Why is gun control being fought? Too few trust our government

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Gun tragedies have touched many of our lives in one way or another. Mine was touched twice – the killing of my nephew, who died in my arms in front of my home on 10th Street in 1969; and the killing of my best friend, who died just blocks from my home on Miller Street in 1972. Both were killed with guns that should not have been in the possession of the perpetrators.

As you can see, I, too, can empathize with families who have lost loved ones to gun tragedies. But as horrific as gun tragedies are, the question remains: What can be done to prevent them?

IT SEEMS AN impossible task because the horses are out of the barn in this country when it comes to gun control. Even if legislation is passed to address the problems associated with gun ownership, people who want to use guns to commit violence still will find a way to get their hands on them
and do it.

In fact, by tightening control, people will get their weapons from the black market, which will make things worse because the purchasing of disbanded weapons will shift to the underworld. In addition, there are enough guns already available that could arm an army. How do we get them off the street? The biggest gun buy-back program cannot solve this problem, and I doubt whether federal and state regulations can, either.

Does this mean that we shouldn’t do something? Absolutely not. However, there are some problems I believe that we cannot legislate ourselves out of. We need not fool ourselves that there is some kind of magic wand to address this problem. There isn’t.

Yet, I feel compelled to speak on one component of the gun debate, which does not seem to get much attention. That is the Second Amendment of the Constitution. There is no way of getting around this right unless it is repealed. The chances of that happening are nil. It is senseless to argue against the Second Amendment. It is clear that citizens have the right to bear arms, just as they do to speak, vote or any other right guaranteed under the Constitution.

However, there are both state and federal regulations that must be followed exercising this right. This is where the problem arises. Many gun owners believe the Second Amendment not only gives them the right to bear arms but also to protect themselves from their own government.

I DON’T BELIEVE at all that this group is callous about the shooting tragedies that have occurred recently, especially the killing of innocent children in Connecticut. To them, though, it is a matter of priority – what scares them most. Is it a person walking into a theater with an assault weapon and killing a bunch of people; a deranged individual going into a school and killing teachers and children; or a man shooting individuals from a campus tower in Texas?

Although all of these events do shake the beliefs of this group of people, their overriding reason for fighting control, which very few want to discuss, is the hate some of them have for their government. It is not the enemy from without that they fear most. It is the enemy from within. Since the Civil War, mistrust has been a part of the American culture, especially in the South.

The foundation for this belief, I believe, is not the Constitution, but the Declaration of Independence, which says in part:

“(W)henever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends” – to secure the rights of the people to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – “it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. … (W)hen a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.”

THIS IS THE reason, I believe, that some will fight tooth and nail to keep their arms – assault weapons and all. It is not about hunting. Even a fool knows this. It is not about protecting homes from burglaries. It is not so much about protecting loved ones from violence. It is all about one day having to fight their government.

The gun debate will continue without any cooperation from groups that fight against any kind of gun control. No meaningful legislation will come about –
one of the unintended consequences, in my opinion, when the Second Amendment and the Declaration of Independence were written.

(The writer is a former Augusta City Council member and a retired labor relations manager from Bechtel Savannah River Inc.)

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Riverman1
82256
Points
Riverman1 01/27/13 - 08:35 am
10
4
Shall Not Be Infringed

Mr. Abrams is an excellent thinker and writer, able to see both sides of an issue. He rightfully points out the power of the 2nd Amendment. But I disagree with his belief that those who are opposed to gun control measure have an “overriding reason for fighting control” and that is “the hate some of them have for their government.”

Our overriding reason for fighting control is because the Constitution clearly says the right to bear arms shall not be infringed. If we believe the Constitution is the basis of our government, any measures to infringe on that right by federal, state and local governments are unconstitutional. How much more direct does it have to be? I could turn around what Mr. Abrams said and say it’s the hate of some for the Constitution, our government, driving the gun control advocates.

The writers of the Bill of Rights had endured a war with the most powerful nation on earth and were in fear of oppressive government. It is true the threat to our Constitution can come from within, but it can also come from a foreign enemy. Our nation is much stronger with our armed citizens.

Mr. Abrams rightfully touches upon the horrendous crimes that have happened recently, but realize that’s a major reason for Americans to have guns. Protection of our homes and families. I want to be armed when a crazed killer comes, no matter what type weapon he has.

