Why was Trayvon Martin suspicious? He was young and black. As the father of a young black person, I would like for people who are obviously unstable to be closely scrutinized before being sold a gun they could use to shoot my son because he purchased an Arizona Iced Tea and some Skittles before returning to his home.

I’m not stupid. I know some of my opinions aren’t going to be popular with everyone. But I share my opinions to encourage conversation on issues I think are important. Gun control is one of those issues.


This isn’t about a desire to take your guns –– well most of your guns. I don’t care if you have a gun to hunt deer, squirrels or coyotes. We can agree to disagree about how much safer you or your wife is now that you have that Desert Eagle 50 caliber pistol in your house.


But slippery slope arguments used by the National Rifle Association and other gun enthusiasts are patently false. Allowing reasonable gun control does not lead to jack booted thugs roaming our neighborhoods and seizing guns, leaving our militia unarmed.


Second-Amendment extremists now fight to allow people to carry concealed weapons onto college campuses and in the public square. The idea behind the new laws is that when a deranged gunman opens fire, Gary the Gun Owner will whip out his trusty Colt 45 and eliminate the threat. Somehow that sounds like the exception and not the rule.


Don’t get me wrong. I owned a gun. When I was working the night shift at a hotel in my hometown, I purchased a .38 Special Long Nose because, when walking the parking lot, I sometimes encountered some scary situations.


I took the gun out to a friend’s field, and we shot cans off of fences and enjoyed all of the benefits of gun ownership. Then one night I had a belligerent drunk threaten to beat me up, and I considered grabbing my gun. I realized that if I had made a poor decision in that moment, I could have killed a man.


I sold the gun back to the dealer where I had purchased it about a month before at a financial loss but a moral gain.


When I worked for Congressman Dave McCurdy in his Norman, Okla., office, I got up close and personal with the gun control argument. I was in the office helping with constituent services when the Brady Bill was being debated.


This was before social media. People were still sending faxes and making phone calls. That is what makes the completely unified message the NRA delivered to its supporters stand out in my mind. It used to take a lot of work and even more money to make sure all of the sheep who blindly follow you had their stories straight. Now, you just get a group of people sharing a Facebook post or re-tweeting a message on Twitter, and you can get full use out of the mental Xerox machines that inform most people’s political views.


Back then, they had to send newsletters, go on talk radio and buy advertising to make sure recent college graduates knew to tell their congressman to keep his dang hands off a their guns. The argument was that any control would lead to more and more extreme gun control.


But we put speed limits on highways, but they haven’t all become school zones yet.


In the first 15 years after the Brady Bill passed, less than 2 million gun purchases were stopped. More than half of those who were unable to legally purchase a gun were convicted felons. Two million refused sales sounds like a lot, but in the same period, more than 100 million gun permits were issued.


Like I said before, I’m not stupid. I know that criminals buy guns illegally. But isn’t there some value in the fact that we are making it more difficult for the bad guys to arm themselves?


What about the self-proclaimed neighborhood watchman in Florida who recently chased down, confronted and killed a black teenager? That young man looked suspicious to this paranoid patroller who had called the police almost 50 times in the last year.


Why was Trayvon Martin suspicious? He was young and black. As the father of a young black person, I would like for people who are obviously unstable to be closely scrutinized before being sold a gun they could use to shoot my son because he purchased an Arizona Iced Tea and some Skittles before returning to his home.


The failure in reasoning is not thinking that controlling weapons and where people are allowed to use them threatens safety or liberty. The failure in reasoning is thinking that allowing idiots to strap on a pistol to go out on the town won’t lead to more deadly altercations.


I am not against rational and responsible gun ownership. But I believe liberty can withstand regulating that right far more than we currently do.