Monday, July 29, 2013

The Open Carry March Is a Simple Distraction From the Real Issue

This past weekend several avid gun owners felt it was necessary to strap on their weapons and march several blocks through Sioux Falls to defend a "right" that is not in jeopardy of being taken away.  The damn liberal media jumped on the event calling this crazy and demanding that the government come and take away everyones weapons, right?  Nope.

KELO had this to say:
It is a sight many do not often see while driving across Sioux Falls, guns, swung behind the back or strapped to the hip. The South Dakota Open Carry, Sioux Falls' Chapter, is bringing awareness to the open carry laws in our state.
The Argus Leader reported:
Rierson organized a Sioux Falls chapter of South Dakota Open Carry event that saw about 60 people carrying handguns, semi-automatic rifles and a few shotguns, plus a handful of children and a dog, march from near Yankton Trails Park to Starbucks at 418 S. Minnesota Ave. After stopping for coffee, many planned to walk back. 
“We’re trying to change the public perception of firearms,” Rierson said. 
There was mention about some counter-protestors, but overall everyone played nice during the walk, and it was pretty much a non-event other than free publicity for a cause without a real concern.  I see thousands of people walking around with firearms every year in South Dakota:  I call them hunters.

The problem with the whole "event" is what Jesse Rierson said in the last line I quoted from the Argus Leader: "We're trying to change the public perception of firearms."  Many gun owners claim "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."  The only problem in this country is that a lot of people kill people with guns.  The problems is that trying to encourage everyone to run around packing heat because you believe they can may in fact cause some serious problems.  

Rev. Kristi McLaughlin from Mitchell was going to host a counter rally to change the perception on guns in this country, but felt a need to cancel it after receiving threatening messages
McLaughlin says she did not intend to question the constitutional right to bear arms, and only wanted to question the need for guns in people's daily lives. But she says it's not worth getting hurt. 
This is the problem with the idea that everyone should run around packing.  No one wants to prevent a responsible person from being a gun owner, but anytime any form of restrictions are placed on gun ownership to reduce the chances of the irresponsible and potentially dangerous from owning guns, groups like Open Carry scream bloody murder.  

Just yesterday, a report in the news of another young person that was shot.  This time in Rapid City while there was a lot of drinking going on:
Authorities say police were called to an apartment building in Rapid City about 3:30 a.m. and found a 17-year-old girl with one gunshot wound to the head. 
Police say two 17-year-old girls and a 22-year-old man had been drinking and handling a .22-caliber rifle. One of the girls was holding the rifle when it fired at the other girl.
I think that the real right that should be our primary concern is the right of life.  Instead of parading around with your guns, why not think of ways to reduce the number of our children being shot and injured.  
In 2010, 15,576 children and teenagers were injured by firearms — three times more than the number of U.S. soldiers injured in the war in Afghanistan, according to the defense fund. 
Nationally, guns still kill twice as many children and young people than cancer, five times as many than heart disease and 15 times more than infection, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. 
We should have universal background checks,  we should encourage the use of more "smart" guns, and we should register all weapons (not for the purpose of taking them) to help track down weapons used in a crime.  These actions are the beginning of making sure that smart and responsible people are the ones most likely to own a gun.  Those people can do all the parading around Sioux Falls they want.

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