Guns don’t kill people

I believe in the Second Amendment. Now before you get “up in arms” either agreeing or disagreeing with me, hear me out.

My dad is a retired army drill sergeant. He has had years of training with firearms and the proper handling of weapons, and he made sure to teach my sister and me those same skills.

My dad is not a small guy. He can actually be very intimidating, and with 22 years of military training, he’s not really someone you want to mess with.

Of all the things my dad taught me, safety when handling weapons was probably the most important. My dad made sure that we knew that guns are not toys and that they shouldn’t be treated as if they are. And the look on his face if I broke even the smallest safety rule was not something I made a habit of seeing.

Guns by themselves are not dangerous in the slightest. A firearm lying on the ground will not randomly decide to shoot someone. A weapon is only dangerous in the hands of someone intending to cause harm or someone who does not know how to properly handle it.

With all of the shootings in schools, churches and other public areas in recent years, I completely understand why people are concerned with allowing private citizens to own guns. People are scared, and they have every reason to be. No child should ever be afraid to go to school because someone may come in and start shooting. No worshiper should ever be afraid to enter a holy place because someone may bring a weapon intending to kill.

Firearms are not bad, but there are so many things that we could do to ensure that it’s much more difficult for bad people to get their hands on them.

For starters, when someone buys a gun (legally), they have to fill out paperwork for a background check. On the paperwork, there are multiple questions about citizenship, prior convictions and other things that would make you ineligible to purchase the weapon. However, few people would actually check “yes” to any of those questions if they were intent on buying a firearm.

Second, in many of the tragedies we have seen in the past few years, the shooter suffered from some form of mental instability. A psychological evaluation is not currently standard practice when someone is buying a weapon.

And third, unless someone wants to get a concealed weapons permit, there isn’t any kind of training required when purchasing a gun. People are not required to take safety courses or classes teaching accuracy and proper use.

While every one of you has the right to be for or against the Second Amendment, I believe that most of you will agree that there are things the government could do to make it more difficult for the wrong people to get weapons.

My dad has always said that if the government reversed the Second Amendment, the only people who would turn in their firearms are those who had them legally to begin with.

Like I said before, I believe that people should have the right to own a weapon if they meet criteria of ownership. But, I think we should make it a little more difficult to have those weapons legally to help ensure the safety of everyone.