From Connecticut to Wisconsin to Colorado and more, mass shootings have plagued America, the beautiful, far too many times than I’m comfortable with. There have been 431 shootings since 2005 (Chicago making up 17 of those) with more than one victim. What is happening in our world that shooting is such a common theme? It’s the 2nd Amendment that’s got everyone tripping over what’s right and what’s wrong when it comes to gun possession. Gun control is a slippery slope, but just how slippery is it?
According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, a multiple-victim shooting happens every 5.9 days in the U.S. Typically, the ignorance in our country reigns. We see war, peril and devastation happen all over the world and neglect to imagine it in our own backyards. More often than not, many of us feel invincible. We’re not.
Simple things like going to school or to the movies has taken on a whole new level of stress. The latest shooting in Connecticut claimed the lives of 20 innocent children and seven adults by the hands of a mere man-child. Words and phrases like, “insane,” “checkered past,” “troubled” “mentally ill” and “unstable” are being thrown around about the shooter and others like him as if to help explain why something so tragic and sickening could happen.
It seems that gun control comes down to just that…taking them out of the hands of those who are “mentally ill.”
This is what President Obama had to say about gun control in his 2012 campaign:
So my belief is that, (A), we have to enforce the laws we’ve already got, make sure that we’re keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, those who are mentally ill. We’ve done a much better job in terms of background checks, but we’ve got more to do when it comes to enforcement.
But I also share your belief that weapons that were designed for soldiers in war theaters don’t belong on our streets. And so what I’m trying to do is to get a broader conversation about how do we reduce the violence generally. Part of it is seeing if we can get an assault weapons ban reintroduced. But part of it is also looking at other sources of the violence. Because frankly, in my home town of Chicago, there’s an awful lot of violence and they’re not using AK-47s. They’re using cheap hand guns.
And so what can we do to intervene, to make sure that young people have opportunity; that our schools are working; that if there’s violence on the streets, that working with faith groups and law enforcement, we can catch it before it gets out of control.
Getting guns our of the hands of criminals or the mentally ill will not stop crime. These are the types of people that will find a way to get the resources they need to reek havoc on unsuspecting victims. Isn’t the whole reason someone is a criminal is because they don’t follow the laws of the land, anyway?
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When we talk gun control, the result we’re after is less crime, less senseless killings and less slaughters being labeled self-defense. People get distracted from the intended message of gun control by becoming hard core haters of guns. I would have to agree with the president; it matters who is carrying the gun and their intentions. However, I can say that I am 100% against civilians carrying, bearing, using, shooting and even displaying guns. In a perfect world, only the law enforcement and soldiers would need them, but that’s not where we live.
We live in a world where guns can feed hobbies or protect our lives and putting them away for good doesn’t seem to be plausible. Why? According to NPR, “Strict gun control policies have failed to deliver on their essential promise: that denying law-abiding citizens access to the means of self-defense will somehow make them safer.” What if someone comes into your house in the middle of the night and your life is spared simply because you have a weapon to protect yourself with. Without guns, our lives are in danger. Without guns, our lives are in danger. See how slippery this slope is?
David Rittgers from NPR goes on to say, “We should create a sensible legal framework for gun ownership that does not hamper the right of individuals to exercise self-defense.” Sensible enough, right? But it’s way too difficult to make an issue like this black or white.
A mass school shooting in the UK led to stricter gun laws in the small town of Dunblane, so it’s not like stricter rules on guns couldn’t happen. Whether its psychological tests for all those who own or what to own guns or a no tolerance policy, people will still kill people. That’s the sad part of gun control–solutions are near impossible.
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