I have been listening and reading a lot about the gun control issue being discussed right now and am amazed at the number of people who mention ND in those discussions. Yes this is a republican state and most all people either have or have been around guns in their lives or even all their lives. In this area hunting is a big outdoor sport for many including my own family. We have hunted all our lives and so have our families and we have never had an accident or something worse happen at anytime. Our boys all went through hunter safety classes when they were old enough to hunt but before that they were taught to respect firearms at home. In ND we have fewer people in the whole state than what some would consider a medium sized city and people know each other a lot better. I am not saying that there has not been gun violence here but it is very low occurence although there has been an upturn of such since the oil boom and many people from other areas of the country have come here to work and live. The higher percentage of violence is directly involved with out-of-staters against each other.
One report in particular had to do with a mayor (not sure if it was Chicagos or another) involved with mayors and gund control advocacy group who stated that although things are different between Chicago and ND those in ND need to understand that more laws are needed, basically. The problem I have with that comment is that Chicago IS very different from ND and we do not have the number of illegal weapons going through here that they obviously have there. The number of drive by shootings and gun violence in Chicago (or any large city) is an issue but since we do not have this type of violence occurring here why is that even a comparison?
This past weekend there was a Gun Trade Show here and my husband and I went just to see how people were reacting to the possible changes to the laws. I will say that it was VERY busy and that although there were about four booths that did have semi automatics and what is considered assault type weapons for sale there were a lot of other booths with knives, weapons training classes, concealed weapons permits, and many, many shotguns, hunting rifles and antiques guns for sale and restoration experts. The booths with the semi automatics and assault type weapons were very congested and I honestly do not know how many were sold but I do know that they were taking a lot of info and making calls for each sale. My husband bought a gun that day and filled out ALL his info and then the seller made a call to verify his info and that he had a clean record. Although he did not have a waiting period there was more to purchasing the gun than just handing over cash or a check with no record of the transaction. The way I have heard the gun shows portrayed you would think they do not check anything at all, not true in this case at all. My husband was in the Navy and in the Guards after his Navy stint and has hunted all his life being raised on a farm and guns are a part of that life he has no problem with having guns in our home and neither do I. I was very impressed with the way this gun show was set up also, with the guns checked and handled with the care necessary for firearms. The entrance was set up with a checkpoint to have someone checking any weapons brought in to ensure they were not loaded and secured. I do not know what the process is for other gun shows are in other areas of the country but here I do see the amount of respect for any firearm and the needed safety in handling such is being held up very well.
I will say that I am very strict about my belief of not buying ANY toy guns for small children. I do not believe they should have them as a toy because they are being made more realistic all the time and those small children cannot tell the difference. I won’t buy BB guns either because again to realistic. Once a child has gone through a hunter safety course, only then can they understand how important it is to handle firearms carefully. I know people who think that their child is just playing with a toy and since they do not keep any guns of their own in their home they do not see a problem with a toy. There is a problem because they do not know what weapons are kept at their child friends homes and how secure they are. What happens if their child is there and that child and their friend sees a real gun but cannot tell the difference? That could be tragic! Responsible gun owners follow the laws and have respect for firearms, they keep them locked up and make sure their family understands how important safety is! The type of gun violence that occurs everyday is NOT committed by law abiding citizens but by those who will find a way to hurt others if they want to whether by using a firearm or another method.
We really need to look at better mental health and that those that are having problems are getting the necessary help! We also need to be very aware of those around us and those that do have criminal records of violence. The data base of those with a record are not as complete as they should be and that needs to be kept up to date. We also need to make sure that the government does their job of getting the illegal trafficking of firearms under control! The ATF should have made better headway in getting these actual traffickers off the streets. The government has made the laws so complicated that it can take years of investigation and compiling a case before they actually make any arrests! Why not take down those they catch in the act? They could take down more and more and eventually there would be fewer criminals to distribute so those that are at the top will not have anyway to distribute their weapons.
Between getting the database updated for the background checks and getting the illegal gun traffickers that would take care of alot of problems. The background checks that are being tossed out there about if someone has a mental health issue I would like to know exactly how the government would be able to enforce that after the creation of HIPPA? If you do not mark a certain box on your release of medical records nobody can have access to your mental health info! They are saying those that are mentally crazy by the courts are what they mean and I believe that those that are proved by the courts to be criminally insane are usually in prison so they would not be purchasing guns. If you think about it those are the only people that you can legally find out if they have a mental problem! Logistically some of the proposed possibillities for a new gun law are unrealistic! I do agree that nobody needs the large clips like the “banana clip” or “jungle mags” for any reason except military and maybe law enforcement!
Maybe they should look at those that want the assault type weapons and the large mags could be required to go through a seperate gun safety class and be required to have a certain type of way to secure it and maybe even a psychological evaluation done annually or biannually to keep that firearm?
There are a lot of people in ND that do have firearms but if you look at TX, GA, NC or any state that hunting is a large sport there are many more firearms and many more people and much larger populations so why is it that ND keeps coming up? For the most part I agree with most democrats on many issues but in this case I can’t agree with democrats or republicans because the views from each are way too different. There has to be a middle ground that can actually be helpful and work for both sides of the argument. For the most part all of the mass shootings that have happened in the last 30 years have been done by people that had definite depression problems or other mental health issues or in their minds were pushed to it by the bullying they undured for a long period of time. I am not making excuses but I am saying that these are things that need to be looked at. The changes within the last 20-30 years have caused more and more people to be more isolated than ever with internet and social media sites there are more issues with bullying than ever and nobody talks to each other anymore! I watched a group of teens sitting within feet of each other glued to their phones and texting each other, no talking just texting! I asked a couple of them why they just didn’t talk and the reply was “why? it is easier to just type! your too old to understand!” Wow I couldn’t believe it but I do know that with children glued to a screen all the time is not good for them whether it be a PC, video games, TV or a cell phone or tablet! Too many families that only communicate through electronics does not make for a very close family no matter how you look at it. You always hear about the violence on TV but look at the amount of violence these kids see on their video games and through the internet and even through the media! Yes the video games and movies are bad enough but with all the changes in how we keep up to date these days the media has images of very disturbing things happening at the time it happens or within seconds or minutes. You never used to see a dead body on the news and now they show not only that but much much more and very gruesome images! Is that really necessary? No it is not!
I want to see a less violent world also but unfortunately I doubt VERY much that ANY excessive gun laws are going to change this until our own culture changes. Our culture changes over time but unfortunately not always in a good way and it is never going to go back to the way it was so now we have to deal with how things are handled from here on and there are many things that need to be looked at NOT just gun laws!