The responsibility of owning a gun is huge…it carries consequences of life and death. Everyone knows it and yet still some (maybe many) take it lightly. Gun ownership is a right protected by the Second Amendment. But just like anything else we have in our life, if we don’t take care of this right we may lose it.
In a recent article in the Washington Times, Bernie Sanders, Democratic candidate, said, “99.9 percent of gun owners obey the law.” While I don’t have any basis to know if this statistic is true or not, the point is an interesting one for all gun owners. And it doesn’t matter your political persuasion or not in this discussion…it isn’t about Bernie.
For the sake of argument, let’s say it is true. If it is true, then this would mean that less than one percent of the gun owners today disobey the law. While we know that probably isn’t accurate, it makes a very important point. Bernie is essentially saying that it isn’t the gun owners that are causing the issues… it’s those that get guns illegally and then use them in a crime.
He makes a very interesting and valid point in his discussion. Both sides of the gun debate dig in and don’t come to some type of agreement that is good for all communities. And that someone with a gun in his state of Vermont vs. one in Los Angeles or Chicago is very different. In Vermont they are used for hunting and in the other two cities they are used for gang violence. This feeds the divide between the two extremes in the discussion.
If gun owners were more knowledgeable and responsible about their ownership and their possession and transfer, this could make an impact on gun violence. Knowing what you can and can’t do with your firearms and then taking the precautions…both physically and with training, could help keep more firearms out of the criminal’s hands. In the end, both sides would support any measure that helped prevent criminals from easy access to firearms.
One of the tools we have at our fingertips to help every gun owner is a gun trust. Putting your firearms in a special gun trust helps you to own and transfer firearms legally and efficiently. Receiving the right kind of training to know how to use and secure your firearms adds a different, but very important dimension to the cause. When you add these two together, you have a very powerful component to what Bernie is trying to get accomplished.
So whether you support Bernie or not isn’t the issue…being a responsible gun owner puts you in the 99.9 percent that he is talking about and we significantly lower the opportunity for the other .1 percent to have access to our firearms.