Keep in mind, we not only have the right to bear arms, but that right shall not be infringed upon.

Rhetor
1000
Points
Rhetor 01/27/13 - 09:06 am
1
18
Good heavens

This letter is, in my opinion, based on complete disrespect for our constitutional form of government. It hints that armed insurrection against the government is a viable course of action for a loyal American. It is a shameful idea. How dare this author quote the Constitution of the United States in favor of such an opinion. If you don't like our form of government, why don't you leave? Yes, the South (not the whole group of Southerners, just those white people who are also racists) has distrusted the government since the Civil War. The government told them that they couldn't force people to work for no compensation; they had to stop lynching people; they had to let the descendants of former slaves have the right to vote, work, and live. Good for the government for saying those things, for crying out loud! And shame on this column. I want to make it clear that the 2nd Amendment does protect the right of citizens to arm themselves in a well-regulated manner, but that does not justify the disloyal and profoundly unpatriotic ideas in this letter.

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 01/27/13 - 09:08 am
5
4
real cause of school shootings

There is always a root cause and I believe it is the teaching of evolution. We teach kids they are a product of evolution instead of being created by a loving creator. All value of life is eliminated through this reilgion of evolution which is based in faith and not fact. Sowing and reaping is also a big factor. Through the killing of unborn we allowed a spirit of death to enter society. Also those who sow the teaching of evoltion (the schools) also reap the most of crop in the school shooting. We live in a world that in all areas treats symptoms instead of roots. The bible says that out of the heart of man comes the issues of life. Whether we are sick ourselves or our country is sick the root is always an issue of the heart. We need to re-program our hard drives and the schools is a good place to start. Stop killing the unborn and change our sowing so we reap a better crop. We keep getting exactly what we are planting.

jrbfromga
433
Points
jrbfromga 01/27/13 - 10:44 am
1
0
Mistrust of government
Unpublished

did not "start with the Civil War, especially in the south". I resent the interjection of race into the Second Amendment argument by Mr. Abrams, as it it totally wrong and irrelevant. The origin of the Second Amendment was the mistrust of government tyranny that was the origin of the Revolutionary War, and the fact that the very same people who had thrown off the yoke of British tyranny always wanted to have the means to make sure that any other government, especially the federal one, would be respectful of their rights...forever. That is why it is more important now than ever that our Second Amendment rights be preserved. As for those who say that the Second Amendment did not contemplate "assault weapons" and that it only preserves the right for private possession of simplistic weapons similar to those of the 1700's, the meaning of the Second Amendment is clear. The people shall have the right to possess the same sort of weapons as are possessed by the government, in order to mount an effective rebellion against governmental tyranny, should it be necessary.

Little Lamb
45282
Points
Little Lamb 01/27/13 - 10:45 am
11
2
Calm

Let's parse Rhetor's opening salvo:

This letter . . . hints that armed insurrection against the government is a viable course of action for a loyal American. . . . How dare this author quote the Constitution of the United States in favor of such an opinion?

The author (Mr. Abrams) quoted the Declaration of Independence as the source of the opinion. There is a line of tyranny, of despotism that government must not cross. Once the government crosses it, that government must be resisted. It is not shameful for Mr. Abrams to bring up the subject.

allhans
23536
Points
allhans 01/27/13 - 10:49 am
10
2
"mistrust has been a part of

"mistrust has been a part of the American culture, especially in the South...." The South.... Other parts of the country might disagree with you....like Montana, Wyoming....those folks like their guns. We shouldn't limit our focus on our little corner of the world...
Good letter, otherwise.

myfather15
54398
Points
myfather15 01/27/13 - 10:52 am
11
4
"Since the Civil War,

"Since the Civil War, mistrust has been a part of the American culture, especially in the South."

This is the most ignorant statement I've seen in a long time. Since the ENTIRE REASON for the 2nd amendment was BECAUSE of mistrust of government, both domestic and foreign. Obviously this writer hasn't read many of the Founding Fathers documents. They wrote of their distrust of government MANY times. So if you believe "Since the Civil War" mistrust has been part of the American culture, you're completely ignorant of truth. The TRUTH IS, distrust of government has been going on since before the signing of the Declaration of Independence and many centuries before. And by the way, those governments the Founding Fathers didn't trust were full of "Old white men" not black folks. So race had nothing to do with it. Read Patrick Henry's "Call to Arms" written in 1775 if you want to hear about some of this distrust of government.

