A while back, The Havok Journal ran an article about a group of well-respected and well-know flag officers who are all signing up for The Veterans Coalition for Common Sense. One important thing that was not discussed in the article was exactly who the founders were. One is a Navy Veteran Capt. Mark Kelly and the other, Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is also his wife.
Now, this is supposition but I am going to walk out on a limb and say that this coalition is more about gun control than common sense in particular given the history of the founders with being on the receiving end of gun violence. It seems to me to be a disingenuous attempt at using veteran status to gain a bit of traction where other means have failed.
You might remember Kelly’s purchase of an “assault weapon” which he used to demonstrate that it was so easy to purchase a firearm.
Well, as a law abiding citizen who does not have a criminal record nor history of mental illness, I can readily imagine it was very simple for him to purchase a firearm.
After all, I have purchased quite a few and it takes longer to fill out the form than it does to get approval. This is not because the system is broken, this is because driver’s license numbers, social security numbers, names and addresses are all nicely linked and the computer spits out rejection or approval very quickly.
One thing that never ceases to amaze me is how people use the words common sense, and then go after the people that are already doing the right thing.
The purported ideas of the group are to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Good luck with that. Perhaps they should make a law that states criminals should not be allowed to have guns. That should do the trick.
Common sense states very clearly that a laws will only be obeyed by those who already obey them. Adding more laws to the mix just makes it harder for citizens to follow them. Which conversely means in my paranoid mind that this group doesn’t want laws that can be followed but wants laws that citizens will violate thus losing their rights.
Closing the loopholes about background checks sounds great but I think if we really want to “close the loopholes” we need to add more to the issue. This may sound like hyperbole but I think we need background checks for individuals purchasing a car or other vehicle.
If the background check is to find out if they are legally able to purchase a firearm, for the safety of the public, then background checks for purchasing a vehicle should be suitable as well given that the fatalities involved are greater than those for firearm related deaths. They should be checking for, previous violations, unpaid fines, and warrants of arrest.
They want to strengthen existing laws. Which again back to common sense, means that they believe tougher laws and more stringent regulation are going to change the statistics.
Tougher laws keep guns out of the hands of the law abiding. Those who obey the law, are the only ones who will abide by gun laws. Which means to me, paranoid again, that my government is deliberately trying to turn me into a criminal so that it is easier for them to act against me instead for me. Chicago, Washington D.C., New York, and California all have extremely tough gun laws and yet there has been no real change in the number of guns used in crime or the level of shooting in general.
Veterans Coalition For Common Sense says one of their major aims is suicide prevention. This.pisses.me.off. It is a fact that the CDC reports that of the number of deaths by firearms, over half are suicides. It sounds like an important number. I have spent much of my writing efforts on suicide related topics. You will not lower the suicide rate by reducing the firearms in possession of military personnel and veterans. You will perhaps lower the rate of firearm related deaths and replace them with some other means.
Attacking the tool does not help the issues. The idea that the firearm and the mental health issues are related in some way is idiotic. The gun is a tool. Taking it away does not resolve the issue. Just like adding a reflective belt to every soldier in the Army did not actually make everyone safer. It just made them look stupid.
A group of senior officers join together to form a coalition and they are led by someone with a vested interest in gun control,
“KELLY: Yeah, absolutely, I have no use for a gun like that. From my military experience, it’s important that the military have assault weapons with high-capacity magazines. I really think that the access the public has to these, it’s too easy, as I demonstrated the other day. It’s very easy to buy an assault weapon; they’re readily available. They really shouldn’t be.”
And they think that using statements like “common sense” and “suicide prevention” are going to get them further towards their goal because we are not paying attention.
Here is some common sense;
- The law abiding citizen is not the issue. Guns themselves are not the issue. Poverty and the pervasive abuse that our government heaps upon us by idiotic laws are the issue. The deliberate divide perpetuated in the media pitting race against race, male against female, gay against straight, and religion against religion is the problem.
- Suicide is a challenge that is not going to be solved by changing the tool used. It will only be addressed by changing the understanding of the mental health issues involved and by the open availability of care. Focusing on the tool means you are not focusing on the people. The gun is not killing them, they are killing themselves.
We live in a society where we champion freedom of speech and then everyone gets offended because someone said something they did not like. Children attack each other online because they are losing whatever compassion they might have had because they are shielded by their phone or their computer and they are learning that nothing matters.
If you want to fix the common sense issues, and perhaps put a dent in suicides, make a law that requires people to have some damn manners.
This first appeared in The Havok Journal on June 8, 2019.
Leonard is retired from active duty military service with 24 years and two combat deployments to Iraq. He left the Regular Army after 10 years and became a National Guard Recruiter for his first tour in the AGR program followed by over 10 years in Operations as Force Protection, CBRN and three years as C-IED. He has an Associates degree and is currently working on his Bachelor’s. He is an amateur metal smith and when he is not working or writing he can often be found in his shop pounding away in the attempt to transform a lump of metal into an icon of beauty or function.
His years of operational planning, threat analysis, and a deeply cynical view of our imperfect world leads him to focus on world events and cultural beliefs that tend to cause the most friction and chaos in the world around us. He is a libertarian and he believes in personal freedoms and accountability. The Havok Journal gave him an outlet to express the things he sees wrong in the world and the opportunity to once again provide advice on how to fix it. Leonard can be contacted a firstname.lastname@example.org.