Gun Control At The Local Level

Gun Control At The Local Level
Hardy L. Brown. Photo by Benoit Malphettes

Hardy L. Brown. Photo by Benoit Malphettes

Gun violence in our community must become a local issue and action must happen at the local and state level in the absence of national action. I am a great fan of western movies especially the fast draw six-shooter of war heroes Audie Murphy and Glenn Ford and the Winchester 73 of Jimmy Stewart. Now while these men played fictional characters, historic figure Wyatt Earp and his brothers were real people who faced bad people with guns who came to town just to raise hell and kill. The second amendment was in the constitution then but they developed regulations that, in their minds, made their towns safe. 

As it was during those early days of the Wild West, I believe it is time for each city, town, or local government to take matters into their own hands and act to protect their citizens. If citizens want to object by filing lawsuits then let our courts try to separate out the citizen’s concerns from the right of citizens to own guns and regulate what kind of guns they can own in order to reduce the violence caused by automatic weapons.

“You will never truly understand the gun violence epidemic until it happens to you,” said Mandy Pifer, the fiancé of Shannon Johnson, who was killed in the San Bernardino shooting last December. “I strongly believe that to ignore the role that guns play in this public health epidemic — homicides, suicides and terrorism — is like throwing away the last piece of a puzzle you’ve been working on for a very long time. It’s frustrating and nonsensical,” she said in a CBM article. 

It is frustrating and makes no sense to know what types of weapons are being used to kill our people and then we do nothing about it. There is no one answer to solving this problem but to stand by and do nothing is even worse. To watch national elected officials do nothing but talk is even more frustrating. 

The state of California has decided to pass strict gun control legislation that has been signed into law by the governor. Governor Jerry Brown signed six bills Friday requiring gun owners to give up magazines holding more than ten rounds and for buyers to undergo background checks before they can purchase ammunition. 

Sam Paredes, executive director of the advocacy group Gun Owners of California said, "Independence and freedom and liberty in California has been chopped down at the knees and kicked between the legs." To that I say the victims have been shot down like hogs in a slaughter pen, I know because that is the way we killed hogs during hog killing time in North Carolina. Governor Brown said his goal in signing these bills was to enhance public safety by tightening our existing laws in a responsible and focused manner, while protecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners." And as a law-abiding gun owner I agree. 

I want to commend the legislature and governor for taking some action just like Wyatt Earp did in his day. The Earps did not wait for congress to act; instead they said “you can own a gun you just can’t carry it within these city limits.” What if every city county and state start acting on gun laws then that will force congress and the courts to act on the full will of the people.

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