The Gun Culture - The Missourian: Opinion

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The Gun Culture

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Posted: Wednesday, January 2, 2013 5:00 pm

We don’t expect much out of Congress or the Missouri General Assembly as to stricter gun laws. We have a gun culture that is too strong, too embedded in Americans’ lives, and our elected officials know that.

They also don’t want to buck the National Rifle Association, which won’t bend in opposition to controls. The NRA is a powerful lobbying group that has money to spend and which has supported many candidates who hold public offices.

America also has many people who live some distance from law enforcement agencies and these citizens want guns for protection. It’s the same for the many people who live in urban areas where there is a high crime rate. This is a country where the fear factor is high. Hunting is a popular sport and hunters fear controls could eventually curb their gun freedoms.

Gun sales have been up the past four years because people feared this administration was going to make some firearms tougher to obtain. It hasn’t happened.

More than 4,000 citizens of Franklin County have conceal/carry permits. Fear must be a factor as to why so many people carry guns. What other reason would there be?

The mass killings in a Connecticut school where young children were slaughtered resulted in a general outrage among citizens. It’s always that way after a mad gunman kills multiple people. But the outrage has a way of fading.

Law enforcement officers will tell you that guns are too easy to obtain illegally. There’s a steady flow of firearms in the illegal market. It’s easy to obtain a weapon at the many gun shows that are held. Just the other day in Los Angeles there was a one-day gun-buyback event that brought in more than 2,000 various types of guns, including rifles and assault weapons. Gift cards good at stores were given in exchange for guns. The city ran out of gift cards. There is no way of knowing but it’s a sure bet that those people who gave up a gun for a gift card have other weapons and know where they are easily available.

We have legitimate gun dealers who follow what rules we have in the sale of firearms. Some will tell you that the selling of firearms at shows needs controls.

There is support to control assault weapons that were developed mainly for the military but now are in the hands of many civilians. There also is support to control ammunition magazines that hold many rounds. We don’t like the idea of arming teachers and administrators. We do think an increase of armed security officers at schools should be considered.

How to keep firearms out of the hands of people who have mental problems poses a nearly impossible task.

It is nearly impossible to change culture. That’s why the gun culture will live on, few if any controls will be enacted, and there will be more victims.

/opinion