Opinion: Gun control in a free society

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To this retired infantry soldier the commercial sale of military small arms to the general population borders more on insanity than just gross negligence. Military weapons are designed to be competitive killing tools to give our soldiers the edge to survive and win in combat. They are not sporting, hunting rifles or traditional pistols for self-protection and their commercial availability have long exceeded the parameters of prevailing dialogue of “gun control.”

The logic for gun control should be rooted in understanding that the military is dedicated to the defense of the nation while the private sector is dedicated to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. As a consequence, the quintessential difference between the military and the private sector cultures is that the military population is trained and managed collectively as a mission-oriented entity.

Unlike in the private sector, the very intent to kill the enemy is under control and emanate from the national command authority. No member of the military is in position to decide on an ad hoc basis as to when and where the weapon is to be used. The very control of the intended use is a priority task of the entire chain of command during both peace and war.

In stark contrast, the private sector use of weaponry is oriented on sport and self-protection. The private sector examples of both the Las Vegas and Texas Church massacres point to the inability of the private sector to establish control over military small arms now being sold openly as a Second Amendment right assuming that the prospective buyer is a responsible citizen that would act accordingly.

We must acknowledge that times have changed. The key to gun control is to create adequate administrative parameters. Certainly private automobiles today require more management than horse drawn buggies did. Congress must find the wisdom to legislate us out of this gun lobby-driven nightmare because the die is now cast in favor of bigger and even more newsworthy Las Vegas and Texas Church like tragedies. The commercial sale of modern military small arms direly needs serious “special” re-think and intelligent dialogue to reset the tragic runaway cultural trend.

– George Geczy Jr. is a retired U.S. Army colonel and Taos resident.

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