Saturday, June 18, 2016

Middle Ground for Gun Control Debate

If the extreme views were taken out of the gun debate and people could come together in the middle, there would be no trouble passing sensible gun laws but each side is entrenched in their beliefs and feelings about guns and each side has their extreme views, propagated further by their own media outlets, about the extreme measures that should be taken to push forward what they think is right. Neither is necessary to ban all guns nor allow them outright to everyone and anyone who wants them.

Starting with the pro-gun position, gun enthusiasts assertion that if everyone is allowed guns, then everyone would be safer falls flat when you realize several things. First, not everyone wants a gun or would get a gun. In fact, the people who want it most are gun enthusiasts and the crazy people that gun enthusiasts say you should get a gun to protect yourself against. Second, not everyone who gets a gun would be trained well in using that gun; in fact, crazy people will probably have spent more time and effort training than the average person with a gun and come prepared to commit their crimes. And third, there isn't a law abiding citizen with a gun everywhere we go protecting us, mass shootings still happen even in states where gun laws are lax.

Another thing they cite is that places which have strict gun control laws such as Chicago. Ignoring the fact that Chicago is just one city, that numerous countries have strict gun control laws and very little gun crime compared to America, they do not consider where these guns come from. Criminals go to other states like Indiana where gun laws are less strict and they buy guns and smuggle them into Chicago where they sell them to gangs. Furthermore, just as the culture of guns is a culture which has several factors that need to be addressed, gang violence has several factors that require more than gun control to address.

Finally, in response to those who say that criminals get guns anyways, it should be said simply that laws are for the law abiding to act responsibly and for criminals to be deterred from committing crimes. Law abiding, gun loving people should have no fear of these laws, they can still have their guns, collect them, pull them out on a criminals/potential mass shooters, and whatever else they love doing with guns within the law.

Regarding the side which speaks against guns, they claim that we can live without guns in our society but right now, the culture or attachment Americans have to guns and/or the right to own guns seems counter to that; it isn't something which will go away over night and taking an extreme stance only entrenches gun enthusiasts in their fears. Furthermore, whether you think it is of the home or of your person anywhere you go, self-defense is a legitimate reason to own a gun as is hunting for some people. Some countries with stricter gun laws than US still allow for gun ownership for such reasons.

Lastly, those who speak against guns need to stick to one issue, keeping the guns out of the wrong peoples hands. People who have a violent criminal record, history of psychological issues, or history domestic abuse issues, it shouldn't be unreasonable that anyone who wants a gun should have a background check to see that they do not fall under such categories; as mentioned previously, a law abiding, gun loving person should have no fear or owning guns if at least such conditions are passed in law. Then there are children, why would you give children guns unless you're shooting with them under supervision such as in hunting? Would you give them your car to drive around freely as well?

Other issues such as what kind of guns are allowed or ammo is allowed is more nuanced but I thought these issues in particular are important to talk about as they're brought up a lot when terrible mass shootings occur or other acts of gun violence.

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