Gun owner fears are at an all-time high in the wake of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
On Sunday night (June 12), 49 patrons of the Pulse Nightclub LGBT bar in Orlando were murdered by radical Islamist Omar Mateen. More than 50 were injured.
Opponents of the gun owner agenda point out that Mateen would not have been able to inflict nearly the damage that he did if he hadn’t been allowed to legally purchase an AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle.
While it is difficult to find anyone on the left side of the aisle willing to argue against this, blogger and self-proclaimed liberal gun owner Hannah Murphy has just taken up the challenge in a provocative piece for SheKnows entitled, “I’m a gun owner, and I really don’t want you to ‘control’ my guns.”
Murphy explains that she grew up in a family that had never been touched by any form of gun violence, accidental or intentional, and that she was always taught to respect the power that a weapon of such magnitude holds.
“I grew up around guns, was taught to have great respect for the power they yield, and I plan to teach my kids about guns and gun safety too,” she writes. “In all my years with a gun nearby, there has never been an accident or an incident.”
To further emphasize the safety of guns, statistics point out that, even though gun sales are at an all-time high, gun-related deaths are actually at an all-time low, per the Washington Post. (See WP‘s chart below.)
This would seem to indicate that most purchasers are, like Murphy, law-abiding citizens.
Murphy is also not the stereotypical NRA lobbyist-type gun owner. She self-identifies as a “typical woman,” a mom from the South who leans a little to the left on most issues.
“I am no different from the Muslim family that lives a few blocks away from me. I’m no different from my Muslim friends. I don’t judge any of them based on those who have radicalized their religion, who have used it to justify taking the lives of innocent people.
“I don’t judge them by the terrorist that went on a shooting rampage in Orlando, so why should I, a gun owner — or any responsible gun owner — be judged based on what I choose to protect my family?”
That said, Murphy acknowledges that she is not opposed to stricter gun laws, but that she has a mistrust of the government when it comes to where they will choose to end the prohibitions.
Instead of a “reasonable demand” like outlawing assault rifles, the next guns to go could be shotguns, handguns, hunting rifles, “and eventually there could be so much red tape that for responsible, law-abiding citizens, owning a gun becomes impossible,” she writes.
After that, the only thing a gun owner will have left for protection, she says, are “happy thoughts and prayers to protect our families from the criminals who have no regard for red tape or laws.”
It has certainly been a thought-provoking piece with more than 300,000 shares on social media thus far and tons of comments from both the left and the right that break along more predictably partisan lines.
— John Gray (@JohnW_Gray) June 16, 2016
But what do you think about it, readers?
Has this self-proclaimed liberal gun owner turned the argument for more gun control on its ear, or is she offering misguided support for the National Rifle Association and the conservative movement?
And do you think the government can be trusted to make sensible gun reforms? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Image via Flickr Creative Commons / Maryland GovPics]