Gun Rights- The Cross The Line Challenge

I am afraid of guns. Let me put that right out there. I have never shot a gun. I did not grow up in a home with guns. I have had nightmares of someone pointing a gun at my head. In my first year of teaching, I lost a 7th grade student to a gun accident. When I was in “Assassins,” I was nervous around our prop gun that wasn’t even a “real” prop gun. 

I do not like guns. 

So when people fiercely guard their gun rights, I get it, but I don’t get it. I understand the desire to protect the Constitution. I also understand the desire to protect oneself and one’s family. But. Guns are dangerous and they scare me. 

The Facebook argument that inspired the Cross The Line Challenge started with someone posting this quote. 

“Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”

Ok. In a very literal sense, guns do not, on their own, do any harm. It requires a person to operate the gun, just like a person needs to operate a fork. The fork will not, on its own, put food into someone’s mouth. But there are two very serious issues with this statement. 

1. The point of a gun is to do harm. That is why it exists. It is not like crazy people have figured out some way to misuse a gun. That is literally what they are for. 

2. Your fork will not make me fat. And it will not accidentally put food in the wrong mouth. 

So this argument makes me crazy. It actually has less to do with gun control than it does stupid arguments. I mentioned this to the original poster. And, as I explained yesterday, I was then attacked by his friends for being anti-gun. Of course, I hadn’t SAID I was anti-gun. (But. I mean. See above.)

I was asking them- but why can’t we have stricter gun laws AND let you guys keep your guns AND offer help to the troubled hearts of the world. And the response was essentially NO BECAUSE CONSTITUTION. 

This was an incredibly frustrating response to me. But it made me see that I was doing the same thing. So I decided my first Cross The Line Challenge would be dedicated to the issue that first sparked the challenge: gun rights. 

I’ve been doing a lot of research over the past 24 hours, which is why this post took a little longer than anticipated. But I knew so little about guns. I had a lot of questions. And they have been answered. And you know what? I kind of change my mind. 

Here are my 3 reasons from the other side. 

1. Strict gun laws are already in place. Lots of things can prohibit you from getting a gun. Having a certain history of criminal activity, having a history of mental health that required hospitalization, or making it known that you have plans to hurt someone, for example. 

2. Contrary to popular belief (and my belief) there are far fewer gun accidents than cases of people defending their homes with guns. I had assumed the opposite. But nope. 

3. *A 1997 U.S. Justice Department survey of 14,285 state prison inmates found that among those inmates who carried a firearm during the offense for which they were sent to jail, 0.7% obtained the firearm at a gun show, 1% at a flea market, 3.8% from a pawn shop, 8.3% from a retail store, 39.2% through an illegal/street source, and 39.6% through family or friends.

So. That thing about bad guys getting their guns illegally? It turns out that’s true. 

Now. I also discovered some things that I wasn’t too crazy about. 

1.People who are being watched for potentially terrorist activity can still buy guns and explosives. Um… let’s fix that, K?

2. *Using fake driver’s licenses bearing fictitious names, investigators with the Government Accountability Office had a 100% success rate buying firearms in five states that met the minimum requirements of the federal background check system. A 2001 report of this investigation states that the federal background check system “does not positively identify purchasers of firearms,” and thus, people using fake IDs are not flagged by the system.

Also not OK. 

Look. I still hate guns. I wish no one had any guns. I wish a lot of things. But when it comes to gun rights, I’m willing to admit that there were things I didn’t know and didn’t understand. 

Hopefully my next Cross The Line Challenge will help me say “See? I knew I was right!” ๐Ÿ˜‰


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 3boxesofbs
    Jul 07, 2015 @ 20:52:32

    Thanks for keeping an open mind and doing a good job researching. I would like to address one point since you seem genuinely interested in knowing.

    I was asking them- but why canโ€™t we have stricter gun laws AND let you guys keep your guns AND offer help to the troubled hearts of the world.

    The answer is complex and requires a general knowledge of previous gun control efforts. Like did you know at one point in history people could buy fully automatic firearms, by mail, and have them delivered to their home without a background check, without confirming age.

    As you say we already have strict gun laws in place. So we have to ask what additional laws people would want and how they keep us from having our firearms.

    Let’s look at “assault weapon bans” — the AR-15 most commonly purchased is a semi-automatic version that some states and previously Federally banned based on cosmetic features; such as “bayonet lugs” or Pistol Grip. How many drive by bayonettings have occurred before or after the ban?

