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We Need Gun Safety, Not Gun Control

We’ve all heard the calls to ban assault rifles and high-capacity magazines. We’ve heard the emotionally-charged speeches after tragic shootings. We’ve heard President Obama go on like a broken record, repeatedly telling the American people that we have to do whatever it takes to stop gun violence.

Meanwhile, Obama and the anti-gun crowd continue to cherry-pick statistics that distort reality and support stricter gun laws. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the left wants to take our guns.

But the truth is that gun control advocates aren’t the only ones hurting our Second Amendment rights. In fact, gun owners themselves are giving President Obama all of the ammunition he needs to push his gun control agenda.

You see, the mainstream media likes to focus on tragic events that inherently support stricter gun control. And many of these events are the fault of irresponsible gun owners.

Earlier this week, for instance, a story broke about a 13 year old who was shot and killed by police in California. The teenager was carrying a pellet gun that resembled an AK-47. Unaware that the gun was only a pellet rifle, police shot the boy when he wouldn’t put the gun down after being repeatedly told to do so.

Another story came to light this week about a five year old in Texas who shot himself with a .40 caliber pistol while his 19-year-old babysitter slept nearby. Every day the media pushes stories like these. Meanwhile, they ignore stories that support the Second Amendment, like the pastor in Indiana who used a pistol to stop a robbery last week, or two gun owners who stopped a carjacking in Jacksonville, Florida earlier this month.

It’s not that tragic stories should be silenced – they shouldn’t be. But we need to learn from them and stop giving anti-gun advocates so much to work with.

In August, a three year old fatally shot himself after he found a gun on the floor of a closet in his home. The gun belonged to a family friend who lived with the boy and his family. Not long after his son’s death, the father took to Facebook: “I have nothing [against] with guns. It’s [what] this country was built on. I will still support the Second Amendment. All I ask is that everyone please, please safety first[:] Lock it up and put it out of reach of anyone that has no business being around a gun, especially kids. Gun safety people! My boy would still be here if it was put away like it should have been.”

Simple precautions should always be taken to prevent such tragedies, spare the lives of children, and keep the left from using tragic events to further their anti-gun agenda.

Like most people in the rural South, I grew up around guns. I don’t remember there being a time when guns weren’t in our house. However, my parents taught me gun safety and gun laws from an early age. I knew not to touch a gun without their permission, and I knew to treat every gun as if it’s loaded. Preventing a child from shooting himself can be as simple as locking up the gun or putting the weapon out of reach.

Yet many gun owners are failing to follow safety protocol and weakening the argument for gun rights. If you give a politician an inch, he’s going to take a mile. And if we continue giving the left more ammunition to attack the Second Amendment, we’re going to be the ones who suffer for it.

Clint Eastwood said, “I have a very strict gun control policy: If there’s a gun around, I want to be in control of it.” We should all be in control of our guns… even when they aren’t being used. Do it to protect the Second Amendment, and especially… do it to protect your kids.

In pursuit of the Truth,

Johnnie-Ann Campbell