Gun control. A phrase that raises the hackles of nearly every American. I’ve seen this debate spring up in the most unlikely places and it always ends the same way. Both parties walk away angry and relationships are damaged. One side argues that gun control is the only way to stop gun related homicide. The other side argues that criminals won’t obey the laws that exist why would they obey a new one. The debate rages on.
I wanted to address this with my thoughts on gun control. I will start by addressing some of the more common arguments from both sides.
Outlawing guns will reduce the number of gun related homicide.
-Yes that is true, just like eating all the blue M&Ms will reduce the chances of you getting a blue M&M if you pulled one out randomly. That doesn’t mean it will reduce the total number of homicides. People that are angry enough to shoot someone are often also angry enough to stab or strangle.
Outlawing guns is directly against our 2nd amendment rights.
-Actually, not necessarily, that depends entirely on what “the right to form a militia” means. It would still be possible to form a militia if the militia were able to purchase weapons rather than the individuals.
Countries like England have less gun related homicides than we do.
-umm, Have you seen the population of England (63,181,775 as of march 27th, 2011) vs. the U.S. (316, 345,000 as of July 29th, 2013)? Less people means less homicides. Not to mention the fact that England has had laws against the carrying of weapons for most everyone but the gentry for centuries. It’s kind of an ingrained thing in their society.
Criminals don’t obey current laws why would they give up their guns.
-This only addresses premeditated murder. Not the passionate “I just walked in to find my wife with the mailman, grabbed my gun from the side-table and shot them both” type. If guns were not readily available these sorts of incidents would most likely be less common.
Don’t you care! Don’t you want your family to be safe
-Absolutely, don’t assume that because someone is against gun controls laws that they want a dystopian anarchy. Most people who are against gun control are typically either worried about having their guns taken away, something they see as their only means of defense against intruders or are worried about the government having too much power and threatening the well being of the home.
Guns are tools, they don’t kill people. People kill people.
-Yes, that is true. A gun will not on it’s own (in most situations) fire itself. However, the firearm is the direct result of thousands of years of technological development focused specifically on killing efficiency. The gun replaced the bow and crossbow because it was much more efficient at killing people. If a person were to run into a mall with a knife and started stabbing people it is very likely he would be taken down with a lot less casualties than if he was using a gun simply because a gun is more efficient than a knife.
Overall I am rather frustrated with the debate. People are so lazy when it comes to thinking that they tend to just camp on an extreme that sort of follows how they feel and don’t really think about the issues present. That being said, I want to present what I think about guns.
First of all I want to make it very clear that I see ownership of guns on the same level as ownership of a car, or lawnmower. It’s a tool. A tool that is a privilege and if those privileges are abuse then maybe we should rethink how the privileges are handled. A drunk will get his license taken away if he drives while intoxicated. As a nation it seems we have abused the privilege of owning guns maybe we should think about what that means.
On the other hand I am not sure that the complete banning of firearms is a good idea. Primarily because I can’t think of a good way to efficiently manage that task in this country without a whole lot of law enforcement officers getting killed. There are so many people that are violently opposed to the idea of their firearms being taken away that such a decree would very likely cause riots and rebellion and even possibly an all out civil war. How exactly would the loss of life cause by that action be justified if the whole reason for the law/s in the first place is to stop the loss of life. This puts us in a dilemma. How do we put a stop to the seeming rise of school shootings, workplace violence, and other random acts of murder that use firearms?
Let me propose a solution. It’s a solution that will take a massive amount of effort from each person and will likely take decades to come to fruition. However, I believe it is the most effective means of curbing the rampant violence in our nation.
Teach our kids that the best way to deal with stress is not to take out a gun and shoot the person stressing you out.
Yea, that’s pretty much it. I know that this will meet with a lot of opposition because people can’t except that the answer is something that simple. I can hear all the “but you can’t change the world like that” “people have always been violent” etc… etc…
But, how will we know until we have tried? Let’s try to change this nation by teaching those who will be in charge that sometimes life sucks. Sometimes people are mean, harsh, rude and downright assholes; and that really the best way to deal with it is to ignore the issue and go on with your life rather than bringing a gun to work or school to “teach that bastard a lesson.” Sometimes life just takes a dump in your lap and the best thing to do is clean it up as best you can and push forward. Not to plant a bomb to “show how awesome you are and what you can accomplish” or “get back at the bank that repossessed your home.”
If we start with our children and with how we treat each other and we examine ourselves to see how our actions could effect others, than maybe, just maybe, we can make a change. Start small and work up.
So go out there today and hold a door open for someone, say thank you and mean it. Try to be courtious and thoughtful in everything you do. Teach your children by example how to treat your fellow man. Teach them that when someone cuts you off in traffic, it’s annoying, but not worth fighting over. Teach them that bullies are really just sad, scarred individuals and to not take what they say to seriously. In all things knowledge is power and power is control. The more knowledge our children have about how their actions can effect others and about their own self awareness and assurance the more they are able to deal with the stresses of life.