By GORDON GLANTZ
GORDONVILLE — Forget the name you see above.
I’m not Gordon Glantz.
Call me Don Quixote.
When it comes to the issue of gun control, that’s who I am. Driven to the point of heroic madness.
I’ve gone at the subject of gun control 1,000 times, so get set for No. 1,001.
We have so many inherent problems in this country.
We are literally torn apart by a covert Civil War, which was initiated by your former president (not mine).
Education? Environment? Bullying?
Gun Control still tops the list for me.
I’m not advocating going door to door and taking all your guns, either. If I would, I could, but I can’t.
But there are measures that can be taken to save lives. Why not move forward?
Let’s start with this bitter pill: More American have died from gunfire since 1970 than in all wars combined. And the death toll continues to rise.
Take a minute to swallow it without choking.
Now, to put it into more immediate terms, try this: There were more than 500 shootings this weekend that resulted in 233 fatalities.
Some like to parse it out between mass shootings and street shootings, but a gun death is a gun death. No matter the victim’s race or social standing, the blood of a victim runs in rivers of red.
What gets me is that the common response I get, even from those who are frustratingly neutral, is that there is nothing we can do about it.
Throwing up your hands and surrendering to the madness? Is that the American way?
Actually, I’ll tell you what it really is: It’s the Yemen way.
Yemen? Yeah, Yemen.
That’s the only other country with an attitude toward guns like we have.
Let me update you on Yemen, so that we have some context of who are partners in gun crime happen to be.
Yemen is in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. An estimated 12 million children are hungry, thirsty and lacking basic medical care.
Considered one of the most unsafe places on the planet, travel advisories are generally issued due to terrorism and kidnapping and overall violence.
Yemen is second – I repeat, second – to one other country in the gun ownership.
Take a wild guess?
United States? Bingo!
Maybe Yemen can’t help it.
We have this fantasy, perhaps a fetish, about playing John Wayne. The reality is that ever getting to do that in your own home, as compared to a tragic accident or heat-of-the-moment domestic disputes or suicide (two-thirds of gun deaths), are much great.
And I have news for you. John Wayne, while also a racist in the real life, was also wimp. He served as many days – zilch — in combat as the former president (not mine).
Let it go.
Let me tell you a story. Once or twice a year, we have a garage sale. Without fail, some “customer” will show up looking for guns and ammunition. We will politely tell him we don’t, and it’s not uncommon for this “customer” to refuse to take “no” for an answer.
“Youse, don’t got nuttin’ at all,” he’ll say, while rattling off different types of guns and bullets, and smirking as if we’re losers when we say no.
Is this how it’s supposed to go down? And it’s naïve to think these guys only use our garage sales to circumvent the flawed system where approximately 20 percent of the guns on the streets are sold outside the boundaries and countless others are stolen.
The common arguments I get, usually on Facebook, are that it’s a mental health issue.
I’m not going to argue that it’s part of it, but it’s blatantly irresponsible to thrown that blanket over it and walk away.
Statistics show that the vast majority of people with mental health issues are non-violent. What we can agree that it is not enough people who need access to mental healthcare are able get it (typically blocked in budgets by the same right-wing politicians that refuse to budge on gun control). Pretty much unrelated in reality, people seeking easy access to guns are able to get them.
What do the sobering numbers say? It is, in fact, easier to get your hands on a gun than to get psychiatric treatment. This is from that Harvard place, by the way, not FOX News.
The other one, and most laughable, is the car comparison.
How about this, ding-dongs? Let’s compare mind sets and see where we are on it.
Read a car magazine or through an online thread and compare it to those from gun enthusiasts.
One person is enjoying the open road, the other is enjoying pulling the trigger on a weapon with only one reason for its existence.
The reality is that, since 1921, the auto fatality rate per 100 has been reduced by 95 percent.
Gunfire? Not quite, sorry.
There is a conscious effort, from car owners and makers, to make them safer each year, with features like improved breaking systems and traction control. Most cars are equipped with features to assist with going in reverse.
The passage of time has seen seat belts, air bags, speed limits, lights (red, yellow, green, blinking, etc.), the need for an operator’s license, updated insurance (with incentives for safe drivers), high beams for the dark, a focus on distracted driving, etc.
Then, yawn, comes the misinterpreted and misunderstood argument about the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms.
Let’s back up the bus a bit here and talk about the First Amendment, which protects the right of free speech but does not guarantee the right to defame someone’s character.
The Second Amendment, often treated like it came down with Moses from Mount Sinai and cannot be touched without the planet being struck with an asteroid, does not preclude sensible regulation. For example, background checks would not be unconstitutional.
Still, do you own nuclear weapons? Well, why not? Where is the line drawn? It’s OK to have an AR-15 or AK-47, which rattle off an insane amount of shots, but not antiaircraft missiles in your backyard?
And, speaking of the Constitution, it was written when people owned other people and women were allowed the right to vote.
Not only was it not etched in stone, the founding fathers – visionaries but also products of their time – didn’t want it to be etched in stone (look up the definition of the word “Amendment”).
I have no doubt that they never intended the Second Amendment to be anything more than state militias being prepared for the British Army trying to reclaim lost turf. Considering we bailed out Britain in both world wars, becoming a power in the process, that is not a concern anymore.
The state militia members of yore have become the National Guardsmen of today.
I think we’re good.
As bad as times are.