The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

December 24, 2012

CONFER: Gun owners: Don't be stupid

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Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — It’s obvious to even the most pedestrian of political observers that 2013 and the years to follow will be fraught with lengthy debates over gun rights, from state houses to Washington D.C. Such is to be expected when a classroom of innocent youth are executed by an unhinged, evil soul flaunting an assault rifle.

That debate really began the day of the shooting, playing itself out in volume at workplace water coolers, family dinner tables, and on broadcast news and talk shows. Unlike past events, everyone had an opinion – there wasn’t a person who didn’t – because of the pure horror of what happened in Newtown and the belief, no matter how remote, that their children could be gunned down at anytime.

As with past debates, this one showed extreme views from both sides. Both sides have their loons. Thing is, this time around, the loons on my side (staunchly pro-Second Amendment) are the loudest. Thanks to the wonders of social media, the most insane theories, arguments, and counterclaims made their way around the world and were spouted and re-spouted ad naseum. Facebook and Twitter – and ultimately real-life conversation – became saddled with ideas that leave me shaking my head and saying to myself, “there go our rights,” because it’s obvious not very many people have the ability to intellectually defend our natural right to self-defense.

Through their foolishness, they are digging a grave for legal gun ownership.

It’s easy to identify holes in such a theory — even for those who count themselves as diehard gun lovers. And, that’s what makes it utterly frustrating when such ideas become not only mainstream, but the leading answer to correcting what ails our mentally and morally corrupt society.

So, my challenge to gun owners is this: Don’t be stupid. Don’t get caught up in the emotion of the Newtown tragedy and the emotion and illogic of those who want to limit – even prohibit – our ability to protect ourselves. Take a breather and come back to the debate after the initial smoke has cleared. You – we – need to present to the public at large, as well as elected officials, a reasonable and logical defense for self-defense and offer respectable assessments of what’s wrong with society and how we can fix it.

Bob Confer is a Gasport resident and vice president of Confer Plastics Inc. in North Tonawanda. Email him at bobconfer@juno.com.

Bob Confer is a Gasport resident and vice president of Confer Plastics Inc. in North Tonawanda. Email him at bobconfer@juno.com.