Pitbulls.  Several will claim they are happy, loving dogs.  Many will claim they are a breed that is destined to wreak havoc and cause pain because they are a killing machine.  Cocaine in the early 1900’s was considered safe.  Over time, people realized it had addictive personalities and it was thus banned, as a primary ingredient in Coca Cola.  AR-15’s, a gun that is being widely accused of several mass shootings, is the topic of discussion for being banned because of its ease of purchase for such a tirade, especially in the last several mass shootings.

Lets be clear before I continue:  my daughter was in school the day of the Stoneman-Douglas shooting.  I was there.  If you read my last two blogs, you are well aware that this plays big in my mind and heart as I held my breath until I found my daughter safe and she was returned to me.  And while I’m an advocate and support the second amendment, many people feel the AR-15 should be banned.  I don’t.  And here’s why.

First, let’s be honest about all of this:  this is more than just a gun.  Yes, he did get it legally. Yes, he did kill 17 people.  And yes, he was mentally diagnosed with autism at 11 years old.  And yes, he used an AR-15.

“But AR-15’s are responsible for the last several school shootings, including this one.”

I hear you.  I do.  But did you know that there was a tri-county wide ban that was put into effect to ban pitbulls for the same fear?

Go look it up!  I challenge you.  In the 70’s it was German Shepards.  In the 80’s it was Doberman Pinchers.  In the 90’s it was Rotweilers.  Now it is Pitbulls and has been for the last several years.

“This is a ridiculous argument.  You are comparing an animal to an animal shooting up a live environment?”

Is it really all that different?  Maybe in the sense of the amount of lives taken, but is a pitbull no more or less dangerous…in the minds of those that experienced it?

Maybe to some extent.  But here is the comment from one person’s experience with an pitbull:

“People are frightened,” Michele Lazarow, HallandaleBeach city commissioner, said. “And they’re angry. They’re seeing what has happened in Miami-Dade County, and they’re frightened that it could happen here.”

That was a comment by someone who feels pitbull attacks could happen with those they love around them and want them banned so they never have to experience it.  They fear that pitbulls could cause the same damage and are scared.

So what makes pitbulls attack any different from a gun?  There was a county-wide push to have this breed banned based on the reaction of the breed’s potential to lash out without knowledge.  How is that any different than a person that is mentally disabled lashing out without knowledge?

“That’s just ignorant.  You can’t compare an animals breed lashing out to someone who is firing against several students.”

Really?  Why not?  If I own the breed and they go after one or several people and cause damage or harm, how different is that breed than someone who has a gun, pistol (Columbine) or rifle (Douglas) lashing out on a group of people?  How is that really different?  The amount of people they kill?  Really?  I hope that’s not your basis for reasoning.  If it is, then I guess the Boston Marathon bombing isn’t included because it only caused three deaths but 16 people lost limbs.  And the World Trade Center Bombings killed six people and injured a thousand.

People will cause harm regardless of laws.  People will figure out a way to do harm no matter what they need to do to do it.  9/11 was a result of planes and buildings, no guns involved.

“That was a terrorist act.”

So that’s OK?  Nobody used guns.  But several thousands of people were killed and lost their lives.

“That was premeditated!”

So was Douglas!!!  But we are going to blame the AR-15.   Let’s not blame the several (the number varies between 32 and 39) calls that resulted from this sickened individual.  Let’s not recall the FBI calls that were given to him claiming to be a “professional school shooter” one day or the fact that he may “explode and one day kill several.”  Let’s not talk about so much more that I am ill talking about because we know now what it is.

There is no doubt that it was too easy for him to purchase this gun.  There is no doubt that he was able to pass a background check even though he was declared autistic at age 11.

Before you go ape-shit on me about this, here’s my take:

I believe you should be 23 before you get a gun.  I believe when you turn 21, you should be have to take a course (if you want to own a gun) that allows you the opportunity to have a pre-liminary license.  I feel that over the next 2 years, you should have a set amount of time spent in a gun range and you should have to take two courses – one on gun-firing and recoil and one on gun-knowledge.  The gun-firing course should include a certain number of rounds that you fire for practice, to understand the impact and power behind it; you  that should have the required amount of rounds shooting (like community service hours) in order to obtain the shooting license.  Then there should be a test, a course you take that requires you to learn about guns, ammo, and all things that are involved with guns that make you educated and pass a test that will allow you to have a knowledge based license. Combined, you would receive a SAF-T Ownership License that will allow you the ability to carry legally.  The money charged, part of that goes to the licensing company, the rest to education to help safely protect children.

AR-15’s won’t go away.  They won’t.  Banning them is like banning a pitbull because they are a dangerous animal and you never know if/when they are going to act out.  You can argue with me all day long.

At the end of the day, there are several out there that feel a Pit Bull is a dangerous breed and if they had a child or family member that were attacked by one, could you convince them they were wrong any more than you could convince someone who was shot and killed by an AR-15?  Probably not.  A hard argument from both sides.

“But a pitbull doesn’t cause 17 people to lose their lives, including the lives at SandyHook, Sutherland Springs, Aurora, Pulse, etc.  What now?”

I can’t argue that.  Fear is fear.  And this fear is just as great and has been as greatly expressed in the sense of banning Pitbulls as a breed because they feel passionately about it and fearful of the breed.  Why should it be any different?  A Pit Bull can cause death just as much as an AR-15…maybe not in the same capacity, but in the same sense of destruction and death.

I’m not an advocate of the NRA nor am I a member.  I have shot an AR-15.  I don’t feel one way or the other about them, whether they should be banned or not.  The NRA apparently does not want to help with the stand and they aren’t willing to change their stance on age or making new laws because they feel age is not a consideration on the matter.  I don’t know why.  Many would argue it’s a money issue and would take away the position of the NRA.  I’m not sure why they don’t feel the need to stand up and make changes.  It’s disheartening nonetheless.

However, so many people have bowed out of their efforts to support the NRA or give discounts to them or completely move away from supporting them.  Sad that they can’t seem to move in favor of such, that a person of 18 years of age can possess a firearm, yet can’t drink a beer.  So maybe there needs to be a new association that moves in favor of better, safer laws.

We need to make change.  Change needs to happen immediately.  There is no discussion, but we need to do it the right way.  Governor Scott proposed several different actions and I respect and appreciate his efforts and actions.  We’ll see what happens.  To be continued…




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