Second Amendment

Gun owners must accept and advocate for sensible gun-control measures to protect their Second Amendment rights

During my time in the Air Force, I left my rifles and shotgun with my father. While I was serving, perhaps even while I was in the Middle East planning and starting the war in Iraq, my guns and my father’s guns were taken away and sold. That happened because my father was slipping deeper and deeper into dementia. A mentally diminished man in possession of dozens of long guns and handguns is a real risk to anyone around him.

Gun owners have responded to mass shootings by arguing that the “real problem” was untreated mental health conditions that resulted in the wrong people getting access to dangerous weapons. At the end of the Obama Administration, Barak Obama signed an order that placed the 75,000 people on Social Security, whose mental capacity was so diminished that they could not collect their own disability, on the background check registry, denying them the ability to purchase new weapons. Republicans in Congress with a signature from Donald Trump reversed this common-sense action.

I spent much of my Air Force time “professionalizing” the force by instilling discipline and removing from the Air Force anyone who could not or would not measure up. Police forces around the country are working on the same effort, realizing that having a few bad apples in their units jeopardizes their mission and their ability to protect themselves and their communities. We gun owners must do the same within our ranks.

Every time someone who should not have access to guns gets one and wounds or kills someone else, our group suffers. We make up just thirty-percent of the US population. We are at risk each time those who do not own guns see their neighbors, friends, co-workers, family members, or innocent children gunned down. We must reduce that risk to innocent people and to our gun-ownership rights by insisting on universal background checks that effectively keep guns out of the wrong hands. Poll after poll show the majority of gun owners favor this (Gun owners), and so do I.