Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Securing weapons - a grave responsibility

My previous post on gun control is already one of the highest traffic postings. And judging by the few responses and email's that I've gotten (I generally don't post responses) the readership reaction will pretty much fall in line with the general positions on the subject: those who are for stricter controls on guns will hate it, those for gun rights will approve.

What must be remembered is that ownership and operation of any tool that has the potential to harm or kill a person comes with a grave responsibility. To own a weapon is to accept a responsibility to control its use. "Gun control" starts with the person who owns the gun.

The stories of children and and adults who have killed with weapons owned by a parent or friend are cases which could almost certainly have been prevented. There are very affordable and very effective products to secure guns. These include the very good products from GunVault (my personal choice)- who has a great lineup of product to secure hand guns, to more full-sized cabinets. There are other strategies such as locking the bolt of a rifle in a safe and gun locks. (You can buy 3 of them at Amazon for $22.)

The sad reality is that too many people own guns but have not secured them. It's simple: if we have a right, but with that right comes a grave responsibility. I personally favor two things: 1) Require that gun owners must demonstrate that they've handled their tools responsibly and taken care to secure them from wrong or unlawful use, and 2) The courts must hold parents and others responsible where they have not and their tools are used to kill others. No, I don't mean that the police can come knocking on your door and do surprise inspections, but if care was not taken then they must suffer sever penalties. This would send the chilling message that having a cache of guns sitting in the corner is a recipe for a deadly disaster.

We don't allow dynamite to sit around. We don't leave nuclear weapons unsecured. We don't leave the keys in the F-14. We simply do not provide the temptation or access to those who would use them for harm. We also should not leave our tools of protection, of sport, and of historic collectable significance freely available to the chemically induced mood swings of angry teens.

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