Unlike anti-gun organizations and politicians who immediately seized upon the Newtown tragedy to advance their anti-Second Amendment campaigns, the Oklahoma Rifle Association has been deliberate in developing a thoughtful policy that seeks remedies to such terrible occurrences.
Instead of making serious efforts to address these tragedies, the Obama administration and some members of Congress have proposed the shopworn, failed policies of the past, namely “assault weapon” and “high-capacity” magazine bans. As in the past, they will have no discernible effect other than to punish legitimate American firearms owners while doing nothing to correct the actual problem.
Should such proposals be adopted, additional bans will be forthcoming. They camouflage the true intent of the administration, anti-gun politicians and groups: a step-by-step elimination of the Second Amendment, a safeguard the Founders wisely adopted against a possible tyrannical central government, a guarantee for the entire Bill of Rights.
Real solutions begin with an examination of the demented individuals responsible for these tragedies.
The shootings at Virginia Tech, Tucson, Aurora and Newtown have a common thread, one that seems at best an afterthought in the stampede for “gun control.” Specifically, all the perpetrators were young and had known mental problems, yet they all were allowed access to firearms.
As a nation, we must do a better job of reporting and treating those with serious mental problems. Gun control only serves to keep firearms from millions of Americans who are neither criminals nor insane; it does nothing to address the violently deranged individual who poses a danger to anyone he may encounter, with or without a gun.
Secondly, we should address the “Culture of Violence” existing in the nation today. The entertainment industry has to take responsibility for its rampant exploitation of violence. We do not advocate censorship, but demand that filmmakers and video games makers take responsibility for the messages they send to the nation's youth.
Somehow politicians and gun-haters believe that all we must do is “make a law,” as if such action would deter acts of violence. They tout bans and “gun-free zones” as the answer while any thinking individual knows these are largely empty, symbolic gestures.
The Oklahoma Rifle Association supports the National Rifle Association's call for armed officers in every school. With every gun-free zone comes the responsibility of government and the education systems to provide security for our children. We can't have the former without the latter.
The ORA urges the defeat of proposed legislation that attacks and diminishes the right to keep and bear arms guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Instead, let's advance legislation that goes to the heart of the problem to secure the safety of Americans, especially our children. Don't let the nation's law-abiding gun owners become fall guys for the devious or misguided in seats of power.
Smith, of Yukon, is executive director of the Oklahoma Rifle Association.