Last week I wrote about the slow death of common sense in this country. A couple of days later, I got an email from a friend that was an obituary from the London Times on the same subject. They did a much better job than I did in the commentary but I thought it showed that I was not alone in my thinking.
I said that there were two events that caused me to write about the demise of “common sense.” The first was the discussions surrounding the upcoming fiscal cliff that this nation is getting ready to jump off of head-first. The second issue is the question of gun control that was once again brought to the forefront after the fatal shooting involving a Kansas City Chief football player.
Many people in our society think that we could solve the issue of violence if we would just ban guns or at least control them to the point where the average citizen would not be able to own one. Aside from the extremely rare accidental discharge, guns do not kill people on their own. There is always a live person on the other end of the barrel that makes a decision to pull the trigger.
I fully understand that there are probably instances where people died because a gun was available and if there hadn’t been then the person might still be alive. But, does that mean that we need to ban anything that could be reasonably considered to be dangerous? What about hunting knives, axes, or any number of other dangerous items that could be used as weapons?
As you can probably guess, I am a huge advocate of the 2nd Amendment. Our forefathers knew that it was imperative that each of us be prepared to defend ourselves against oppressors and they preserved that right by installing it into our most basic of protections – the U.S. Constitution.
Now, many say that guns are dangerous so to protect the citizenry we need to ban them. OK, so now is where the death of common sense comes in – not killed by a gun but rather by people who just aren’t thinking straight. What happens if you take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens? Do you think the bad guys are going to give up their guns?
So, what would happen if the bad guys still have their guns but the good guys don’t? Do I really need to answer that question? Common sense would tell you that someone is not going to mess with you if they think you have the means and the will to protect yourself. But, again, common sense is rapidly disappearing in this country as too many people look first to the government to solve all their problems and provide all their protection.
Page 2 of 2 - We have great law enforcement personnel in this area but the fact is that they can’t be everywhere at the same time. I like the idea that there are a lot of law-abiding citizens with conceal and carry permits. I feel a lot safer knowing that the good guys can protect themselves against the bad guys – that just makes common sense.
This week another issue made the national news that doesn’t fit into the common sense debate but it does illustrate how reactionary we have become in this country. A Penn State sorority made the headlines because they all dressed up in Mexican costumes at a Halloween party and had signs poking fun at our neighbors to the south.
They were wrong in what they did and they should have gotten in trouble with the university – that much is a given. But, come on, it made national news and drew outrage from national political leaders. Give me a break. Since when do the antics of a college sorority rise to the level of national news? No laws were broken and no one was hurt – they made a mistake in bad judgment. But, to hear the commentators go on and on, it was a national disgrace.
We have so many issues that are truly important in this country but yet we have to make a big issue out of a bunch of college kids making fun of someone. Was it wrong? You bet. But in the scheme of things was it that big of a deal? No way. But, in this reactionary society in which we live, every mistake is a crisis and every slight is cause for the PC police to arrive in full riot gear.
Maybe this does fit in this column because if we still had common sense we would know when a molehill should become a mountain and when it shouldn’t. But, alas, I fear that our friend common sense may be too far gone for a successful revival and that is reason for mourning.
Kevin Wilson writes a weekly column for the Daily News.