Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Slippery Slope of Gun Control

This past week I went into Wal-Mart to purchase some ammunition. When I asked the clerk he said that my purchase would be limited to three boxes of .22 ammunition. Now I had planned on only buying two boxes but when given that challenge I bought three instead. Was this a great marketing ploy by Wal-Mart or something else? I lean toward marketing ploy.
It was the next question that really got me going. The clerk then asked me if the ammunition was going to be used in a rifle or a pistol. My response was to ask him why he needed to know. He said it was for inventory purposes. OK, for my non-shooting friends, it makes no difference at all whether the ammunition is shot through a pistol or a rifle. It is all the same.
I then told him that it really wasn’t any of his or Wal-Mart’s business. However, if he had to put something down, he could pick.  I assured him that it was legal for me to buy the ammunition and that I was going to use it for legal purposes and that was all he really needed to know. I made my purchase and walked away wondering what had just happened.
The past couple of weeks I have watched the gun debate from a distance as it raged on both in person and through social media. I am an unabashed gun owner and avid hunter. I own my guns for sport but I would not hesitate to protect my family. I believe it is my right as a citizen of the United States to own my firearms and that is not up to debate. I also think it is important that you know where I stand.
However, I also pride myself as a reasonable person and I try to see both sides of an issue. So I listened to my friends who are in favor of more gun control laws and considered their points. That was until last week and my experience at the sporting goods counter. I thought it was time I expressed my opinion.
I have two thoughts when it comes to more gun control laws. My first thought goes back to my days of being an Extension Agent. Over the years I have seen many rules put into fair books because of an incident. It is never a good idea to create rules (or laws) in the heat of the moment. New rules or laws should only be approved after a great deal of thought and discussion.
I have also found that a thicker rule book only manages to trip up the innocent. Those intent on cheating (or breaking the law) will find a way to do so, no matter how many rules (or laws) you make. Rather than making new laws it is much better to focus on enforcing those already in place.
The other thought I had came from my work advocating for agriculture. Imposing new laws or regulations proposed by activists is a slippery slope. In the world of agriculture it began with the public giving in on gestation crates. It was just a small number of farmers who utilized them and most of us involved in agriculture did not really understand how they were used. We were slow in coming to their defense and before we knew it gestation crates were banned in a couple of states. Animal rights activists were emboldened by their victories and pushed in for more restrictions on animal agriculture.
I do not own a firearm like those being discussed, nor do I own a clip that will hold more than ten shells but I also do not think banning them will make people safer. It will, however, make it easier to consider bans or limits on other firearms. Once started down a slippery slope it is hard to put the brakes on.
Those are my thoughts on this matter and it is OK if you disagree with me. Debate and consideration of all points of view is what makes this country great.  I only ask that careful consideration be put into lawmaking and the rights of all be considered

1 comment:

  1. I would urge you to read this article from the Hamline law's from 1999 if I recall. You should pass it along to friends who favor gun control as it provides a very serious look at the slippery slope issue.

    http://guncite. com/journals/okslip. html