On Gun Control

January 11, 2011 § 1 Comment

The recent shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and a number of other people including a 9 year old child here in Arizona has created a lot of conversation about gun control. Since I live in Phoenix Arizona, not too far away from Tucson, I have some thoughts about all this.

I own a Glock 17 which is similar to the weapon used in this tragedy. The Glock 19, used to shoot these people, is a smaller version of a 9 mm, which is designed for better concealment. I got my handgun because I received some anonymous treats on my safety/life and I was concerned. I spoke with the police and they could not do anything about what happen happened via telephone and text messages so they recommended the Glock as the weapon of choice.

I had never owned a handgun. I went to the local gun club, tried a few different models, requested purchase of my Glock 17 and they made a phone call to check on me. Five minutes later I was the proud owner of a new handgun. Since I had recently moved from Southern California I was surprised how easy it was to purchase the gun. California has a waiting period. In fact, many years ago when I had a private practice as a psychologist I had a patient who was enraged at her boss. She had purchased a gun with the intent to kill her boss. She had a waiting period of a couple weeks, which gave me the time to effectively deal with the issue. She gave me the receipt and never picked up the gun.

I was now the new owner of a handgun and did not even know how to load the magazine. I knew nothing about this weapon and no one at this store asked me if I knew how to use it. I decided to take two intensive classes to develop more skill and knowledge about this handgun. I took the basic gun course of 8 hours and the course to get a concealed weapon’s license. Both of these course gave me a much great knowledge about gun laws and made me a more educated owner of this weapon. I was surprised that the NRA teachers were very non-violent and expressed the best gunfight you will ever have is the one you are NOT in. The teacher for the concealed weapons license stressed the best thing to do if you have a gun and you see something “going down” call 911 and stay out of it. I am very happy I took these courses.

Much to my surprise the governor of Arizona recently signed a law waiving any requirement to carry a concealed weapon. No longer does anyone here in Arizona need any training to buy a gun and carry it. I am speechless about this law. We require some training to drive a car but nothing to own and use a gun.

I believe that people should be able to own a gun. I also believe that people should be required to have some training on the proper use, the current laws and proper mental state for gun ownership. What in the world do people need fully automatic weapons for if they are not in the army or police department?

I was told at my classes that any gun fight usually only last for 3 shots, anything more than that becomes a gang war or worse. If guns are for self-defense, why do we need a clip of 33 bullets? None of this makes any sense to me. Is it possible to have guns laws that are reasonable and minimize the potential danger of misuse? I know this is possible. It is well known that guns don’t kill people, people do. It is the people who are handling the guns. Why not do something to insure that the people owning the guns are educated, well informed, psychologically sound, and have a mature approach to their use. I think it is possible to honor the Second Amendment without being an idiot at the same time. Do you?

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§ One Response to On Gun Control

  • K says:

    Question:

    If others did not have guns, would you have felt the need to own one for self-protection?

    (England does very well with gun control laws, because assailants do not have them.)

    Agreed, though, that if we permit them at all, there needs to be better background checks, training and other regulation. That is surprising about Arizona law.

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