I happen to live in the most armed-to-the-teeth state in the nation. According to this article from The Daily Beast, no other state comes even close to Kentucky in gun ownership. The spirit of Daniel Boone lives on here. But do I feel concerned for my safety because of that? Not at all. Most of the gun owners are hunters, policemen and military veterans, who use their guns responsibly. In their hands a gun can still be dangerous, but ultimately it is a tool, that can be used for good or evil; it all depends on the person wielding it.
As I write this, another shooting at a public school took place just two days ago (December 12, 2013). Of course having more than one mass shooting every year is an alarming trend; we never had to worry about this when I was a kid. Each time it happens, the usual voices among politicians and media personalities claim it is because there are too many guns in civilian hands, and we need more laws to keep people from acquiring them. Well, for the record, we already have plenty of laws on the books against gun violence; anybody remember what the current definition of insanity is? And even if the killers could not get guns, they could still get a knife or a baseball bat; it would just take longer to kill the same number of people. A lot of murders are committed every year with weapons that a cave man would have no trouble using.
We also hear from the same people that gun ownership is a conservative problem, presumably because conservatives consider the Constitution's Second Amendment to be critically important.
In 2008, then-candidate Barack Obama scornfully talked about those people in the nation's heartland, who "bitterly cling to their guns and religion." Needless to say, that includes my neighborhood. It probably also explains why Obama would rather travel abroad, than visit the states that elitist liberals call "Flyover Country."
They probably see us all as being like the survivalists from a few years back.
Naturally I tend to see the matter differently. Sure, back in the twentieth century, armed right-wing extremists were a threat, but you have to admit we don't hear as much from neo-Nazis, John Birchers, survivalists, etc., as we used to. Their hate message has been rejected by mainstream America, and most of them have been discredited as losers; membership in their organizations has plummeted as a result. Nowadays the real threat is from Islamic terrorists, or from left-wing extremists. Consider these examples from the recent tragedies:
The Columbine high school shooters were too young to vote, but both of their families were progressive liberals and registered Democrats.
Cho Seung-Hui, the Virginia Tech shooter, wrote hate mail to George W. Bush and his staff, and was a registered Democrat.
James von Brunn, the neo-Nazi who shot two guards at the Holocaust Museum in 2009, hated blacks and Jews, as you might expect of a right-wing extremist, but he also hated George W. Bush, John McCain, "Neocons" and Christians, and was a 9/11 truther, meaning he had more in common with leftists.
Nidal Malik Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, was motivated by Islamic fundamentalist teachings, but he also happened to be a registered Democrat.
Jared Loughner, the mentally deranged fellow who shot twenty people in Tuscon, AZ, did not have a coherent political ideology, but the views he did express were more left-wing than right-wing; he was another Bush hater, for a start.
James Holmes, the Aurora, CO shooter, was a staff worker on the Obama campaign and took part in Occupy Wall Street. He was a registered Democrat, too.
Adam Lanza, the Newtown, CT shooter, hated Christians and was a registered Democrat.
Fred Phelps, the founder of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church, was a registered Democrat. While he did not shoot anybody, his message of hate against homosexuals, the United States and US servicemen could have inspired some of the gunmen on this list.
Ariel Castro, the Cleveland kidnapper who kept three women captive for more than a decade, was a registered Democrat.
Karl Pierson, the dead 18-year-old Arapahoe High School shooter, was a committed Socialist who hated Republicans and mocked them on Facebook.
Dylann Roof, the Charleston shooter, shows all the characteristics you'd expect of a white supremacist. However, we also have a picture of him burning an American flag. No conservative American has ever done that, so unless Roof is the first, this picture marks him as another liberal. Also, he lamented that there wasn't a "real KKK" in South Carolina to back him up. Over here and here, I made the case that the Ku Klux Klan acted as a terrorist wing of the Democratic Party.
Vester Lee Flanagan, the Roanoke, VA reporter who shot and killed two former co-workers on live TV, was an angry black homosexual, a self-proclaimed "powder keg" who was always looking for a fight. I won't call him "gay" because that word meant "happy" when I was a kid, and he wasn't happy. Also, the TV station he used to work at disciplined him for wearing an Obama bumper sticker on the job, during the 2012 election. Whether or not he was a registered Democrat, he was certainly on their side.
Omar Mateen, the shooter who killed or wounded 103 people in an Orlando nightclub, was born to Afghan parents and declared allegiance to ISIS, but also -- you guessed it -- was a registered Democrat.
Finally, it should be mentioned that none of the above killers was a member of the National Rifle Association. I have written elsewhere that there is more hate on the left end of today's political spectrum than on the right; there's your proof. And because most of them were insane as well, in a more sensible, less politically correct society, they would have been confined to some sort of institution.
So there's how to make the country safer. Never mind the guns, just don't let liberal Democrats have them and lock up the crazy folks. Maybe lock up the Democrats as well, if they can't control their own extremists.