As you can imagine, this last week has been absolutely crazy with everyone panicking about the potential of another ban coming down the pipe. On top of that is the sadness that everyone feels when a tragedy like this occurs - and the frustration with politicians and other special interests who try to twist it to their own ends.
Over the course of the week, my personal take on this issue shifted several times. At first, I thought it would all blow over - then I started to get worried (especially when nothing seemed to be coming out of the NRA).
I spent time thinking about how much more access I had to firearms as a youth than kids do now (including the dreaded semi-automatics). It's amazing how guns weren't that big of a deal in the school parking lot - and I even heard stories from customers who would take their rifles into school as part of different shooting clubs.
In that environment, where firearms were so freely accessible to kids, there were never any sensational shootings like we see now.
To me, that is proof enough that the problem is not the firearms at all. But, what is it? And, why are people so convinced that banning certain types of guns will make a difference?
Heck, the Columbine shooting happened smack in the middle of the last ban...
Personally, I think the issue is more about media sensationalism. I think a few mentally unstable people want to go out of this life with a bang - and the media is making that possible by covering these stories in intense detail, while virtually ignoring stories like the Oregon CHL holder who prevented a similar mall shooting a few days later.
As much as it would be easy to say that the press should be limited on how they report these stories - that would be just as unconstitutional as a gun ban. So, what is the solution?
To me, the NRA statement summed up the best idea I've heard so far - and it brightened my week considerably.
I now believe that it's not time to give up on this! When we all run out trying to stuff our closets with magazines and rifles that may be banned, we are playing into the hands of the people who are trying to take our rights away.
That's not to say that we shouldn't be prepared; but, I do believe we should also allocate some funds to the primary organization that is fighting to preserve our rights - the NRA.
Please take some time over the next few weeks to donate some money to the NRA (if you're not a member, now is definitely the time to join). Be as generous as possible because this truly is a defining moment for gun owners.
Anti-gun politicians and news reporters can quote as many statistics as they like about what % of Americans think so-called 'assault weapons' should be banned; but, we know that most people don't actually vote based on this issue. The only ones who do are you and me - so let's give the NRA the funds they need to defend our rights!