Mr. Abrams, you really should educate yourself about the topic, before you decide to write an editorial for the local paper. Or, is this just another hit job from a left wing radical? Probably!!

myfather15
54398
Points
myfather15 01/27/13 - 11:01 am
10
3
"Yes, the South (not the

"Yes, the South (not the whole group of Southerners, just those white people who are also racists) has distrusted the government since the Civil War."

Actually, this comment takes the prize for most ignorant, so Mr. Abrams will have to take 2nd place. This is completely pathetic and full of hate. It has to be full of hate becaue it certainly isn't full of truth. Any person who believes the mistrust of government started with the Civil War, lacks common sense and education. They have no clue what they are talking about. Again, mistrust of government has been going on since BEFORE the Revolutionary War. Why do you think we fought the War of Independance?

dichotomy
32072
Points
dichotomy 01/27/13 - 04:52 pm
11
3
Well.......there is a

Well.......there is a healthy, and justified, distrust of our government(s)........but it has NOTHING to do with the Civil War.

It is foolish to believe that ALL gun owners own guns because they distrust the government; and it is foolish to say that those who DO distrust the government do it because of the Civil War.

I distrust our government(s) and I assure you that it has NOTHING to do with the Civil War. I distrust them for MANY reasons from confiscation of money to confiscation without due process of property. From confiscation of weapons after Katrina to the police and National Guard hiding for days and weeks after Katrina and the Los Angeles riots. And then punishing private citizens for trying to protect themselves while the cops were hiding by confiscatiing the citizen's legally owned weapons when they finally did show up. I've got hundreds of reasons why I distrust the government(s) and the Civil War ain't even one of them.

Methinks the letter writer has a fetish for justifying all things based on race and the civil war. It may well be that way in HIS community but not in mine. If he likes history so well he needs to zoom past the Civil Way and go back to the post Revolutionary War days where our founders clearly stated THEY did not trust government, even the one they were in the process of establishing. It was clearly stated then by almost all of the founders and shortly thereafter was affirmed in writing by the inclusion of the 2nd Amendment into our Constitution. They didn't trust government and I certainly do not trust a government which has become progressively intrusive, oppressive, and confiscatory over the course of my lifetime.

grouse
1635
Points
grouse 01/27/13 - 01:11 pm
0
1
Abrams forgets the leading
Unpublished

Abrams forgets the leading clause of the 2nd amendment, "a well-regulated militia..." and if anyone thinks they can out-gun the US military, they are delusional.

Darby
25042
Points
Darby 01/27/13 - 03:43 pm
5
2
"Many gun owners believe the Second Amendment....

...not only gives them the right to bear arms but also to protect themselves from their own government."

Well, if that is true then we have our work cut out for us. I want to know why ALL gun owners don't feel that way.

Rhetor
1000
Points
Rhetor 01/27/13 - 03:59 pm
2
9
nonsense

The 2nd Amendment provided for a militia to defend the country, not to foment insurrection. Indeed, a major purpose of an armed citizenry was, in the founders' view, to suppress insurrection. We owe great blessings to an orderly nation. If you people had actually read the Federalist Papers, you would know all of this. Have a great day.

Jane18
12332
Points
Jane18 01/27/13 - 04:22 pm
3
4
"Not All About Hunting"..That's RIGHT!

While I was reading Mr. Abrams letter, I was going, "what..what...what...."? Thank you to our oh-so wise commenters, and you know who you are, for once again trying to explain to the "unlearned" what OUR 2nd Amendment really, really, means. And Mr. Abrams, how about keeping your hateful "South" remarks to yourself!!

par 3
42
Points
par 3 01/27/13 - 04:40 pm
7
2
Thanks for your comments

...and thanks for the history lesson. I was not trying to incite an insurrection by quoting the 2nd Amendment and the Declaration of Independence. Sometimes we are too quick to draw. Therein lies the danger of some owning guns. My point is to highlight what I have heard many in the South say. They have had no trust in the federal government since the Civil War. Yes, there have been other times previously to this event where Americans have exercised their Constitutional right and have had no trust in their government. My opinion does not argue against that. Nor is it saying that the South is the only place where people feel indifferent toward the federal government. Read the opinion again. Don't let the title throw you off. I didn't write the title. Furthermore, the article is just an opinion - just as all who write on this page express.

