Protection or destruction

Jaynes, Bev



Title: Protection or Destruction By: Beverly Jaynes In 2016, when the Missouri Legislature overrode Governor Nixon's veto, to pass a far-ranging firearms deregulatory law, which removed the protective requirements of undergoing background checks, training, and obtaining permits for being able to carry concealed guns into public places, the "New York Times" editorial on this was entitled: "Missouri: The Shoot Me State." Now legislators, who indeed fear being shot with the concealed guns they've allowed into their Capitol building, have debated whether to overspend Governor Greitens budget guidelines for the purchase and installment of metal detectors at Capitol entrances and to post guards outside their offices. The irony and absurdity of this, besides their hypocrisy, has been lost on them, so it has been left up to Becky Morgan, the spokeswoman of the Missouri chapter of "Moms Demand Gun Sense in America" to realistically access their dilemma and the conundrum, by noting: "It just doesn't seem to make much sense to screen people for weapons and then allow them to carry in these weapons anyway." There are other underlying conundrums here. Both sides of the gun control issue argue for the need of protection against the destructive power of firearms. "Gun rights" advocates want to protect their right to bear arms in defense of gun violence aimed at them. To ensure that right, they want all restrictions and firearms regulations removed from present laws. Their opponents see those regulations as protections to public safety and to prevent gun violence in the first place. They argue against use of assault weapons, especially by the felons and the mentally ill who were formally barred from gun possession. They seek some kind of balance between having too many regulations of none at all, which is the current trend by legislators, supported by the gun lobbies. Gun manufacturers and the gun lobbies who represent their special interests (and profits), encourage the proliferation of guns and accessibility to all. They warn citizens to protect themselves from criminals in possible "shoot out" defensive encounters. But as guns become more prevalent amongst us, there are more opportunities to be harmed by them on the streets or in our own homes. Guns bought for protection may end up killing us, when used in fits of rage or despair or accidentally and depression. The laws based on the so-called, "Stand Your Ground," [illegible], may have actually made the grounds we walk on (including on front porches and in parked cars) more dangerous because criminals have easier access and there are more guns now including assault weapons which can kill many in minutes. Law enforcement becomes overwhelmed by this and even being armed ourselves may not save us. In my pleas to legislators against passing these drastic firearms deregulations in 2016, I cited my own murderous crime as a reason for more, not less regulation particularly pertaining to those documented by mental hospitalization to be mentally ill, which had been the case for me (and of which I'd informed the gun salesman-I'd wanted the gun to protect myself or to shoot myself, I don't know which!), I easily obtained what became an instrument of death and destruction and human suffering! After shooting my husband I would have shot myself is not for the intervention of a woman, upon hearing the two shots felt compelled to follow them and she coaxed me to drop the gun to the floor. Another Webster Groves resident, where I was from, recently committed murder of his wife and his suicide by gun. Becky Morgan, the Missouri "Moms" leader, is my estranged daughter, who lost her beloved Dad to gun violence and is trying to prevent such pain of loss to other families. She and Missouri "Moms" fought so hard [illegible] trying to prevent the passage of that 2016 drastic firearms deregulation and they are now fighting against the 2017 proposal to require our schools and universities and even [illegible] to allow concealed guns on their premises. Kansas "Moms" fought to no avail against the 2013 passage of a similar law of concealed gun carrying in public places, but at least that law held a 4-year exemption for college campuses and medical centers, which KS "Moms" tried to get permanently extended by Senate Bill [53?]. But the Senate Committee, backed by the gun lobby recently rejected it. In a related event, the Republican state Representative, Stephanie Clayton, received a threat to her personal safety for her support of Senate Bill 53, via a Facebook post by a Kansas official and "gun rights" advocate (he has been investigated by police). This poses a conundrum for her, should she follow gun lobby [illegible] and go buy a gun to protect herself, even from the likes of "gun rights" advocates? Does she have the right to live (and perhaps longer) under the protections of gun controls (which she had advocated to protect students and medical patients). In the wake of the Sandyhook elementary school slaughter of 20 children, 6 teachers and the assailants mother(who had bought the assault weapon for him), President Obama made a rule that strengthened federal background checks and would restrict those documented to be mentally ill, from buying guns. But our 2017 U.S. Congress and new President, repealed that rule at the urging of the NRA, ACLU, and [illegible] groups for the disabled. Their intention is to protect Second Amendment Constitutional Rights, but will this result in the deaths of more innocents? Some states, like Maryland, are banning assault weapons and limiting amounts of ammunition rounds. The 4th District Court of Appeals recently upheld that ban, ruling that the Second Amendment "does not extend to weapons of war," and noting that Supreme Court decision, "Columbia v. Heller," explicitly excludes such coverage, will that ban protect us or destroy our rights?

Author: Jaynes, Bev

Author Location: Missouri

Date: April 21, 2017

Genre: Essay

Extent: 3 pages

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