It's been a long while since a national debate has created as much passion as the one this country is experiencing with the issue of guns.
Everyone has an opinion. As usual, there are extreme views on both sides. Some pro gun folks say there should be no restrictions on who owns and carries guns. On the other radical side are those who say all guns should be confiscated and left in the hands of people hired to protect us or defend our country.
As usual, there is little need for common sense in an emotional debate like this one. I know it scares some people when you start injecting common sense because it's likely their beliefs won't hold up. At the risk of again being placed in the liberal media or uncaring about people groups, let's talk common sense and guns. Given the limited space, the legality of the argument must be saved for another day.
First, why should it bother anyone that a person owns a gun for protection at home or to hunt? OK, it is true some people are against killing animals. Often, it's the same people who like their T-bone steaks medium rare.
Are high-capacity semi-automatic guns really needed by someone who genuinely has protection or hunting in mind? They are nice pieces for gun collectors, but most people do not see the logic of owning a gun that can pour out bullets faster than you can blink. Surveys show most think these guns are for bad people who want to kill someone.
Most people are not convinced it's a good idea for people to conceal a gun under their coat while they're eating at a restaurant, attending a football game or watching their daughter at a dance recital. Unless you want to harm someone or fear someone will harm you, why is it needed?
We could toss out many similar scenarios, but it would not solve the debate. Instead, we're left with a great divide that could be getting wider now that politicians are getting involved.
Even as a supporter of a person's right to own guns, there's at least three bills pending in the state Legislature that are troublesome.
Sen. Scott Beason, R-Gardendale, wants to take away a sheriff's ability to deny a concealed weapons permit. What if the sheriff knows the applicant is part of an active investigation involving felony crimes? Perhaps the person has had recent mental issues that do not show up on background checks.
Russellville Democrat Sen. Roger Bedford wants to force a business owner to allow an employee to bring their gun on work property as long as it's stored in their car. Red Bay Democrat Johnny Mack Morrow wants current school employees, retired teachers and community residents to be trained as armed school security officers.
In those cases, any reward is not worth the risk.
Common sense tells us some gun laws need changing, but gun bills — on both sides — need to be evaluated free of the emotion.