Gun ownership is once again at the center of public debate following another mass shooting. One self-described “gun lover” by the name of Mark Carman has made a major impression online after releasing an 11-minute message aimed at his fellow “responsible gun owners.”
Carman is hardly someone who identifies on the liberal side of the political spectrum. A self-described Evangelical Christian Republican (who was also a 2015 Grammy award nominee as a Christian music producer), Carman nonetheless felt compelled to speak out in the wake of the recent shooting at Oregon’s Umpqua Community College.
In a clip posted both on his Facebook page and YouTube channel, Carman begins by holding a loaded gun up to the camera, asking the viewer if they are familiar with just what the weapon is. He goes on to say that he both owns and likes that particular gun, yet if he wanted to sell it to you, he could legally do so without any kind of background check. In fact, according to Carman, the transaction could legally take place between he and a total stranger while standing on his front porch.
Carman goes on to say that we as a nation have a problem on our hands when it comes to gun ownership. Pointing out that he both loves firearms and is trained in their safe use (Carman was formerly a police officer in Norfolk, Virginia, as the Daily Press points out), he nonetheless asserts that policies need to be put into place to keep guns out of the hands of “people who shouldn’t have them.”
— Reverb Press (@ReverbPress) October 7, 2015
In speaking about the issue, Carman directly aims his message at “responsible gun owners,” who he asserts will have to be engaged in fixing the problem. Carman advocates in the video for better screening policies and expresses his belief that firearms sales conducted without a background check should be made illegal. He directly references the double standard that forces brick-and-mortar gun stores to conduct background checks, while private sales aren’t subject to such regulation. As Reverb Press points out, buying guns online or at gun shows are also effective methods for circumventing background checks in most states.
— Gun Control (@GunContRRol) September 27, 2015
Carman goes on to directly tackle some of the arguments surrounding Second Amendment rights, asserting that the establishment of basic rules governing the use and ownership of guns isn’t an infringement of those rights. Comparing gun ownership to car and plane operation, Carman suggests that not only licensing requirements, but also written and practical tests used to prove competence should be implemented, and perhaps even required on an ongoing basis.
Carman also tackles arguments advanced by some who wish to prevent government representatives from knowing they own a firearm. If you have a membership at a gun range, a hunting license, or a concealed weapons permit, Carman points out that federal and state authorities almost certainly already know that you are a gun owner.
Mark Carman and Jeff (Alabama) Cook pic.twitter.com/3mQ4WEUnc6
— Mark Carman (@4markcarman) October 10, 2014
In the end, according to Carman, Congress is unlikely to affect any changes in gun legislation, largely due to the power of the NRA. In his video, however, Carman challenges others who see themselves as responsible gun owners to consider their opinions toward legal safeguards surrounding firearms.
“If you’re a responsible gun owner, why WOULDN’T you want some safeguards in place?”
In the finale of his video, Carman points out that no legislation will be able to stop every mass shooting or act of terror. He challenges the assertion, however, that such legislation would be without a point or justification.
“We’re not going to be able to stop people from killing people. But we can surely slow them down from killing people with firearms.”
After the video was posted, it quickly went viral on Facebook. Carman’s plea to his fellow responsible gun owners has since been viewed over 820,000 times as of this writing.
[Photo by Mark Carman via YouTube]