Gun Control: A Basic Right

Written by: Gary Wonning

Gun Control

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Unlike in most other countries, our right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed in our Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights alludes to individual rights , not those of the state.  Regardless of what some might think or say, it is an individual right, not a right given to some state or federal military force.

During the time in which our constitution and other founding documents were written, the militia consisted of  citizens, not a government police force.

All physically able men, over the age of twenty-one, were automatically enlisted in the militia, it was a citizen police force whose purpose was to protect the rights and lives of the individual against all and every foe, government or otherwise.

The militia was paramount in deciding the fate of our nation, citizen soldiers from the southern states almost single-handedly defeated Cornwallis and drove him to his defeat at Yorktown.

Our founders had an extreme fear that someday,  the  government might become tyrannical and consequently subjugate the citizenry and at the same time begin infringing upon their individual rights and freedoms.

They had seen those things occur in the governments of Europe and wanted to ensure it could never happen in our young country.

The second amendment to the constitution is our guarantee that could never happen. The second amendment guarantees that the rest of our Constitution and Bill of Rights will always be upheld.

In days past, the proper use of firearms was instilled in our youth at an early age, beginning as soon as they were able to comprehend the philosophy of self-protection and preservation. They were instilled with the knowledge they had a right to defend themselves, their property, and their families.

In those days, as well as today, danger can come instantly and people need to defend themselves before law enforcement has time to respond.

In those days, most people lived in isolated areas where it could take hours for the sheriff to arrive. Even today, in an urban area, it will take law enforcement at least ten minutes to come to your rescue, what are you going to do in those ten minutes? I think sitting down to tea and crumpets while waiting for the cops is out of the question.

The only sensible answer is that we have to be responsible for our own defense. There isn’t anyone else one can  depend on, it is physically impossible.

The only sensible solution is to properly train our young in the proper handling of firearms. I was conversing with a person just recently and she was shocked to learn that as a child, we had four or five shotguns and rifles stacked in the corner of the kitchen, available to anyone. We lived in a rural community and the guns were sometimes needed for protection, as well as providing food for the table.

In one particular instance, we had someone continuously stealing gas for our tractor. The sheriff had been called a few times, we lived ten miles from the sheriff’s office, so if the sheriff came at all, it would be at least a half an hour after we called him. After we lost many gallons of fuel on separate occasions,  my dad and neighbor hid in the woods adjoining our farm and waited, sure enough, it didn’t take long for the desperados to show up. My dad and the neighbor shot two boxes of twelve gauge shotgun shells into the trees in a direction where no one would be hurt. Guess what? The gas thieves never returned and we could go back to sleeping soundly again. And soon, the leaves all grew back on the trees.

The guns were in plain sight, and the ammunition was in the kitchen cabinet within reach of even small children. Even as an adult, I had a gun rack in the master bedroom while raising three daughters, did anyone touch them that shouldn’t have? Of course not, there were consequences.

We were trained, even as small children to never touch them. It was drilled into us constantly by our parents and grandparents, neighbors and friends. They were to only be used in self-defense and hunting. This was in the days when all the boys and some girls constantly played cowboys and Indians. Our main goal was to shoot the bad guys, Indians, not so much. Our heroes, Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy and the Lone Ranger were always fighting for truth, justice, and the American way. It just never made sense to fight Indians.

As kids,we all had cap guns strapped on our hips in case an outlaw came upon us without warning. We always had to be on  alert to such dangers.

Even in that “violent” environment, we kids had better never be caught pointing that cap gun at another person or animal. The one time I  was seen doing something like that, my mom took that gun away and I didn’t see it for weeks. After the first tongue lashing, it was apparent, foolish, and useless to take a different approach.

a photo of teenagers with surfboards.

The baby boomers and their impact on modern life

In later years, many students did take guns to school, the guns were locked in the trunk of the car and remained handy in case we wanted to go rabbit hunting on the way home from school. Often times, guns were traded in the school parking lot. That wasn’t allowed by school officials, but they can’t be everywhere.

The kids in those days were just like the kids today, they weren’t perfect little angels, in fact, most of the time, they were just the opposite, but there were consequences if they were caught  misbehaving. As a result, bad behavior was kept to a bare minimum and we soon learned there were certain things you just didn’t do, not only because there were consequences, but out of respect for our elders and what they were trying to teach us. We realized that maybe even once in awhile , they might actually know what they were talking about.

We knew guns could kill someone or something and never even considered shooting someone without just cause. Even today, I would do everything possible before pulling  the trigger and harming someone. I believe most rational thinking people would do the same. If people were properly trained and taught not to fear firearms, there would be far fewer panic killings.

The author has been a writer/photographer for over thirty years. Specializing in nature and landscape photography, as well as studying native cultures.

His travels have taken him to most of the United States, as well as Australia, Belize, Egypt and the Canary Islands.

He has studied the Mayan culture of Central America as well as the aborigines of Australia. Photography has given him the opportunity to observe life in various parts of the world.

He has published several books about his adventures.

For more information, please consult his website,

Your comments are welcome

photo of a distinguished older gentleman

Wisdom lost through the ages, common sense is no longer common.



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