat.


    1. Thank you NTTP for stopping by, and for commenting.

      But I do understand that the problem isn't the guns themselves. I think I even said that in the article - they can be used for good or for evil. I do believe that regulations will help to control the way that they are used and by whom.

      Regulations about what kind of firearms are available - who needs an assault rifle for hunting or home defense? Regulations about who can own them - tests to weed out the mentally ill or convicted felons.

      I also think that firearm insurance is a super idea. We require automobile owners to insure their vehicles against damage, injury or death to other drivers - why not do the same for firearms? Want to own a gun? Have you passed the background checks? Great. Now insure that your gun won't be used in a criminal shooting or an accidental death.

      Even responsible gun owners need checks and balances.

      Thanks again.


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