I was appalled at the naïveté and ignorance expressed by several commentators on the topic of firearms and the Second Amendment in the October 1996 AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) News.
Has it occurred to the busybody pediatricians who are aggressively attempting to rid their patient’s families of firearms that they may be removing their only effective means of self-defense? Another pediatrician was quoted that she counsels children who find a gun to not touch it, leave the area, and tell an adult. What was omitted was that this is the firearm safety educational program made available to schools by that “evil organization,” the National Rifle Association.
It is already illegal for minors and felons to purchase firearms. Criminals buy their guns illegally on the street or steal them. Most gun control schemes only harass law-abiding citizens exercising their constitutional rights. If we ban handguns, who will have handguns? That’s right — criminals.
The Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution certainly does guarantee the right to keep and bear arms to law-abiding citizens. Our Founding Fathers thought it important enough to place this right immediately after guarantees of freedom of speech, press, and religion.
Guns have always been prevalent in our society, but violent juvenile crime is a relatively recent phenomenon. Many generations of families have owned firearms for hunting, sporting, and defensive purposes. Children learned the rules of firearm safety and right from wrong at home and at church.
Factors other than poverty and unemployment are at work in fomenting violence, since this type of crime was rare during the Great Depression, as it is in Appalachia today. I would submit that the chief causes are the dramatic increase in fatherless families, illegitimacy, and the increasing disregard for traditional standards of morality created by the liberal’s welfare state.
Rodney N. Kreider, MD
Forest Park, GA
Originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1997;2(1):3. Copyright ©1997 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.