On My Soapbox: Can we talk?

This column represents the thoughts and opinions of Jason Hennington. This is NOT the opinion of the Taylor Press.

A lot has happened over the past few weeks – A LOT. In just the last two weeks, there have been multiple mass shootings, including one that hit very close to home.

So, are we ready to talk about gun laws again? I have expressed my views on gun laws and how they can be stricter.

“Instead of giving people easy access to guns, I think the process to obtain a gun should come with a test to see where someone is mentally. I also think that a license is necessary and some kind of gun safety class that involves information and usage etiquette should be required.”

I said this in 2014, and I stand by that seven years later. I still think getting a gun is too easy.

A year later, after another mass shooting, I suggested criteria to obtain a gun. That criteria included criminal information, citizenship, driving record, military history (dishonorable discharge, etc.), outstanding warrants/fines, specific medical conditions that can be considered a danger to self or other as explained by primary care physician, negative employment history (being fired for sexual harassment, assault or theft), probation/parole status and caution indicators would be documented instances of being violent during police contact, carrying a weapon or resisting or assaulting officers.

This would help separate responsible gun owners from those with bad intentions.

On a recent podcast of Dope Black Thoughts, I heard a guest say, “an armed society is a polite society.”

Her view is that the only way to combat violence is with violence.

I completely disagree. I’ve had this conversation with many people, and while I’m not trying to take guns away, I think there has to be more restrictions.

Moving on.

The verdict came in for Derek Chauvin, the officer who had his knee on George Floyd, which ultimately caused him to die.

Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. He has yet to be sentenced.

This was the first step in a long journey towards justice for minorities (not just black people). However, even though this was victory in the fight for equality and for Floyd’s family, all police cannot be put in the same category.

A police shooting that happened the same day, shortly after the verdict caused an uproar. An officer shot and killed a teenager that was allegedly trying to stab another person.

I say allegedly because we do not know her true intentions. Watching the video, I think she was trying to stab the other girl.

As an officer, he made a decision to try and save a life. Although it involved a death, can he be faulted for that?

That’s where conversations start.

I’m going to get off my soapbox now, but first I want to give a big shout out to my niece Kendal for her 10th birthday.

“There is no such thing as a worthless conversation, provided you know what to listen for. And questions are the breath of life for a conversation.”

- James Nathan Miller

(1) comment


We have a constitution. Unfortunately, we also have a bunch of morons that run our government. People like Don Trump and his radical followers create the need for that part of our constitution. Requiring registration, mental test and/or anything similar negates the validity of the constitutional reason for the right to bear arms. Like it or not, people are going to die for numerous reasons and many reasons are by the minds and/or hands of radical people and that includes doctors, lawyers and law enforcement. At the same time, laws to allow open carry and concealed carry increase the chanvce for many others to get shot for various reason, in particular, "fastest draw wins, slowest dies".

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