CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The behavior of some members of Congress and the current discussion of gun control in the general public is clear proof that our educational system is failing. We have either never heard, never learned or forgotten that one can gather information, analyze it, find out if it is based on facts and then draw a conclusion, using reason and sound judgment.
The voices defending the second amendment are loud and clear. The message is almost word for word the same, which makes me wonder who composes the propaganda so that even the dimmest light in the shed can repeat it with total conviction.
The first argument is usually that "guns don't kill." This slogan from the defenders of gun rights makes perfect sense. A gun by itself, cannot kill. A human being, by himself, cannot easily kill, even with a knife, a blunt object or by the sheer force of his hands or feet. The combination of a human AND a gun certainly makes killing easy. We have ample proof of this.
The second argument is that automobiles can kill, and we have no intentions of restricting their use. If you buy a car, you buy it to move easily from place to place. It is a mode of transportation. It can kill. We read about many accidents, but, even with the millions of cars on the road, people do not deliberately target school children with cars. The main purpose of a car is to be driven. The main purpose of a gun is to kill. Huge difference.
Of course the most convincing argument is the second amendment that guarantees us the right to bear arms. As a farmer, I know that I will need my .22, just in case we have to shoot an injured animal that cannot be helped, or to scare away predators or to harvest a deer that calls our farm home during the year, but we do not need any assault type weapon for our daily needs here.
People shout out that we will need the serious weaponry and its arsenal of ammunition to defend ourselves against our ever more intruding government. Please, if you don't ever use any logic, try to apply just a small portion of it to this subject. We pound ourselves on the chest claiming to be patriotic, to be the best, the most coveted nation in the world. We praise our soldiers for defending our freedom in far away lands, and then we arm ourselves to the teeth against a government that we have the privilege to elect?
When I try to remember the moments in history where people used their guns to fight their government, they are usually called revolutions.
Of course, the suggestion that we should have an armed police force in every school makes sense at first, but there is no guarantee that the armed protector would be at the right place at the right time. What if he has to use the bathroom? What if the school has many different buildings? What if he eats lunch in the car? What if the killer uses smart tactics to distract the guard?
Should we turn all of our public places, schools, sports arenas, shopping centers, courthouses, art centers into heavily armed fortresses, just to allow an individual to amass enough weapons and ammunition to show us that he is exercising his right, guaranteed to him by the second amendment, while the rest of us wander around in fear of which nut will realize his Sylvester Stallone image to try out the first 30 clips on us?
The only suggestions to curb gun violence so far are to create a register of mentally ill people, put police in every school and create committees to discuss violence in our society. We fight the most obvious and only proven solution, which is to stop the sale of assault weapons and take existing ones out of circulation. All the other suggestions are hard to implement or even senseless, but if we deny the fact that countries without assault weapons have a much lower gun homicide rate than we have, we do so at our own peril.
Sava is a farmer in Birch River.