There is an article in my local paper today about how some some gun owners are planning to rally on the green in the center of town this weekend:
The event is scheduled from 8 to 11 a.m. Emond said he expects there to be demonstrators holding signs and flags, though he doesn’t know how many people will turn out. No march is planned. Emond noted that he feels legal gun owners do not typically have positive portrayals, and he hopes the demonstration can change that. “We don’t want to stir anybody up, just want to put the other side out there. Legal gun owners are not the problem,” he said. According to Emond, one of the issues is those who illegally possess guns, not the legal gun owner. He also said that, “guns themselves are not dangerous. They aren’t dangerous without an operator.”
I have a lot of problems with the idea of a bunch of gun owners gathering in a crowd, but the specific bit that bugs me here is this notion that legal gun ownership is unrelated to gun violence.
First, while I don’t have specific numbers in front of me, I am pretty sure legally obtained guns have been involved in a statistically significant number of incidents of gun violence.
Second, and more importantly, as much as gun owners and Second Amendment activists would like to pretend that they have nothing to do with illegal guns and gun violence, that is simply not true. This country is awash in guns because the gun industry and its extremist supporters have been working for decades to make sure no meaningful gun control legislation is passed anywhere. They want anyone to be able to obtain any kind of gun at any time, with no controls or oversight, and the fruit of these efforts is that it we are flooded with millions of guns.
Shout all you want about how the problem is “those who illegally possess guns,” Mr. Emond, but you and the movement you support are the reason that problem exists.