The Human Side of Gun Violence

This is a Guest Post by Scott SylvesterCrime Scene

The Human Side of Gun Violence

When looking at the gun rights debate the statistics heavily favor the ownership and carry of firearms. Every study you can find from pro-gun to government health department studies shows that areas where citizens are allowed to freely exercise their second amendment rights have lower crime rates. Even criminals admit they will avoid a house to burglarize or a citizen to rob if they suspect the target victim may have a firearm.

With an overwhelming amount of data that proves that gun control is a failure, there is still an ongoing debate about a common sense right to keep and bear arms and there are two primary reasons for that.

The first I believe is control. We have a large group of politicians that want to exert more authority over the American population and impose laws that will allow them to regulate your life more than they already do. This group of elitists knows they will never be able to impose anything on a populace that is armed. One needs to only look back over the last century to realize that disarmed populations suffered immensely.

Genocide is only possible when there is no chance of resistance… Anyone watching the Syrian, Iraq, Kurdish, ISIS conflict?

The first is an easy one for gun rights advocates to stay on top of. If we could just unite and vote in candidates that understand the real reason the Second Amendment was drafted, write letters and emails to those who oppose us and continue to show the stats that will always favor us… we can beat back the anti-gun propaganda. One more easy way to beat the gun grabbers is to have every single gun owner, every year take one new person shooting. Even anti-gun liberals who visit a range realize how much fun the shooting sports can be.

There is a second half to the gun rights debate that the pro-gun side is not so good at addressing… the emotional side. It doesn’t matter how many statistics you have, hoe many surveys, studies and media support there may be, none of that matters to a mother attending the funeral of a young man or woman killed by the reckless use of a firearm.

Living in California near the crime ridden city of Oakland, I can speak firsthand about the gun violence problem the town is facing. While I firmly believe that arming the good citizens who live there would drastically diminish the violence between young street thugs who are trying to live a glorified rap-song lifestyle, the mother holding the dead toddler who was hit by the stray round during a furious automatic exchange really doesn’t give a shit what the stats say about gun ownership…

As a pro-gun community I think we need to reach out to these victims on a more human level. I know we try, but too early during the incident we turn to an agenda and statistics. We need to approach these victims as human beings. A shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold is what a grieving person needs. We can show our support by offering comfort, making donations, or even simple acts of kindness like grocery donations. When we do nice things for these families, the pro-gun community does not need to announce why we are doing it. Let the act is speak for itself.

If the family that was victimized wants to know why or who we are, the pro-gun side needs to simply denounce the evil criminals who perpetrate these acts and point to the individual and reinforce that the bad person, not the tool was responsible.

We need to point the finger and place the blame squarely where it belongs, on the individual and avoid a discussion about an agenda, stats or an opinion. We need to show our support for the law enforcement who is chasing, or investigating and the attorneys who are prosecuting those who harm innocents. We as a pro-gun community need to also analyze where the firearm came from, how the criminal came to access it and makes sure prosecutions or added charges are placed. While all of this occurs, we need to continue to support the victim and/or the family.

If the family continues to press the question, then honesty is always the best policy. Tell the family or victim that we want a better world, free of gun violence too. Every pro-gun advocate I know also believes there are some people who should not have a firearm. Leave the discussion open and keep your facts on hand, but not in their face. Talk to them about why you carry a gun and how much safer you and your loved ones are and how the gun itself isn’t the issue, it’s the intent of the person wielding it. Offer to assist the victim with firearm selection to prevent them from being a victim in the future. Offer to train them how to handle the firearm safely and dispel the mystery and myth behind the tool.

Owning a firearm is an empowering thing and if we handle our victims of gun violence with love, care and appeal to their emotional side, they too will realize personal protection and being an armed citizen makes everyone safer.

It all starts with an act of kindness. Use your actions to open the door and then you can start building a bridge. Remember, facts do not assuage emotions.

Until next time, stay safe and continue to train your mind.
Scott S

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