Editor’s Note: Les Shields is a retired captain from the Clinton Police Department after more than 32 years of service.

In the interest of full disclosure I offer the following — I own more than one long barreled gun. I also own more than one handgun.

I find it ridiculous to hear people say that gun control needs to be about how many guns a person can own. I have never heard a number floated for this argument. So how many is too many, and how do you plan to enforce it if a person owns one too many? What is my maximum inventory limit?

Before this last week I had never heard of a “bump stock.” I am also pretty sure that I have not seen one for sale at any gun dealership I have ever been in. So I did a little research about them and found out who was President of the United States when his administration approved bump stocks as a legal firearms adjunct. You should look that up, too. The answer will help you toward your first step in understanding the concept of hypocrisy.

When you hear someone talking about banning civilian ownership of an “assault rifle” you can be reasonably certain they have no idea of what they are talking about. I leave it to the reader to research the definition, and am confident you will reach the conclusion that outside of the military there are very few people in the U.S. who are authorized to possess an “assault rifle”. Because a rifle may “look like” an assault rifle does not make it one until it is somehow used in a crime. Another example would be a pellet gun that looks like a real handgun, but is not illegal until used or displayed in the commission of a crime.

I also hear people espousing new “gun control laws.” Maybe we need laws that require background checks. We already have those laws. Maybe we need laws making it illegal to own “assault rifles,” or laws to restrict ownership by certain defined persons who we feel should not own any weapons. Except we already have such laws.

Maybe what we need is to look at other cities and states to see how their tough gun control laws are working out for them. Cities like Chicago and Detroit would be a good place to start. Except both of them are abject failures at gun control. Their laws make it such that the bad guys have the guns, and in many cases they didn’t buy them legally.

Another response I have heard is that we need to up our security at many of the venues where large crowds of people gather. That means putting more people with legal guns in place. Let’s see now, isn’t that like saying, “the best way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy (or gal) with a gun?” What a novel concept, more good men and women being allowed to arm themselves and respond to a bad guy with a gun. Thank you for your support.

Les Shields,


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