Sunday, October 8, 2017

Thoughts on the Vegas Massacre...

I shared this on Facebook, and thought I would also post it here.

I have been dwelling in this on and off all week. But this one deserves an explanation.

- It has not been said enough, no matter how many times it has been said: the massacre at the Las Vegas concert is beyond horrible and disgusting. Randomly killing and injuring so many is deplorable. My thoughts have been on all of those impacted by this tragedy.

- None of these events are acceptable. I personally know someone that was at the concert (she is fine), but also have come to find out that this madman was also targeting concerts in other places - other places that I have people that I love and care about.

- Personally, getting rid of bump stocks makes little difference to me. I see very little practical sporting purpose for this kind of firearm accessory, except to make the rifle shoot fast and inaccurately. Does not interest me in the slightest.

- I included a graphic published from the widest circulation newspaper in the world, showing the accessories that I can add to my AR. Surprisingly, my local sporting goods store was out of grenade launchers. Folks - this is scare journalism at best, and fear mongering at its worst. The shooter did not have a grenade launcher. You can't buy grenade launchers. But those afraid of firearms and everything that they represent probably believe that all sporting rifles come standard with grenade launchers. For clarity - this is not the case. Also, a 'bump stock" is not a standard accessory either.

- Many close and personal friends have asked me why there is not greater controls on firearms. The answer: people like Nancy Pelosi is why not. I believe that there are reasonable actions we can take to control some aspects of firearms without trampling the spirit of the Second Amendment. I would argue that I could have a conversation with any one of you and we could come to a sane middle ground. I think there are many members of the NRA like myself that believe the same thing. But the NRA has a Nancy Pelosi problem, and it is a difficult one to solve.

- If we crafted sensible firearm regulations, and somehow removed the legitimate fear of cascading and ever increasing regulations, I think we could make some progress. Contrary to the media, the NRA is NOT a terrorist organization (and let me clue you: that rhetoric is extremely NOT helpful when you are trying to establish trust with an extremely paranoid organization) any more than the ACLU is a terrorist organization. There are reasonable members of the NRA, and they are willing to discuss this and other regulations on firearms. But the NRA leadership has a completely warranted right to fear Pelosi and others of her ilk.

- If this is the "olive basket" (quoting Ocean's 13) that the NRA is going to lead with, it is pretty terrible. I would hate this to be the beginning and end of the NRA's compromise on gun regulations.

- I honestly don't know where I come down on some of these issues any longer. I am a proud NRA member, and will continue to elect those who work to protect my 2A rights. I would like to think that we may some day return to a level of societal discourse that promotes the discussion of the mental health issues that are at the root of so many of these shootings, as well as an open conversation about how best to deal with the firearms that are a very real part of our society.