We need to aim to end violence

Published 12:24 am Sunday, December 6, 2015

Last week’s horrible shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., brought America’s battle over firearms to the forefront again.

Gun opponents are taking advantage of the public awareness of the California shootings to try and push their agenda.

The New York Times published a rare, front-page editorial late last week in which the newspaper advocated a ban on assault weapons and some types of ammunition.

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The newspaper suggested that the upcoming U.S. presidential election would be a perfect time for America to show the world that it’s regained its sense of decency.

Folks, we’re at war with Islamic extremists. Wars are not won by showing our decency.

Wars are won with determination, intelligence and might.

Gun control advocates suggest we should use San Bernardino as a wake-up call to try and do something, anything, to reduce the number of guns on the streets of America.

Their suggested timing seems to fly in the face of logic.

With Islamic terrorists walking among us, disarming law-abiding citizens seems particularly ill timed.

Would it have mattered last week if someone in the room had been armed? We’ll never know.

But if I were faced with a terrorist, I’d feel much better knowing I had a fighting chance to defend myself.

Islamic terrorists will not follow gun laws. Neither will mentally disturbed individuals who simply become unhinged and seek to harm others.

Calls for confiscation of guns are ludicrous. Aside from the fact that such talk scares me just a bit — I don’t like the idea that the government could be armed while the people aren’t — far too many guns exist for that to ever be practical. America is estimated to have approximately a gun for every man, woman and child in the country.

Just considering semi-automatic rifles such as the AR-15 and its variants, experts suggest a few million of those likely exist in the U.S.

So getting rid of those isn’t going to happen.

Islamic terrorism is going to continue to grow — here and abroad — until the good guys exterminate them like the vermin they are.

So if getting rid of the guns isn’t going to work and getting rid of terrorists isn’t going to be easy, what are we to do, simply accept that more innocent people will die before we can kill all of the Islamic terrorists?

That’s certainly not acceptable, particularly if one of the victims is someone you love.

In the light of those realities, arming more citizens doesn’t strike me as a bad idea.

If more armed citizens resulted in less-dead people in the wake of such Islamic attacks, I’d be OK with that.

Particularly if armed citizens were required to participate in basic gun safety classes and submit to some kind of mental health evaluation.

I understand why liberal, gun control advocates will think this idea is crazy. They want — desperately — to have a quick, government solution to the problem of Islamic terrorists.

That’s simply not going to happen. Passing a law will not make America safer. Ironically, the two worst mass shootings — one the most recent California shooting by Islamic terrorists and the other by mentally disturbed man in Connecticut — occurred in two states with the most strict gun laws.

Hopefully, I’ll never have to stare down an Islamic jihadist, but if I do, I hope like heck that the people around me are armed and willing to say, “Enough,” right before they take aim and put an end to the violence.


Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3539 or kevin.cooper@natchezdemocrat.com.