(CNN)Many of us taking part in the CNN town hall on guns have been touched by someone who chose to do evil.
I am sharing my thoughts with you because I feel I can relate to people on both sides of the issue of gun control. I have been afraid of guns, I have sworn I would never use a gun on another person and so did not need one, and I have wanted to deny the existence of evil.
I have also become a gun owner, am prepared to defend myself with a firearm, and understand the fear of my freedoms being taken away.
Some advocates want to restrict certain kinds of guns — perhaps allowing a pistol but not an assault rifle.
To those who don’t know guns well, the term “assault rifle” brings to mind either a sniper’s gun or a fully automatic weapon we have seen in the movies, meant to mow down large numbers of people. In actuality, fully automatic weapons are already highly restricted and require an additional license most gun owners will never have.
The lack of understanding makes it easy to develop rhetoric and legislation that will calm the fears of people who don’t understand a given subject, but that doesn’t really change any end result because we cannot legislate the evil side of humanity.
Freedom and responsibility
Cars are tools that is involved in about as many deaths as guns. If you are a driver prone to drinking and driving, should we only allow you to drive an ultracompact car? Not an SUV which could kill more people? No, we take away the drunk driver’s access to legally drive any car. This is about freedom to do as you like until you prove incapable of showing good moral judgment.
In this country, we give freedom and take it away once you prove to be unworthy of the freedom we have given you. Nobody suggests taking away cars or going through a battery of tests to determine whether or not you might be a drunk driver one day.
Does every man commit rape? There is a human element here that is real and we cannot legislate. Would we take away the freedom of all men by castration because some cannot handle what they have? No, we allow freedom until an individual chooses to take something that others use for good and use it to do harm to another.
Are our current laws being enforced? Are felons and known drug users really put in jail when arrested for a lesser crime and known to have a gun? In most situations, no, because police have more pressing issues than to incarcerate a felon for having a gun that he or she hasn’t used in a crime. We have plenty of laws on the books that we cannot or do not enforce. Let’s start enforcing what we have before creating new laws.
Understandably, we want a solution to ensure that we and our loved ones will never be in the situation of being caught unaware by someone who chose to do evil. Mass killers have targeted churches, businesses, movie theaters, schools and hospitals, but they could as easily take their violence to a place where people are armed. Yet they do not.
Even at Fort Hood, the killer chose a place on the base where he knew soldiers would be unarmed. What does that tell us? That evil targets those who are unprepared for the evil to strike.
When Chris and I were looking into our personal security after the book “American Sniper” came out, we took measures and thought of different scenarios, and Chris told me that still, based on his experience, “Babe, if someone wants to kill me, they will.”
Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan were arguably some of the best-protected men in our country. Did it stop someone from shooting them?
As Reagan once said, “You won’t get gun control by disarming law-abiding citizens. There is only one way to get real gun control: Disarm the thugs and criminals, lock them up and if you don’t actually throw away the key, lose it for a long time.”
The evil few; the responsible majority
And what we need to do is find the courage to accept that from the dawn of time until the day man no longer walks the earth, evil will find a way. Murder is nothing new, it is not going away and it is not dependent on one method of killing or another.
We can forge ahead knowing that while evil is among us, it involves the few. The good, responsible people are the vast majority. We can trust each other with basic freedoms until one of us proves to be untrustworthy by maliciously, intentionally harming another of us.
If you have never owned a weapon, or have never known the masses of peaceful gun owners who love their families and are in nurturing professions such as counseling, nursing, social work and pastoral jobs, may I suggest you talk to them about why they cherish their freedom to have these weapons?
We have slipped into a land of government that has promised the moon, seldom delivered and driven us into a world of more laws, more government, and less freedom — and none of that has stopped murder, pain and suffering.
No government can provide the utopia many seek. My hope for this country is that we remain a people who value freedom, who have the courage to face the realities with faithful hearts instead of anxious ones. I hope our people hold tight to the notion that we do not have to be a fear-ridden country focused on restrictions, but rather that we remain the land of the free and home of the brave.
God bless you and thank you for giving me some of your time.