It seems like a never ending battle between Republicans and Democrats, but the debate on gun control is growing faster than the government can keep up with. In the wake of the recent school shooting in Florida, the very students have become somewhat celebrity activists in their outrage. Should we listen to them? It’s a hairy subject to get into but it’s a conversation our leaders need to have, whichever side you stand with.
Let’s break down the arguments of both sides- Pro-Gun & Anti-Gun
Obviously those who fall on the pro-gun spectrum will automatically cite the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which says that our citizens have the right to bear arms. In other words, we’re all allowed to own weapons. No ifs, ands or buts. However, if you get yourself into trouble with the law, you can have that right taken away, especially if owning a weapon will increase someone else’s chance of getting harmed.
A lot of right wingers will look no further than the Second Amendment because, why should they? It’s written right there in the instruction manual for being an American!
Some argue that ‘the right to bear arms’ means that we all have the right to own a weapon to protect ourselves in the event of an uprising, or in order to protect ourselves from a tyrannical government. This is understandable, and makes sense given the time the Constitution was written.
However, very many, if not the majority of pro-gun people, are so offended by the notion of someone taking their guns, just because it means someone is telling them that they cannot do something. They argue that beside protection, guns are used for hunting, sport and recreation.
In fact, many pro-gunners support regulating who gets to own certain guns, or if at all. There’s no doubt that guns are dangerous. We’ve seen time and time again what they can do to people in just a short amount of time. It takes a lot of training and practice to be able to handle a firearm properly.
Just like every other group in the world, there are good and bad. The responsible gun owners should not have to pay for the wrongs of the others, right? Would you be happy if someone said you had to give up your jump rope because someone used theirs to strangle their neighbor? I don’t think so. Pro-gunners see it like that. They offer comparisons such as every American giving up their car because someone ran down a crowd of people at an outdoor mall.
But here’s the problem with that…
Anti-Gunners are seen the exact same way they see Pro-Gunners- entitled. Anti-Gunners argue that all they want is to feel safe in their workplace, school or home. That is an obvious and understandable reason, right? Except that’s not what they’re saying. They’re aggressively attacking the other side and diluting their message with their harsh words, leading to more harsh words coming from the opposite side, diluting their arguments also. It’s not about what’s right, it’s about who can be the loudest and who can “drag” someone on social media the best.
When it comes to the argument of the Second Amendment, Anti-Gunners see it as outdated and irrelevant. The Constitution was written in 1787 when all that their weapons could do was pierce the skin and kill you if you aimed well enough. They argue that had our forefathers known how advanced our weaponry would be 250 years later, they would have elaborated on the ‘right to bear arms’.
Anti-Gunners claim that automatic weapons have no place in civilian life. It’s hard to argue against that. In an ideal world, the only ones who would be carrying weapons would be law enforcement, military and trained civilians. That’s just not the world we live in.
So Who’s Right?
Sadly, there is no answer to that question. Each side really believes that they are on the path of good. If you set your biases aside, you can see where they are coming from. If you ask me, I’d say I don’t know where I fall yet. Like many other Americans, I find myself wanting to be convinced one way or another.
I most likely would never own a gun, as they do not interest me, and given a situation where I had to pull a trigger, I don’t know if I can take a life. Many people see it differently. On the flip side, I also believe that it would be wrong to punish others for the wrongs of a few bad apples.
I believe that a compromise can be made.
Going back to the comparisons between guns and cars or guns and knives, here is my take on that argument. To argue the point of the right to bear arms by saying we would not ban cars if someone used one to hurt another, is just ignorant. Look, I know I’m probably in the minority here, but out of all things you can compare guns to, none of them have the sole purpose to kill.
Cars were not made to kill. Knives were not made to kill, believe it or not. Although that’s not to say that they CANNOT kill, but what other purpose was a gun made for? Hunting? That would be killing.
You can re-purpose guns as sporting tools, that doesn’t change their sole intention. This goes triple for automatic guns. Personally, I see no need for an AR-15 in someone’s home. It’s not logical.
Carry a handgun, keep a pistol under your pillow, hell, have a shotgun by your bedside at the most. When will you need an AR-15 to rain bullets on an intruder in your home? It doesn’t make sense.
Here’s what I wish we would do as a nation. I wish that we can tighten up our gun control laws, make it harder for the mentally ill to get their hands on them. Allow doctors to flag potential risks and bar them from purchasing a weapon. The only problem is that we cannot do this, unless the person is already seeking help. Otherwise, we cannot predict a person’s actions if we don’t know them. Something that would help would be to increase school funding so that schools can have a mental health professional on campus to weed out the potential risks.
That being said, I don’t believe we would be able to just take people’s automatic guns. It’s just not going to happen. We’re already too deep in the rabbit hole. What we could do is maybe tax the owners if they want to keep them? I’m no politician, but I think they could think of something.
All this said, I like to believe that I am still on the fence when it comes to this argument. No one wants to see the innocent gunned down due to a nut who got his hands on a rifle. Pro-Gunners are not evil, they do not want people dying. They want the same thing as you, they just don’t want you taking their stuff.
If we could all just calm down and talk to each other in a civil manner, I’m sure we could come up with a solution to America’s Gun Problem in no time.
Sadly, that’s far easier said than done.
Where do you stand?