How long can we believe it won’t happen here?

From 30,000 feet up, the debate in our country over the excessive amount of gun violence is interesting. The 2nd Amendment (the right to bear arms) is cited sanctimoniously by “strict constructionists” of our constitution who claim our founders guaranteed us the right to bear arms which had not yet been invented. How does someone on a shooting spree with a flintlock rifle kill over 20 people? After the Dr. who examined me in Fargo in 1968 overlooked the bone spurs in my foot, I was trained by the U.S. army to use an assault weapon. Everyone has the right to their own opinion, but I have not seen the need to have one post-military. I trust the U.S. military to defend my family from foreign enemies. I trust local law enforcement to protect my family from domestic enemies.

I am a gun owner. I own a deer rifle, several shotguns, a .22-caliber rifle, and a handgun. They are all locked in a safe so they are not stolen by criminals or available to my grandchildren who are all too young to handle firearms. While hunting deer, I use a bolt action. If I miss the first shot (not an unusual occurrence), the subsequent shots are Hail Marys anyway as deer are able to run quite fast and are difficult moving targets. Obviously, shotguns are the weapon of choice (and law) for pheasant hunting. I doubt if a game warden would be impressed with a second amendment defense if a pheasant hunter was caught with an assault weapon. Bottom line: having waived my right to own an assault weapon has not been a burden.

We all have the right of free speech. That said, how much of a burden is it for us to refrain from dropping f-bombs while attending church?

We have heard journalists and politicians blame the multiple killings on various sources, including but not limited to, lack of gun control, lack of background checks, lack of red flag laws, video games, poor parenting, poor church attendance, video games, lack of prayer, President Trump, God, the devil, Congress and members of the both parties.

There is a degree of truth in all of these theories. That said, I sense that apathy is also a factor. We have become desensitized to these mass shootings. We view them as the equivalent of getting struck by lightning. We continue to give our thoughts and prayers to the shooting victims and their families. We continue to blame transfer as citizens and watch our government reflect us. Is this being cynical or merely realistic? How do we reconcile being the greatest country in the world with Americans of African descent being killed at their Methodist church, American Jews being killed at their Synagogue, American children being killed in grade schools and high schools, American and Mexican Hispanics being killed at Walmart, American gays being killed while dancing, American audiences being killed at country and western concerts, American audiences being killed at a Batman movie? Do we start profiling white men with assault weapons? What does an undiagnosed crazy person look like? What is the difference between crazy and evil? There will never be a perfect solution, but is this the best we can do? Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, Macedonia, and Rome were once the greatest counties in the world. Did they collapse from external forces or from within? Don’t worry. It only happens to the other guys. It could never happen here.

Jim Maxson

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