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Gun debate is largely a clash of city, country cultures page 2
Americans won't give up guns easily

Date published: 2/1/2013

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Thus, the law-abiding city folks feel that if we outlaw guns, they will be safer. The fallacy to this theory is that most law-abiding citizens in cities already don't have guns. It is the outlaws who own the guns and the outlaws who use them.

If a new law commanded everyone to turn in his weapons, most of the law-abiding citizens in cities might. But I'll bet dollars to donuts that the criminal element would not.

Remember the old saying, "If you outlaw guns, only the outlaws will have guns."

That, my friend, is a proven fact. Remember Prohibition? We outlawed alcohol, and people who never drank in their lives ran to speak-easies.

What about other hallucinogenic drugs such as cocaine and LSD? Has outlawing them put an end to their use? Not hardly. Illegal drugs are still prevalent--in virtually every segment of the population.

Outlawing something doesn't make it go away; it just brands those who possess the illegal item or commit the act as a criminal.

And the United States is already the world leader in jailhouse population. Prisons are one of our biggest industries. Are we heading for a day when we lock everyone up?

As we did back in the frontier days, some Americans rely on their guns for protection. They feel that if an intruder breaks into their home, they can fend off the crook until help arrives. That seldom happens, of course, but it provides hope.

Owning guns makes most of us feel safer. They make us feel like we have a chance to overcome evil. After all, the government can't put a police officer on every doorstep--although we seem to be heading in that direction, too.

Whether we care to admit it or not, guns are as much a part of the American culture as baseball and apple pie. Why, the Star-Spangled Banner was written with guns blazing.

All that said, I'm not of the belief that my home needs be guarded by a machine gun. I've never owned a semi-automatic weapon and have no ambition to get one.

Those weapons are primarily for waging war, and I don't plan to wage war. Anyone who does can join the military.

Gun control is an explosive (pardon the pun) issue. How the battle will turn out I don't know, but separating the American from his gun will prove to be a daunting task.

Will legislation solve the gun problem?

Prohibition and the drug war indicate that it probably won't.

Donnie Johnston:
Email: djohnston@freelancestar.com


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