All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.

By Blaney Pridgen

I am led to say something about gun control.  Before I do, I must offer a disclaimer lest I be totally misunderstood by the people both on the far right and the far left, who always misunderstand just about everything, just in very different ways.

I don’t hunt and don’t want to shoot anybody, but I like guns, especially pistols of which I have one.  I have two CWP’s and done the training twice.  Yes, I have attended gun shows and consider them to be highly entertaining spectacles of the American tradition.  On three occasions (not in gun shows), I was happy to be packing, but did not have to draw the thing.  I once owned a S & W “Dirty Harry”, and wish I had not sold it.  Here endeth my disclaimer.  

My first point:  Guns are here to stay for two reasons.  First, there are already a bazillion of them out there.  I once heard the speculation that there are eight guns per citizen in our nation.  There isn’t any taking up of them or even a small sorting out.  Let’s be real about that.  Second, whatever gun control the congress might agree on, even if they can agree on anything at all, would be so watered down and full of loopholes that the laws would be worthless.

My second point:  The issue of gun control continually rouses up people who are best left unroused, right and left.  (The same is true of abortion.)  I reckon that forty percent of our nation keep the other sixty percent anxious and miserable with their whining, saber-rattling, and polarizing ways.  Twenty percent of forty want automatic pistols in pants, purses, and pickup trucks.  They grade their politicians on this peculiar devotion.  The other twenty percent are afflicted with utopian visions of a non-violent society and have not areasonable grasp of human depravity.  Both twenties are on a “mission for God,” as the Blue’s Brothers were, just very different gods.  Both need to chill and accept reason.  Neither are a majority.  Both are a little bit crazy.

My third point:  The Second Amendment needs to be read in historical context, just like the Bible.  The framers of the Constitution were mostly concerned with angry indigenous, slave revolts, Britishsympathizers, anarchists, and insurrectionists.  It was a time when a huge standing military was yet to be defined and fully funded.  Militias made sense.  So did a single shot weapon and a sword.  There were also bears to contend with.  I am not so sure that the average citizen of average or less intelligence has a God-given right to be armed like a SWAT team or a special force or even the police.

My fourth point:  When populations swell within confined boundaries, when public education is in shambles, when the poor lose hope and the rich clip dividends, when mental health is not a political priority, when mass media and gaming polarize violence, and when leaders indiscriminately whip up frenzies among the marginalized; then it is that woebegone lunatics, which are always with us, will shoot up a school, movie house, grocery store, or government property.  Until a lot of things change in our culture, this is going to happen.  And I do not believe the answers will come from the fringes, right or left.  Reason has left their houses.

In the meantime, no one will know where my pistol is and the NRA is a clown car.