Home > Uncategorized > Thoughts on the Gun Violence Issue

Thoughts on the Gun Violence Issue

Originally posted on my Facebook.

First off, I’d like to say this is gonna be a long read,  but I encourage those that are interested/concerned about gun laws to keep reading.  Secondly, I fully admit that I’m not well versed on the laws that are being discussed, passed, or expiring.  I don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to this meaning I can’t research it as much as I’d like, so feel free to correct me if I say something false or untrue.  Lastly, my goal is to clarify, debunk and discuss many of the issues I keep hearing about on firearms and violence.  I realize this is intrinsically tied to political views, so I ask that if you comment please keep it civil.  Feel free to disagree, but respect that others might not share your same views.

So with that daunting intro, let’s get to it! 😀

“The government is trying to steal my guns.”

I’m a little hazy on the law in this respect, but if I recall correctly, you get to keep your guns.  You just can’t purchase high capacity magazines or fully automatic ones.  Many of the posts I’ve seen with this mentality seem misguided and suggest that they will shoot anyone that tries to take them away (rather proving the point of taking them away honestly *shrugs* ).  As I understand it, you will still be able to use your rifles and shotguns for hunting and your handguns for personal defense making your argument kind of null.

“Assault weapons ban”

With this issue, I think we all need to fess up that the only reason you have this kind of weapon is to kill another human being.  While other weapons were adapted from hunting, these were specifically designed to kill lots of people, often from a ways off.  There are hobbyists out there, for sure that just enjoy the weapon for what it is and shoot targets all day.  I feel like the only people who really want the weapon for its intended use are the military (against foreign enemies), militia members (against our military?) and people that have zombie plans (against fictional enemies).  Maybe banning is too much, maybe just restricted purchasing is all that needs to happen, but if that’s the case, it needs to be really hard to get.  Cause if everyone was packing an assault rifle, then we’re pretty much in a warzone.  Only soldiers who have served in combat could probably tell you, but ask them what it’s like to have every stranger you meet probably carrying an AK-47.

“Well a hammer, kitchen knife, and car can be assault weapons too”

Then you’re already armed to the teeth and don’t need the extra weight XD  But seriously, by that argument we should be allowed to have light machine guns, grenades, pipe bombs, mortars, tanks, surface to air missiles and an F-14 (that would be sweet ;D).  You know why we don’t get to use any of those at home?  Because they require a boat load of training and certification and cause even more collateral damage.   The gun itself has always been the “great equalizer” because it requires less physical strength to do the same amount of damage as the next guy/girl.  While it takes lots of training to get good, it’s otherwise simple to pull the trigger and let a stray round go flying (anyone remember that football player getting shot by the gun in his pants?)  I think people have a lot of misconceptions about the responsibility involved with own a gun and the more access we give to untrained people, the more accidents we’re going to see.

Also, if you’re concerned that this one will lead to the first topic discussed, here’s your chance to argue the definition of an assault weapon.  Rather than using the “cold, dead hands” approach, why not work to find a compromise?  Maybe you can keep all of your weapons but have to get a special permit and receive psych evals to prove you won’t use them on people.  I don’t know, but it’s your chance to make a valid argument rather than let your guns do the talking (they’re really loud and only use the phrase “Bang”)

“Criminals don’t follow gun laws”

I’m willing to agree that criminals won’t follow the law (it’s in their nature) but I would also like to point out that 3/4 of the people who committed mass shootings from the 1980’s to today had legally purchased the weapons they use (http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/07/mass-shootings-map).  The phrase “Going Postal” doesn’t refer to a criminal gearing up and attacking people at random.  It’s Joe Schmoe being pushed too far and taking his legally bought weapon and using it on people.  Banning certain weapons might not keep them out of your die hard criminal’s hands, but it could reduce the amount of killing by people who at most have a parking ticket.

“It’s the shooter’s fault”

I 100% agree.  Seems like these days we forget about the people who actually did the deed and that they are responsible for their own actions (see my related article on rape).  That being said, I also know that we live in a society that glorifies vigilantes and idolizes the power of the gun.  I do believe there are steps to be taken not just by gun owners but also as a society if we are to decrease the amount of violence in our nation.  This includes video games, movies and the news.  While the shooter is still 100% responsible for their crime, we as a culture presented that as a viable option.

“Arm the teachers”

This one bugs me for several reasons, but here are the biggest ones.  Teachers are already underpaid and overworked and now you expect them to learn how to use a firearm and train regularly on the chance that their school is attacked?  Also, has anyone asked their opinion on whether or not they way more guns in their schools?

 

At the end of the day, I’m not against people owning guns.  I personally doubt I’d ever own one but I recognize the need for such weapons.  What I worry about most is putting more guns in the hands of people who don’t know how to use them.  I think that everyone is getting caught up on this small facet of the issue and missing the whole: that we as a society have an unhealthy obsession with guns and violence.  We have the most violent video games, the most violent movies, and our news is filled with gruesome stories of horrific violence in our nation.  I’m not naïve enough to think violence will go away, or that banning guns will solve everything.  What I am saying is that this is an issue we are all involved in and are each responsible for the small part we play in it.  Let’s take the chance to work together to make our nation a safer place to be.

As always, feel free to discuss, that’s why I share  😀

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