Originally Published: March 8, 2018 5:59 a.m.
In his recent column, Michael Reagan makes only one throwaway rebuttal to the argument that we should raise the buying age for AR-15 style weapons and do more extensive background checks: Such regulations, he says, would be a “burden” to law-abiding gun owners. (“Gun control begins at home,” March 5).
Mr. Reagan, I cannot muster any sympathy for such a pathetic excuse.
CBS recently ran a report on gun laws in Israel. Every school has an armed guard or two at the entry, but no teachers have guns. The age to buy a gun? Twenty-seven, unless you have military training. The back-ground check? Extensive, and anyone with a history of mental illness or bad behavior is automatically disqualified. The training? Prospective gun owners must go through a tough course in how to use their weapon before obtaining a license.
Unlike the USA, where folks can only dream they may have to defend themselves against “an invasion,” Israel is surrounded by enemies bent on its destruction. Yet their system seems to work just fine. Law-abiding and capable citizens have guns. Those who aren’t, don’t. Isn’t this what everyone professes to want?
Reagan blames poor parenting for the shooting deaths in Parkland. He shames an honorable family for doing what they could to help a troubled young man.
With 20/20 hindsight, he says that the family should have “removed guns from the house.” It seems he makes the case that our communal “house” might want to evaluate the unfettered access it gives to our own “problem children.”
One only has to look at our society and its ills to see that “poor parenting” is a serious problem that is not going away. Telling poor, ill, ignorant, drug addicted, or single parents to do a “better job” is not a realistic solution.
The NRA is fond of the phrase, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” This is a false choice. We can have common sense restrictions and still own guns.
Every parent who doesn’t think so should look into their daughter’s or son’s eyes tonight and say, “Honey, I am trading your life for the right of 18-year old boys and those with mental illness or criminal backgrounds to buy an AR-15. Ok?” Because that’s what the parents of 17 people just did.
I am an Arizona native who owns a gun and grew up with guns and is married to a former Green Beret who has a few of his own. This is not a political issue. It is a common sense one.
Pamela Beitzel has lived in Prescott since 1994. She taught high school in the area for 13 years and became a Realtor in 2007.