Friday, December 28, 2012

Gun Control Reform

I have very strong views in favour of gun control,  so some people have labeled me a bleeding heart liberal. Those people have not walked in my shoes but believe that they know what makes me tick so I'm here to put forward my argument and set the record straight.

Firstly my argument. A gun of any description has been designed and developed with one objective in mind, 'to kill efficiently from a distance'. It has no ulterior use... even though it may have been beautifully and lovingly crafted by a talented engineer, it's purpose is to end life, stop life, remove life, take life.... it is an instrument of death and it is the preferred tool of the killer as it lends to stealth, distance and anonymity.

Every single criminal and or killer was a law abiding citizen up to the point that they broke the law and became a criminal and very often.... nay, too often that very first crime is the taking of a life therefore the argument that every law abiding citizen has the right to own a gun and has the right to use that gun to defend his home (an inanimate object), is moot.

Secondly to set the record straight. I know the power and safety one feels with a firearm that one knows intimately enough to dissasemble, clean and reassemble blindfolded. The firearm becomes an extension of oneself. I also know how it feels to be shot, to have ones life hanging in the balance because some madman wants to do nothing but end your life so badly that his whole being is focused on doing just that. 

I also know the feeling and the consequence of being for a brief moment that madman bent on the killing of another person, the rush of adrenalin and subsidence, the hollow feeling in the pit of one's stomach when gazing upon the lifeless face of the victim after a successful kill, with hands shaking so badly that they can barely hold the cigarette so desperately needed for it's calming.

I also know what it is to console a parent when their small child's life has been ended by a bullet fired from a gun assembled by the small child's slightly older cousin. One child dead the other lost to mental health issues and two families totally torn apart fifteen lives changed irrevocably forever - It would take a very callous soul to say, 'It's not the gun or the bullet that kills but the person!'

I have worked in Security (armed forces included for over 40 years) and over the last 30 have only drawn my firearm once, when an unseen worker started a jackhammer on top of the vault in a bank whilst I was investigating an alarm activation in the bank. 

I conducted an Australia wide survey for a large international security company in 2000 to find out statistically what was the effectiveness of firearms in the security industry (there was a move to disarm security guards as part of the gun law reform) I can hear the cries now that statistics can be manipulated to say whatever one wants but really that is the cry of the less educated and ill informed. 98% of reported incidents involving firearms within the security industry were of a negative nature and detrimental to the reputation of the industry. Ranging from the killing of innocent bystanders by security officers defending cash and bullion during an armed robbery to a disgruntled security officer fatally wounding a superior. 

I owned my own security company for over 12 years and refused to allow my staff to carry firearms unless required by our insurer which meant that I provided a safe working environment and we never had a single negative incident involving a firearm. I never once took my firearm home and would not allow my children to play with toy guns because to this day I have yet to see something good come from the use of a gun.

The bottom line is; controlling access to guns will reduce the number of fatalities caused by those same guns, this is not an emotive statement but pure mathematics.

Till next time God Bless.

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