Darby
25042
Points
Darby 01/27/13 - 05:24 pm
7
3
As usual, Rhetor, you're shooting from the hip....

I HAVE read the Federalist Papers but seriously doubt that you have. I also doubt you have read or absorbed the message and intent of the Declaration of Independence.

The Second Amendment codifies the intent voiced in the opening lines...

"When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation."

How are you to "dissolve" those bands holding you to a tyrannical government without weapons? Asking "Mother May I"? Just won't get the job done. I certainly didn't work with old King George did it?

The Second Amendment provides for arming the people in defense of, and in defense from the federal government, should it become necessary.

AutumnLeaves
7025
Points
AutumnLeaves 01/27/13 - 05:42 pm
7
2
Something is being overlooked....

This is a reasonable, thought-provoking letter by Grady Abrams. But something is being overlooked in most media discussions of the Sandy Hook massacre. Why is the media blaming gun control laws? I think the blame lies squarely on the mother for not securing the guns and don't understand why it hasn't been brought up more for discussion, is it not politically correct to expect the mother to have been responsible? She was especially negligent not securing those guns because she knew her son had emotional and mental difficulties. A responsible mother, divorced parent, and household manager would have safely and securely stored those legally purchased and registered guns. She was negligent and her negligence resulted in her death and the deaths of all those innocent children and adults. I am disgusted and discouraged that the media is spinning this to be anything other than what seems to me be her negligence and his mental illness; a combination that turned into unimaginable and unfathomable tragedy for those children; that she and her son have already paid the ultimate price for.

Darby
25042
Points
Darby 01/27/13 - 06:47 pm
6
4
"I am disgusted and discouraged that the media.....

...is spinning this to be anything other than what seems to me be her negligence and his mental illness"

There you go again, attempting to apply logic to a "progressive" agenda. Pretty much the same thing as recommending Shakespeare to an audience at a comic book convention.

Without emotional appeal and the requisite knee-jerk reaction, those folks would find themselves constantly in the dust bin of history. Fortunately for our liberal friends, the world is over run with knee-jerking dimwits. Folks who are much more interested in American Idol than in American Independence.

specsta
6367
Points
specsta 01/27/13 - 07:45 pm
6
10
Right On, Grady Abrams...

Mr. Abrams, you are correct.

There are Americans with the mindset that they must have assault rifles, caches of ammo, and large-capacity clips in their possession in order to fend off the US government.

These are the same folks who hate the poor, the unemployed, the sick, the elderly, unauthorized immigrants and any other group that they see as a "drain" on society. They believe that any tax dollars that go to help folks in any of the above categories is a waste and is indicative of a government out-of-control. These folks wrap themselves in the American flag of false patriotism, claiming to love the country - but at the same time, hating large segments of society that reside in that same country.

These individuals would rather see taxpayer dollars go to fund a war against another impoverished nation, than see tax dollars spent to educate every student in this country. These individuals would rather let the unemployed and poor folks starve, than provide a helping hand to others, because if you're poor and starving, it must be your own fault. They think that providing a helping hand to others is socialism.

It gives this segment of society a bit of security knowing that their AR15's, armor-piercing bullets, and 30-round clips are ready to be put to use - if necessary. I'm not sure exactly how they will wage a war against grenades, tanks, mines, etc. but maybe their shiny new Bushmaster helps them sleep at night.

KSL
126403
Points
KSL 01/27/13 - 07:50 pm
5
2
Autumn

Great comment. I don't recall why this mother had those weapons her son, who she clearly knew had a problem, could get at them.

We grew up around unsecured guns. My children were born into a house that had a shotgun. And later, others.

Our 2 sons have respect and appreciation for weapons. Only the younger son had a desire to own and become proficient in the art.

KSL
126403
Points
KSL 01/27/13 - 07:52 pm
7
5
Specsta, you are over the

Specsta, you are over the top. You do not speak for me on my feelings toward the poor or anything else!

