Published in The Index Journal Newspaper on November 18, 2018
as a "Guest View" under the headline "Reduce hate and reduce mass shootings."

Written by Edwin Eugene Ott

Another mass murder today in our country! I will not say which day the murder happened
or what location, since such murders occur so frequently. The media will be filled with inane
rationalizations as to why we should not take actions to try to prevent such murders, such as,
the Second Amendment to the Constitution; guns do not kill people; the slippery slope of regulation,
and everyone has a right to defend themselves. Rationalizations will also be asserted as to why we
cannot take effective actions, such as, there are already too many guns, and criminals will always
be able to get guns.

Second Amendment arguments are a form of ancestor worship. The amendment was added to the
Constitution 227 years ago. Since that time, the nation and the world have changed enormously. It was also
established at a time when fewer than one in four adults had the right to vote. To argue that the voters at that time
had the wisdom to impose laws that withstand the changes of time without modification is not rational argument
but religious dogma.

To say that “guns do not kill people, people kill people” is nonsense. One may just as well say “lightning
does not kill people, God kills people.” Would rational people decide to raise a flag up a metal pole in the
middle of a field during a raging thunderstorm with only a prayer that God will not strike them dead? Would you
let your child do that? Today, our country is experiencing a storm of mass murder.

The slippery-slope argument that to allow even the least regulation of guns will ultimately result in total
banning of gun ownership ignores that every slope has at least one other side. The slope opposite to over
regulation is under regulation. Surely, total non-regulation is as bad as total regulation. Even the Judeo-Christian
commandment “Thou shall not kill” has regulations that allow killing.

Self-defense is put forth as a reason for not allowing gun control. Self-defense is one of
those regulatory changes we make to God’s commandments. Having a revolver handgun is very different from having
a semi-automatic, high capacity pistol or an assault rifle. The slippery-slope argument applied to self-defense
leads to the conclusion that everyone needs to have access to any type weapon that may be used in any hypothetical
threat. There are vast numbers of high-powered weapons available in Syria today. Does anyone think that the people
of Syria enjoy life, liberty, or the pursuit of happiness?

A Chinese proverb says, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." Yes, passing
laws does not assure compliance. Banning guns will not eliminate civil ownership of guns. Criminals will get weapons.
Even, some otherwise law-abiding citizens may not turn in their guns. However, this does not mean that we cannot reduce
instances of mass murder and even increase life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, by having sensible gun regulation.
Unfortunately, our society is currently falling down the slope of non-regulation. Instead of improving our society,
we are deconstructing it by passing universal concealed-carry laws and stand-your-ground laws. The result of these laws
is an incentive to shoot first. The shoot-first mentality is a major reason why we have so many police killings of
unarmed persons today.

We can and must do better. We need to understand why we distrust our government and our neighbors.
We need to recognize and reduce the amount of hate in our society. Forgiveness is the necessary ingredient.

Contact: neoPERCEPTIONS    Copyright 2019, Edwin Eugene Ott. All rights reserved.

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