Jordan is a junior political science and history major and writes "Musings from Moorman" for the Daily News. His views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Jordan at jamoorman@bsu.edu.  

Jordan Moorman

Squeezing the trigger, I aimed for the old beer can. It flipped up in the air, scattering and spraying everywhere. It was about a 40-foot shot in my backyard. I looked at my father and grinned — he had teased that I would never be able to hit a target as far out as that one with a pistol. Laughing, we razzed each other, and I was proud of my shot. It is not easy to line up the two back beads with front bead, control the shakiness of your hands and hit an aluminum can with a 4-inch barrel. Like baseball or soccer or practicing a musical instrument, it is something I enjoy, and it is something I can bond with my loved ones over. 

Lately, I feel demonized because of my hobby. I feel I cannot tell people about the love I have for shooting. Many people hear about guns and become uncomfortable, or perhaps even go on the offensive. It is a very polarizing issue. This saddens me greatly; I never understood the stigma of being a gun owner.

Of course, evil exists in the world. Sometimes that evil takes shape in the form of a bad person with a fireman, as we know all too well. People often blame firearms, such as the dreaded AR-15, which is often cited as the pinnacle of destructive force because it has been used in mass shootings. I simply searched on Google, “ban the AR-15” and there is more news than even I ever care to read. 

This is going to sound cliché, but hear me out: we do not have a gun problem. We certainly don’t have a rifle problem.

According to the FBI, the majority of murders were disturbingly committed with firearms. About 3/4 of them. However, more murders were committed with blunt weapons and knives than rifles, shotguns or other guns; in fact, rifles and shotguns together still did not equal the number of deaths caused by fists over this six-year time period. It is actually hand guns that cause the most gun deaths, according to that same report. 

This is and should be alarming. However, the majority of these guns were obtained illegally. The Washington Post published a study that revealed 8 out of 10 guns used for crimes in Pittsburgh were possessed illegally. 

I don’t see the gun murdering people. I see evil in the world and people murdering people. Whether it be with a blunt object, cars, acid or with a knife, evil will find a way. Unlike the media and gun control advocates, I don’t care what the instrument of evil is. I care why there was evil in the first place.

I don’t know why this evil exists. I see the lack of a stable familial unit being a correlation to these mass shootings, and I wonder. I see a relationship between mental health and these shooters, and I wonder. The shooter at the University of Texas in 1966 had a pecan sized tumor in his brain. Who knows if this played a role or not. 

But I can tell you one thing: evil will find a way. The U.K., despite having strict gun control measures, still has a staggering violent crime rate. I see this, and I wonder. Evil will find a way. Evil, in this case, being defined as a person engaging in primal instinct, denying what culture and reason has taught him or her and becoming no better than animals.

We are not getting at the root of the problem. It would be similar to if America had an alcohol problem, and everyone was driving drunk. So we ban cars. But everyone is still drunk and there is still an underlying problem.

When I squeezed the trigger and blew up that old can of beer, I was making sure I knew how to use that tool. I needed to know how to use that tool. Because while I value my firearm mostly for its sporting value, I also value it as a way to repel people who have decided to commit crime.

Conservatives are asking not for a compulsory regulation to force people to carry guns, but rather the freedom to carry in areas that might be soft targets. It is not worth me dissecting the recent events in this column. I won’t beat a dead horse, or offer trite points of commentary we have all heard a million times. But falsely accusing the NRA and blaming inanimate objects for the short comings of man simply won’t do. When someone gets killed in a drunk driving accident, we don’t blame the car or the alcohol. We blame the person. Why should this issue be any different?

Let’s be prepared to combat evil, together, in whatever means necessary. If you are hell bent on some sort of “common sense gun regulation,” here is a list of bipartisan measures that actually involve common sense. Fear mongering must end. Blaming objects must end. The only person to blame for shootings is the shooter. 

I won’t be stigmatized for loving guns. I won’t be silent for loving guns and believing the right for me to own was is an inalienable right endowed by God himself.  It is time we address the evil itself, not the instrument of evil-doers.