Bizkit
30710
Points
Bizkit 01/27/13 - 08:39 pm
5
5
I have several friends who

I have several friends who are gun collectors as a hobby. Collect civil war, WWII, Vietnam, etc. era weapons which they keep in displays. The cost of ammunition has skyrocketed so people don't do as much joy shooting as they use too. Seems Obama basically just has an issue with the constitution and federal laws as he feels it is OK to infringe on the constitution which states gun ownership is a right that will not be infringed, defy the federal law by Bill Clinton's Defense of Marriage Act, and defy the federal laws criminalizing marijuana. Quite the Radical isn't he. Seems failure to execute the laws (your constitutional job) should be an impeachable offense.

Little Lamb
45282
Points
Little Lamb 01/27/13 - 08:59 pm
4
2
Order

Order is the goal of the tyrant. Let's look at Rhetor's farewell missive:

We owe great blessings to an orderly nation. If you people had actually read the Federalist Papers, you would know all of this. Have a great day.

I have read the Federalist Papers. I have a copy in my bookshelves. I agree with some, I disagree with some. I merely ask Rhetor to re-read the Declaration of Independence again (or maybe for the first time).

Darby
25042
Points
Darby 01/27/13 - 09:10 pm
5
3
Actually, KSL, specsta....

doesn't really speak for anyone. He just reads the Dailykos and HuffingtonPost, where he gets his much needed daily allotment of lies and validation.

At that point, he then feels confident enough to go out into the big scary world and regurgitate that bile.

Little Lamb
45282
Points
Little Lamb 01/27/13 - 09:07 pm
3
1
@AutumnLeaves – 4:42 p.m.

You have posted the most insightful, the most forward-looking post of the day. What are we to do to stop violence such as happened at Sandy Hook? It's not to prevent law-abiding citizens from possessing guns; but rather to identify mentally deranged people and prevent them from wreaking havoc. Harden school entrances. Put weirdos back into detention. Put them in strait jackets. Let law-abiding citizens possess weapons in accordance with the Constitution.

Darby
25042
Points
Darby 01/27/13 - 09:32 pm
5
2
"I'm not sure exactly how they will wage.....

a war against grenades, tanks, mines, etc. but maybe their shiny new Bushmaster helps them sleep at night."

You are not sure because you have no point of reference from which to launch your hateful attacks on the morality, virtue or intent of conservatives.

In hopes that it will assure that you have a restless night, specsta, I'll gladly answer your question.

They will do it in much the same way as Mao Tse Tung, Fidel Castro, Ho Chi Minh, George Washington and a host of others guerrilla forces did.

They will begin by attacking small outposts. Defeating them and capturing their weapons and supplies, then moving on to larger and larger targets, growing in strength as they go and adding to their numbers as military defectors join their ranks.

All this will be made easier by folks like me who spent decades in military service to a country we love, trained in counter insurgency warfare by the government which, (in this scenario) has become tyrannical and turned on its own people.

Of course, at this stage, our government has not turned on its citizens. Not completely, at any rate. And so we are only talking theory.

You have a nice night…..

I know will, but first just to relax, I think I'll field strip and clean my rifle. I always sleep better knowing it's ready.

Brad Owens
4290
Points
Brad Owens 01/28/13 - 12:49 am
3
0
Funny...

African-Americans have spent more time under LEGAL government authorized slavery here in America than they have as a free people (first slaves arrived in 1619). I would think that their experience with the tyranny of government enforced slavery would have give them a unique perspective on why the 2nd Amendment is needed.

Darby
25042
Points
Darby 01/28/13 - 01:24 am
4
1
"some of you folks are absolutely loony!"

Coming from you shrimp, I don't think I could receive a higher compliment. Thanks, and I really mean it! From the bottom of my heart!

If you weren't referring to me, then please accept my apology for being so presumptuous.

harley_52
22989
Points
harley_52 01/28/13 - 10:54 am
5
1
"There are Americans with the mindset....

....that they must have assault rifles, caches of ammo, and large-capacity clips in their possession in order to fend off the US government."

It's hilarious, the way some lefties (including many in Congress and in the media) attempt to wax so knowledgeably and eloquently about guns and gun ownership, then proceed to highlight their total ignorance of the subject by not knowing the difference between a "clip" and a magazine.

Darby
25042
Points
Darby 01/29/13 - 02:05 am
3
1
Harley, you're treading (pardon the pun) on dangerous ground...

once any one of these guys learns the difference, he'll likely think that's all he needs to know.

Just as knowing the phrase "a well regulated militia" makes them an expert on the Constitution.

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