Resident's Viewpoint: Speak up against NRA's faulty logic
State Rep. Andrea Kieffer has said she's getting "tons" of emails on the gun control issue and that "most are very much in support of our Second Amendment rights." I understood that to mean they oppose tightening of gun control laws - from people she already agrees with. But polls show that Americans, and Minnesotans, overwhelmingly want increased background checks, for example. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our legislators shouldn't just be hearing from those in their own echo chamber.
The NRA is strong-arming lawmakers and trying to terrify the rest of us. Some of their reasons to oppose gun control:
1. "Our Second Amendment rights" (repeat this 'til you're blue in the face). I'm sure most everybody supports Constitutional rights. However, that doesn't mean we should put our brains on hold. None of those rights are absolute (and besides, the Second Amendment initially applied to able-bodied white men, with muskets...). We can't, as a civilized society, just keep shrugging off the carnage and genuflecting in the NRA's direction.
2. The full-blown paranoia of "There's a guv'mint conspiracy to come get me/my guns and I'll need to defend myself." Seriously, get a grip, nobody's coming. But if the government did decide to come for you, I don't think your guns would help much. Maybe you should consider getting a drone.
3. "Since gun controls won't fix every problem, we shouldn't even try." We're warned to lock our doors and install security lights, as often a burglar faced with a bit of difficulty will go somewhere else. Yes, there's sometimes one who won't be deterred, but that doesn't stop us from taking realistic measures to lower the risk. Only when it comes to gun control are we told that since there's no perfect solution to all gun violence, don't bother.
4. "Any tightening of background checks would 'inconvenience' our sportsmen." Many of our hunters do support tighter gun controls. They realize deranged people who shoot up schools, etc. tend to make all gun owners look bad. And they realize it's also an "inconvenience" to take a driver's test, buy car insurance, and buckle your seatbelt. Reasonable folks are willing to be a little bit inconvenienced if it can save the lives of someone's kids.
The reality is that the NRA wants to hang onto and expand its power, and keep rolling in a ton of money for its organization, gun manufacturers, and gun dealers. Their answer to all of life's problems is more guns. School shooting? Arm the teachers. Wife-batterer has a gun? Arm the wife. They're playing us for fools, and at what expense to our society?
When was it exactly that we turned our country over to the NRA? I don't recall voting for them. If this makes you angry, speak up. If you support reasonable gun laws, let your legislators know (contact information for state legislators is at http://www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/legdir.aspx). Too many think power comes from a gun. Power comes from letting our voices be heard.
Turnbull is a Woodbury resident