In a recent broadcast by the Fox Live news agency, I witnessed a discussion between two gentlemen, one of which was an NRA spokesman.  The discussion erupted into an argument, as many do.  The issue being discussed was the shooting atrocities which occurred at the amish school and other schools around the nation.  The discussion focused on the use of firearms in these instances and the resulting apparent need for more “gun control” laws to stop such heinous crimes from happening.

As the argument progressed, the supporter for more gun control queried as to how we stop such crimes from happening.  The NRA response was that there were already over 2,000 gun laws on the books and those laws had not been successful at stopping gun violence.  This begs the question:  do we truly believe we can legislate evil and wrong do-ers out of society?

 Though it may be that some people actually believe legislation can stop evil acts from happening, the truth of the matter is that all societies will have to deal with wrongful acts.  It is a truth of human-nature that some people will commit crimes regardless of laws telling them they are not allowed to do so.  The truth of the matter is, laws were never intended to stop anyone from committing crimes.  The laws are intended to be used as a guidelines to punish people after the fact of committing the crimes.  If we intend to stop or, more realistically, reduce the crime rate, we must maintain a vibrant economy and maintain healthy family environments in which to raise children.  Raising mentally stable humans capable of supporting their families will reduce many of the stresses which result in crimes.

For those of us who believe evil can be stopped by simply writing a law that takes away freedoms in an attempt to increase security, keep in mind that  it is our personal freedoms which make the United States different from other nations.  Inherent to freedom, unfortunately, is the ability of its recipients to take advantage of that freedom negatively.  While it is the government’s responsibility to ensure the safety of its people, it is the peoples’ responsibility to ensure their lifestyle remains free.   Respect for fellow citizen’s rights to these freedoms is inherently necessary.  It is not the laws themselves which ensure our security, rather the respect for our constitution and its laws by our citizens which secures us.  When it is necessary to address a criminal act, it should be done so with the intent of punishing the criminal according to his wrongful act, not punishing the law-abiding citizens by taking away freedoms.

 Pallutus served 9 years as an NCO in the U.S. Army, as a police officer and as a high school social studies teacher and can be contacted at kheilmann@nc.rr.com

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