Field Trips And Firearms

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

Years ago I volunteered at my son’s elementary school. In order to do so I had to present a valid Washington State ID. I had to fill out a form with a bunch of personal information, sign it, and then wait for a Washington State Patrol background check. Once I passed this, I was able to get on a school bus with my son and his class and go on a field trip. Yesterday Congress decided that I did not need a background check in order to purchase a gun that with the proper mental defects in place, I could use to shoot a classroom full of children.

Around that same time I was working for the Law Enforcement Support Agency. This was a job in which I dealt with police records. In order to do that, I had to fill out a 20+ page application. I had to provide half a dozen professional and personal references. I also had to go through an extensive background check. This was in order to be in regular contact with pieces of paper that chronicled the crimes of my city. Yesterday Congress decided that I did not need a background check in order to purchase a gun that I could have concievably used to shoot up the office I worked in.

I recently went to Scotland. In order to do so I had to get a passport. Anyone who has a passport knows the extensive information they need. It usually takes between 30-60 days for them to process it and run a background check so that I have a document that lets me leave the country. Yesterday Congress decided I did not need a background check in order to purchase a gun I could use to shoot up an airport.

Congress has decided that it is more important that I have easy access to devices that only have one purpose: to kill a lot of other human beings. They decided that no amount of dead children, no amount of dead Americans, no amount of dead mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, or brothers was too high a price to pay for this particular freedom. And so I must ask, if Congress believes I do not need a background check in order to purchase any number of guns and bullets, then what’s the point of having background checks at all? Why is it more difficult for me to get a car than it is for me to get a gun? It’s not because of the second amendment because the founding fathers knew just as much about a Ford Taurus as they did about a .38 Taurus pistol.

Yesterday was a shameful day in American history. It was a betrayal of the very freedom we claim to love because for any rational human being the freedom to walk down the street without being shot is much more important than the freedom to have a gun.

I know that this post isn’t going to change any minds. Those who are against something as simple as a background check before purchasing a gun are not arguing from a rational point of view. They are quite simply fanatics. So much so that in the countless debates I’ve had with them, they almost always initially assume I want to ban all guns because somehow they think I must be every bit as extreme as they are. I’m not. Almost all of the people I know who are in favor of gun control are not. We simply think it should be more difficult to buy a gun than it is to go on a field trip with your son.

– Jack Cameron

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