Bringing home the gun debate | AspenTimes.com

Bringing home the gun debate

My brother-in-law was shot. Yes, you read that right. Coming home Thursday from walking the dogs, I was greeted with the news that my brother-in-law Whit MacLaughlin was shot coming home from work Thursday night.

Sadly, this kinda stuff happens all the time — so much so that we stop giving it much attention. When it hits your family you take notice in a whole different way, and it makes your want to scream “WTF.”

Why mug anyone these days? No one carries any cash and using stolen credit cards is a pretty good way to get caught. Taking the victim’s phone is even stupider. In this case the mugger took Whit’s phone and the Find My iPhone feature morphed into a “capture-my-mugger” app. Whit was IDing the mugger in the trauma ward before even being admitted to the hospital.

But that is not the WTF. WTF, NRA? WTF, Second Amendment evangelists? WTF about not being able to have an evidenced-based argument?

To paraphrase Lynyrd Skynyrd, handguns ain’t good for nothing but putting a man 6 feet in a hole.

The Declaration of Independence was signed in Philadelphia not far from where Whit was shot. It states that “we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

A heavily armed society infringes directly on life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. While I don’t believe we should be taking away people’s shotguns (two rounds max) or single-shot rifles, handguns and rifles with magazines are good for one thing — putting a man 6 feet in a hole. Having a society full of people a trigger-pull away from taking your life absolutely contradicts the words and intent of the Declaration of Independence.

Let me take a minute to poke some holes at the Second Amendment advocates:

1. How often do you hear of a 6-year-old kid stabbing their 4-year-old brother to death? Every home has kitchen knives readily accessible, yet kids are not stabbing each other to death. Shooting each other, ya betcha.

2. When was the last mass-shooting that didn’t involve a high-capacity rifle and or handgun? I’m not sure I can name a single one.

3. Ratio of good guys shooting the bad guys and saving lives vs. criminal gun deaths — I can’t give you this number because the NRA has successfully lobbied Congress to prevent the study and creation of a database of gun violence. What does that tell ya?

4. Guns are necessary to protect citizens’ rights against the government. Don’t be stupid like Whit’s mugger — if you want to fight the U.S., government you do it either at the ballot box or with IEDs. Taking an AR-15 to fight the U.S. Army is as stupid as walking around with a stolen iPhone in your pocket.

I have a number of Aspen friends who hunt. I am not telling you to switch to a bow (although that is a very sporting choice), but I am telling you an unwillingness to improve your aim and supporting an unrestricted approach to the Second Amendment costs lives, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

I hope you don’t come home to the news that a family member has been shot walking home from work. And I hope that you would be willing to entertain a real conversation about limits on guns.

Dan Goldman

Aspen


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