Thursday, March 25, 2021

Universal background checks are the minimum

 I DON'T OWN a gun. Never have. Hopefully never will. I know many people who own guns and enjoy shooting them, and I have no problem with gun owners.

Well, responsible gun owners.

The gun control debate rages around the country yet again after another shooting. My sister lives in Denver and it's a horrible thing to deal with, even if you aren't directly affected.

So let's put it bluntly and not sugar-coat it - what just happened in Boulder, Colorado, could very well happen in Quincy, Illinois.

Going to the grocery store is actually a pleasurable experience. We are fortunate to have stores like County Market and Hy-Vee. I go to the the Hy-Vee at 14th and Harrison at least twice a week. The people who work there are friendly and helpful. For a while, almost everybody wore a mask when shopping and the store was pretty strict about it. That's starting to wane as we get vaccinations and COVID fatigue, but that's another story for another day.

Imagine you are there doing your normal weekly shopping and you hear a gun go off. What will you do? How soon will it take to figure out who has the gun? Do you duck out the back? Do stores have plans in case of things like this?

Nah. It could never happen in our little sleepy river town. No way. 

A few years ago a young Quincy boy was shot to death while sitting on a front porch, the victim of mistaken identity. During the trial information came out about how easy it was to get a gun, to carry a gun, to shoot a gun. All here in our little river town. 

And if you think there aren't people walking around Quincy capable of going into a grocery store and randomly shooting people, you are living in a dream world.

This is oversimplifying things, but we need to wake up. NOW. Stop being political about "gun control." It's about common sense and keeping guns out of the hands of evil people. There are ways to do it so responsible gun owners are not harmed and nobody's Second Amendment rights get violated.

But what do I know? I'm not a gun owner, so my opinions don't count or matter. Sheryl on the other hand has been in the military, and also been subjected to gun violence. She has great anxiety about this issue from personal experience. Her opinion does count. (Spoiler: It's the same as mine.)

You have to have a federal background check in order to run a day care, be a teacher or substitute teacher, be a foster parent, hold any security clearance, be a police officer, work at a dispensary and many more reasons. It is so common place. Why can't it be like this for guns?

I pray we as a community don't have to go through a mass casualty shooting. I'm hopeful it won't happen. I'm not going to stop going to the grocery store. 

We need to do something, and something on the federal level now. Federal law would make gun control consistent from state to state.

Dismiss this as being sensational or emotionally-charged. But don't say we weren't warned if something terrible happens in Quincy.

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