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Guns don’t kill people; people kill people

EDITOR:

Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.

The title of this piece might be the only sentence about guns that advocates on both sides of this issue can agree upon… until they start listening to one another.

Admittedly, I am not a gun expert and have no desire to own a gun, but I’ve taken the time to research, ask questions, and consider what it would mean for Delta County to be a Second Amendment Sanctuary County, as Commissioner David Moyle is proposing. The most important thing I did while writing this article was calling Mr. Moyle. We had a polite conversation about a controversial issue; would you believe there is a lot we agree on? It’s tempting to just write off someone with an opposing view and go on assuming you’re right and they’re wrong. That self-righteous attitude is unfair to the other person and it sells short your own capacity to understand and appreciate multiple perspectives.

That being said, I still strongly oppose Mr. Moyle’s proposal. It is unnecessarily divisive and breeds paranoia about liberals taking guns away, which is not based in reality. The majority of weapons used in mass shootings were legally obtained, and research indicates there is a correlation between mass shootings and states with less restrictive gun laws. Rather than preemptively assume any gun control legislation would infringe on gun owners’ rights, we should focus energy on preventing mass shootings and gun violence.

The intention of the Second Amendment has been exhaustively debated. The Founding Fathers, wielding muskets and flintlock pistols, could not fathom how the right to keep and bear arms might be applied in the modern era of advanced lethal technologies. So take a moment to understand how gun control laws would actually impact you. Do you use assault rifles and high capacity magazines to shoot deer or protect your home from an intruder? No? Then you would not be affected by laws banning these items. People own them for recreational target shooting, but why? Hobbies that require access to deadly weapons should not be more important than preventing mass shootings and protecting the right to life. Do you threaten or carry out acts of violence against yourself or others? If not, Red Flag laws (with due process protections) would not impede your right. Are you a law-abiding citizen willing to demonstrate your knowledge of guns and gun safety? If so, you shouldn’t have a problem passing universal background checks or satisfying license and permit requirements. It is intellectually lazy to accept the notion that any gun control law is a slippery slope to your guns vanishing. That is a gross misrepresentation of what gun control legislation would actually do, which is keep guns away from the people who kill people.

My family currently lives abroad serving our country; but Escanaba is my hometown and our home between assignments. One benefit of our life overseas is that our daughter’s school day does not include “active shooter” drills. Let’s come together and find a real solution to propose.

Andrea (Gouin) Johnson

Escanaba native