The seemingly intransigent sides of the so-called “gun control” debate could find common ground if they understood the issue as a people problem rather than a weapons problem, says country music superstar Charlie Daniels.
In his regular online Soap Box commentary, he says there are valid arguments on both sides and the first step is to ignore the unproductive “fringe elements.”
The second step is to recognize reality.
“If you were able to confiscate everything that fires a projectile short of an air rifle, you will, BY NO MEANS, do away with violence in America, because the violent will always find a way to do violence with whatever weapon at hand,” he wrote.
“For instance, there have been almost forty-thousand knife attacks in the U.K. and Wales the first six months of 2018 and for a nation that has not allowed private gun ownership in many years there were 2,544 cases of gun crime in London from April 2016-April 2017 according to BBC, and there have been almost twenty-five hundred gun crimes in London in this year alone.”
He questioned: “Is there anybody foolish enough to think that, even if all law-abiding citizens would honestly and voluntarily turn over every firearm they own that the violent gangs, street thugs, psychopaths and anti-American political fanatics would surrender theirs?”
He pointed out the Second Amendment wasn’t written for “sport shooting and personal protection.”
“It was amended to the Constitution by men who had just stood up to and defeated a foreign and oppressive country who tried to annex America, make it a vassal nation to the British Crown, to conceive and enforce our laws, take away our individual rights and sovereignty. So, the Second Amendment intends for American citizens to be able to defend themselves from oppression, terrorism and invasion.”
The threat is there, he said, because of “the laxity of our immigration policies and the porous condition of our southern border there is a near certainty there are sleeper cells of Islamic terrorists in our country, and should they decide to take it to the streets, if all guns were confiscated, what would we fend them off with, water pistols?”
Existing gun laws need to be enforced, he said.
“First of all, ‘gun control’ is a misnomer, because in reality, it’s not the gun, but the person holding it that has to be controlled and that involves opening a very complicated, convoluted and controversial can of creepy crawly things, involving civil rights and a large gaggle of ACLU lawyers,” he said.
“Unscrupulous and illegal gun dealers need to be dealt with and that’s a good starting place, to put sharper teeth in current laws, shut these people down and get them off the street.
“Eliminate the ability of ‘straw buyers’ who buy guns and pass them along illegally, as is the case in the Obama-Holder Fast and Furious debacle,” he said.
And protect schools “by whatever measures it takes.”
“As a lifetime member of the NRA and a legal gun owner all my adult life, I believe that all reasonable interested parties would be glad to see a civilized and reasonable dialogue started on this most pressing issue,” he said.
Daniels has created Dove Aware-winning gospel albums and defined a genre with his Southern rock.
Still touring and recording at age 81, he’s now an advocate for the military and underprivileged children.
He began his career with the Misty Mountain Boys and his “It Hurts Me” was recorded by Elvis Presley.
In the 1970s, he formed the Charlie Daniels Band. Grammy Awards, the Pioneer Award by the Academy of Country Music and a star on the Music City Walk of Fame are just a few of his many honors.