    How about “universal background checks”? Sounds harmless doesn’t it. Own a firearm have to get governmental approval of the person you are going to sell it to.
    Except what happens when you live 100 miles from a gun store or the system is down when you go in. And let’s not forget that the ATF (in contradiction to law) has been demanding gun stores turn over their records. Nothing to fear about a government breaking the law knowing who has firearms and how doesn’t.

    Especially considering that you point out the criminals get their firearms illegally. They already use ‘straw purchasers’ to buy guns from stores and even at gun shows.

    Registration – gee, studying history shows how that works out in other countries. We would never have to worry about following the fate of other countries like Russia, China, etc. eh.

    What we see time and time again with ‘strict gun control laws’ is they adversely impact the law abiding much much more then the criminals. Easy to see this, how much firearm related homicide and crime is there in Chicago where there is very restrictive laws compared to Fort Worth Texas — very ‘lax laws’?

    By the way, in case you ever want to experience shooting a firearm please let me know. If you aren’t in my area; I will work to find someone willing to take you and a friend/spouse to a range for an introduction to firearms. We believe that getting people to actually learn to use firearms is one of the best ways of showing how little people have to fear from firearms. After all, most people are afraid of cars, chainsaws, etc until they learn to use them.

    Bob S.


    • Thoroughly Modern Mommy
      Jul 07, 2015 @ 22:50:00

      Hi Bob! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and reply. Just wanted to speak to a few points ๐Ÿ™‚ First, the quote you mentioned about why can’t we help people and have stricter laws etc… That was my thinking BEFORE I did any research. I see now that stricter laws, for the most part, may not be effective. Second, I think you’re absolutely right that the best way for me to get over my gun phobia (and it probably is to phobia status…) is to get more comfortable with and even shoot a gun. My husband grew up with guns, and while we don’t have one in the house, he probably would love to go to a shooting range with me sometime when I’m feeling particularly brave!
      I do want to add, though, that I still don’t like guns. I don’t like the idea of them, and I don’t want them in my home. That being said, I am not against others having them. I never have been, really. But the thing I still really struggle with is gun lobbies. To be fair, I struggle with ALL lobbies, regardless of political affiliation. One of the things I really appreciated about your post was how calm and fair it was, and absent of name-calling or hysteria. Unfortunately, I don’t see a lot of that surrounding the issue of guns. And I know there are things lobbies do to feed into that. Heck, it’s their primary purpose. To spin things and give money to people who will help it spin. So it’s so hard for someone like me who wants to have an informed opinion to get trustworthy information because the information is always controlled by SOMEONE…
      The whole point of this project- The Cross The Line Challenge- is to open dialogue and really try to see things from another’s point of view, even if we end up sticking to our original opinion. After all, personal convictions are good! They’re just even better when they’re informed.
      I’d love it if you tried the challenge yourself! Do you have any other issues you’re really passionate about that you could look at from the other side?


  2. 2agunsmithing
    Jul 08, 2015 @ 07:55:58

    Well written. As i discussed in my post you commented on – there is this weird idea that common sense = gun control…. The big organizations and zealots treat any idea other than “guns for everyone, questions asked” as being a 2A opponent. That’s insane!

    I really appreciate you taking the time to educate yourself on the topic before finishing your post. More people need to look at both sides of all stories… “question everything.”


    • Thoroughly Modern Mommy
      Jul 08, 2015 @ 23:36:38

      Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment! Your blog does a great job of seeing both sides of issues. Would love to see your take on the “Cross The Line Challenge.” ๐Ÿ™‚


  3. Trackback: Do most people hate guns or are they just uninformed - Maverick Shooting
  4. B.T. Economy
    Jul 09, 2015 @ 13:17:23

    Excellent post! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for stopping by my site and leaving a comment. I’ll definitely return to read more.


  5. 9x19starbursts
    Aug 10, 2015 @ 23:40:33

    I’m so glad that you’ve kept an open mind on this topic. There’s so much to this discussion… I’ll have to admit that I’m firmly on the other side of your ‘I’m scared of guns’ predicament, but I can understand that sometimes there just isn’t an easy middle ground for anyone.

    I would like to say, because I’m a female firearms instructor, that if you are that scared of guns, it is important for you to look at why you have such a fear. A lot of the women that I encounter show up to their first firearms class very nervous, but by the end of the class they are more at ease. I remind them that they don’t have to love firearms as much as I do, but information is very comforting! Ditto with the person above- the firearm community really is very friendly to newcomers, if you’d ever like to research more… I’d love to help! ๐Ÿ™‚


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