A discussion board for journalist asks whether those in that profession (especially in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo murders) should carry guns for their protection. In Wisconsin last year, several men were questioned by police after (legally) open-carrying assault weapons on the streets of Green Bay and Appleton (and probably other cities) – just because they can. A child in (insert state here) is shot and killed by police after he pulls out what’s later found to be a toy gun. Police everywhere are being asked to make split-second, life-or-death decisions every day on our nation’s streets. Homeowners are buying and using guns for protection in their homes.
Gun-owner rights has always been a hot-button issue in this country, and continue to be so for a long, long time. I don’t know what the answer is. I do know how I feel about guns – and I don’t necessarily dislike them. Heck, I grew up in Wisconsin, where blaze orange is almost the state color! I have no problem with hunting for the purpose of food gathering (sorry PETA).
But I also think that letting more people carry guns eventually means that more people get shot and killed by guns. And, forgive me, but I don’t see how allowing someone to carry a concealed weapon (or open carry) at the local park where my family is attending a gathering serves any good purpose. Or any public place, for that matter.
I’ve never (knowingly) been in that situation, and I hope I never am. I also admit that I don’t live somewhere where I am so threatened that I believe carrying a gun for protection is necessary. I’m truly sorry for anyone who has to live like that. I wish we we could all just try to get along a little better. I know that seems naive to many people, and given today’s society, it probably is. But doesn’t a more peaceful co-existence need to start somewhere? Can’t we just try – one day at a time – to be a little bit nicer, more forgiving, a little more understanding? Can it be that simple?
I’ll try. Will you?