Are guns now our American legacy?

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People seem to be in love with their guns. And it’s a love affair that so, so many do not want to end.

While it’s easy to jump on the emotional bandwagon with all the news this week; it’s not really “news.” And while we are finding out more and more sad and appalling facts about the Uvalde domestic terrorist attack, some facts are still constant. Like the “good guy with a gun vs. bad guy with a gun” refrain.

The sad reality is that the “good guy with a gun” is nearly impossible to discern from the “bad guy with a gun” when an emergency happens. I've been told this by law enforcement, and my own common sense tells me it is true. But still, folks argue about the rightness or wrongness of it as a solution.

And in the meantime, people — especially children — are losing their lives. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, in 2020, gun deaths overtook car crashes as the cause of death in children ages 1 to 19.

This horrible American problem reverberates even through our Kentucky school systems. During a recent school board meeting, I became aware of the KCSS. KCSS is the Kentucky Center for Secure Schools, which was established by the Legislature in 1998, the year after the Heath High School Shooting. Sadly, it is just as needed now, if not more so, than nearly a quarter century ago.

KCSS’s website says it’s mission is to “serve as the central point for data analysis, research, dissemination of information about successful school safety programs, research results, and new programs; and, in collaboration with the Department of Education and others, to provide technical assistance for safe schools.”

In further researching to understand this mess, I discovered a video produced by a comedian. It shows that even with training, telling a good guy with a gun from a bad guy with a gun in a charged situation is nearly impossible, and that facing down an armed assailant is much different in real life than in a video game, movie, or your imagination.

And just so we can all be on the same page:

  • The federal requirement for gun ownership is simply that a person be 21. (Sorta.)
  • For a handgun, the age is 21.
  • For a long gun (rifle, shotgun, AR-15), the age to purchase from a licensed gun dealer is 18.
  • But, there is no age limit for a long gun purchased from an unlicensed dealer (gun shows, personal friends, Claude in the Walmart Parking lot).

I am not going to go any further into this issue. I will just leave this information here for anyone interested to watch and read. But I will pose a question we each should be asking ourselves:

Is this the legacy our country should be leaving for our future?

--30--

Written by Debby Lucas Angel, candidate for KY House District 61.
Cross-posted from the blog on her campaign site..

References
Good guy with a gun vs. bad guy with a gun
FBI Shooter Incident Report

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