I am not a fan of current gun laws, and I believe the court decisions that interpreted “well-regulated militia” as including the general populace were foolhardy: Now we have at least enough privately owned guns to arm every adult in the country, tho very few are trained to a point that would be considered militia-ready, well-regulated or otherwise. Plus, there is a vocal faction that would have us become less regulatory of private gun ownership. This frightens me, but I still cannot say that I would completely erradicate gun ownership privileges. (I will not call them “rights”, as I am not personally sure that I believe in that concept where arms are concerned.)
Would it not be enough, I wonder, to have gun ownership be allowed, but to have more regulation? Make sure no parties – private owners/sellers, gun shops, and all etceteras – are allowed to sell guns without a background check having been done on the buyer. Make sure that all ammo is also registered to the buyer. Require any stolen gun or ammo be reported to the police within an hour of its going missing. (This is not an impossibility if guns are being stored in a secure manner.) Make the non-theft-reporting owner partially culpable for any crimes committed with the stolen wepon. Make an owner whose weapon, either thru lack of secure storage or lack of common sense, is used in such a way that it accidentally harms someone (a child playing with a pistol accidentally shooting a friend, a celebratory round falling onto someone’s head, and every other possible idiotic mis-use) criminally and/or civilly responsible for any harm done.
We are by nature a gregarious animal, a social one. This isn’t to say that we are always successful at creating and maintaining our societies, but we thrive best when we are. It behooves us, then, to be less waspish and more like the honey bee. Honey bees are useful to other species, providing sweetness and pollenation, among other things. They, like we, are social animals, and have the desire and the means to protect their loved ones. When they are pushed to a level of panic that makes them opt to sting, however, they do so at the loss of their own life. They, unlike the wasp, have barbed stings that function as a built-in drawing winch, causing their guts to spill when the sting detaches from their body. When they build their hives too near us, we try our best to move them, rather than simply wiping them out. This is, no doubt, due to a combination of their being good and useful neighbors, and our knowledge that their sting will only come when they see no other option. Wasps, on the other hand, while no doubt useful in some way, can sting as often as opportunity allows, making them less careful with their “weapons” and more prone to aggressive territorialness. This causes a relationship with humans that blinds us to any possible benefit to having them around, and sees them exterminated as soon as they are discovered anywhere near a home.
It is late, and this is a poorly-thought-out first post, but I needed to get something down about honey bees and barbed stingers. A thought came to me the other day when I was reminded of the dire consequence of their sting: by broadening the defining factors that allow a person to claim a shot as “self defense”, by making the acquisition of guns and ammunition easier/less regulated, and by allowing and even encouraging constant carrying, we are removing the barb from our human sting. I don’t want shooting a gun – an object designed to take life – to kill the shooter, necessarily, but I would love them to think it would, because I would love them to think. Really think.