Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Background Checks - ruffling feathers on both sides of the aisle…

No, I am not your typical middle-aged, suburban, housewife and mother.  Frankly, I’m not typical at all.  I don’t see things the way others see them.  I don’t believe the same things others believe.  My thought processes are often far different than friends and relatives.  I try very hard to see the bigger picture, rather than dwell on either the pros or the cons of an issue.  Perhaps the only thing we can all agree on in this country is that no matter what you believe about any given topic, there will always be someone whose beliefs are diametrically opposed to yours.  And that is their right.

We are each a conglomeration of our education, upbringing, religious background, environment, financial circumstances, and work/life experiences.  These are the things that mold us into individuals unduplicated on the planet.  (Yes, I know there are identical twins, but let’s not go there.)  What a horrible world this would be if we all looked the same, talked the same, thought the same, and did the same things…it would be like a remake of The Stepford Wives, 7.08 billion strong!

I’m sure it’s no secret to my political detractors that I am indeed a Democrat.  I tend to think of myself as a moderate, but there are those who would call me a flaming liberal.  I believe in equality under the law.  I oppose war unless it is in response to direct attack, and if we become so engaged, I believe in going in, getting it done, and getting back out.  I support teachers, our armed forces, medical personnel, first responders, and others in professions too numerous to list who provide essential services to our citizens.  I believe that everyone deserves access to adequate healthcare.

And in what many will consider a complete disconnect, I like guns.  I believe in the second amendment, and I believe I should have the right to own and carry a weapon if I so choose.  I have fired all manner of weapons from a snub-nose 22 and a Baby Glock, to a Colt 45 revolver (quite a kick), to an AK-47, to a Remington 700 sniper rifle (my personal favorite).  I also believe in personal responsibility.  That means, if you want to own or carry a weapon, you should be trained, appropriately licensed, and registered.
Yes, I agree, that registration and background checks will not prevent every criminal from obtaining a weapon.  Yes, I agree that there will inevitably be more terrorists or psychopaths who will acquire weapons illegally and use them to evil ends.  But if better background checks and registration stop even a small percentage of such catastrophic events, why would anyone object?
Before you start arguing that the Toomey-Manchin amendment to S 649 the “Public Safety and Second Amendment Rights Protection Act of 2013” was going to result in confiscation of your weapons, or a creation of a national firearms registry (it in fact prohibited the establishment of such a registry), or limitations on the type of ammunition you could obtain, or restrictions on the size of your clip or magazine, or in any infringement regarding the Constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens, you should probably actually READ the amendment.
If you don’t care enough to slog your way through every word of that amendment and find out for yourself exactly what it proposed, then all you are doing is aping the biased opinions of others, no matter which side of the argument you support.  Because I like guns, and want my rights protected, I did indeed slog through that amendment, all 8,119 words of it.  There was nothing in that amendment for gun owners to fear.
The amendment was voted down, not because it contained any threats to our Constitutional rights, but because there are elected officials who are determined to not compromise with the current administration, regardless of the wishes of their constituents.  Their actions are personally and politically motivated and not in the best interests of their employers (that would be we the people).  I find their actions embarrassing as well as reprehensible.