Americans have been gun owners for a long time, but it is only in recent years that the rights of anyone with a gun seems to be more important than the interests of everyone else.
Victims don’t necessarily have to be shot. In some states, open carry laws have parents abandoning playgrounds out of fear that their children may be killed.
Some restaurants have had to ask people to leave their guns home because fear of being shot has run off too many of their other customers.
Making matters worse is the fact that lawmakers on the national level have been unwilling to pass gun legislation that could help keep weapons out of the hand of the mentally unstable.
At the heart of the gun debate are basic rights. What has not been defined is whose rights should be considered?
If gun owners and their lobbyists continue to insist that there should be little to no rules or regulations on their deadly weapons, the freedom of others to live free of guns in the workplace, in playgrounds, and other public places is being violated.
Guns are not toys, even though they are marketed to children. And they are instruments of violence whether fired by a “good guy” or “bad guy.”
Law enforcement officers and people serving in the military have rules on how they carry, as well as when and where they can discharge their weapons. They are trained in the use and maintenance of their guns and in most instances, have to pass mental and physical proficiency tests before they are handed a deadly weapon.
Why any sane person would object to basic gun safety laws raises other questions, including how many innocent people have to die before lawmakers stand up to the industry that profits from increasing gun violence?
Author’s note: The opinions and commentary included in this report are based on the author’s original reporting and independent analysis of official documents and public information.