From The Editor: Gun Control is Immoral

posted on November 22, 2023
Frank Miniter

While we watched our kids learn karate, I had gotten on well with this little group of parents and grandparents for years when, at a barbeque for the dojo late last summer, a grandmother in the group said she “Googled me and was surprised.”

The word “surprised” made everyone seated at the picnic table—four women, two men and two teenage girls—stop talking and look at me.

The grandmother then said, “What’s it like editing a magazine on guns these days?”

I let my eyes pan over all the faces around the table. I’d spoken to them all so many times, but we always talked about our kids or about the school system or something. I didn’t see the need to introduce this topic to them, but there it was, so I decided to be direct. “It feels good, as gun control is immoral,” I said.

I expected this blunt approach to cause a shift in the conversation, but surprise grew deeper in everyone’s eyes and they kept looking at me, so I asked with a pleasant but strong tone, “Do any of you think you could talk a thug, rapist or sociopath out of doing whatever it is such a monster wants to do to you?”

Their eyes answered that question, so I asked, “Then isn’t it immoral to disempower citizens who might have to face such fiends?”

“Yes, that’s why I love my M&P 9,” said the grandmother, and everyone laughed, including me. The image of her with her 9 mm was just too precious.

“This is so interesting,” said one of the teenage girls. “I mean, all I hear is that gun control is, you know, the right thing or something.”

“I know, right,” said the other teenage girl, smiling.

Everyone started talking at once, and I found out that the other elderly woman had just moved to Florida and was back for a visit. “We have constitutional carry now in Florida, so I don’t have to ask the government for permission to protect myself in my new home state,” she proudly said.

The two men finally chimed in. One, a man from New Zealand who recently earned his black belt, invited me long-distance shooting. He is into mastering the art of the 1,000-yard shot. The other, a grandfather, has been going with him to the range. He told me I could shoot his .308 Win. and I said, “I have a lot of rifles and I’ve shot 1,000 yards at several long-range schools, but I don’t have anything set up for that right now—but maybe I can change that.”

I left thinking I was being too careful about talking about our rights. Before this, I didn't think I was, as I often talk to strangers and to friends about our natural rights, but I had to consider why I just didn’t want to introduce the topic to a mixed group. I conceded that I might not bring up presidential politics or religion to such a group for the same reason.

Still, I need to rethink this polite stance. America isn’t as polarized with this issue as politics and the media so often pretend. And, culturally, we need to be ambassadors of this freedom. We can’t do that if we won’t politely talk about this civil right even in mixed company.

This isn’t to say we should be overbearing when speaking about our freedom. But this critical topic certainly can and must be addressed in normal conversation, as gun ownership is normal in America and it is moral. And, it seems to me, the people who would like to take our freedom away don't want us to talk about this openly.



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