I’m not sure gun “control” versus regulation is the same issue.
I am not advocating taking guns per se away from people (except criminals and the mentally defective to use the federal term). But I think meaningful distinctions can be made as to what sort of firepower is available to whom and with what level of training.
While I doubt if a K-12 education system is the answer as one commentator has suggested …I do agree that we need a very wide spread basic education about guns whether or not someone is actually wanting to own and use one…with more degrees of training above that depending on the role one wants to play.
Coming back to the basic education level….having grown up with guns one gets a really good idea of the damage they can do and the responsibility that goes with firearms possession and use. That level of education was sort of basic as a part of rural life and family members took care of this.
Ideally the basic training including having the opportunity to do some shooting (like was offered in summer camps) changes the fear of guns to respect and responsibility. Fire is beneficial or can burn homes and forests down. We cannot be afraid of fire…we must learn how to use it positively. Same for guns.
Even though I had what I’d call “basic training” with a wide range of firearms as a kid…when put in a situation of working with cops in the field under cover it was immediately obvious I really didn’t know squat about how to use a weapon in the context of real-time crime situations. The cops involved were not about to have me out there without being a functional part of the team on the ground, so I got a cop’s vesion of Police Academy with a real life “pass fail” situation in which to assess wheter or not I had any business being out there. I passed…but gained a whole new comprehension about how really difficult it is to keep your cool when bullets are flying or someone is waving a weapon around.
There is a kind of training that law enforcement folks as well as emergency responders and crisis management people get that focuses on, what I’ll call “being in the zone” where one goes to a different level of consciousness, your training kicks in, you’re not over thinking a situation, and you act appropriately and responsibly. The aide that went to Gabby’s side and used his training to save her life for example…listening to him talk about what he did and why he did it…wow….
There are what I call the “oath people” who are tasked with law enforcement and emergency response who…when the gunfire starts or the planes hit buildings run towards the event…not away from it. The nore of us that are “oath people” the better for all.
What concerns me is there are a lot of people who think that by just merely owning a wespon, they are prepared to deal with a crisis situation…and I’m sure there are many who have the right instincts to act…but I also think that a whole lot of people would benefit from the kind of training that is offered in the emergency response and law enforcement venues.
The last decade, because of my duties and responsibilities in Nogales, I went through a lot of additional training and drills in the FEMA emergency response context and have served in various capacities in Emerency Operations Center management of stuff like train wrecks as well as training exercises such as having a bunch of terrorists blow up the port of entry and inflitrate into the city carrying automatic weapons.
I encourage everyone to consider taking some of the training that’s available for citizens to be part of an emergency response effort. Check the FEMA website or your local fire station for training opportunities.
When you look at how everyone acted in the wake of the shooting….there were obviously lots and lots of people doing the right stuff because they were trained.
I think the gun debate has to focus on responsibility and not just rights.