In light of the California, Oregon, Colorado and other killings this year, as well as the upcoming presidential election, the gun issue is top of mind for me and many others.
I have to admit – I am on the fence about it. And I read social media posts from both sides. I’ve got friends posting as strong 2nd amendment supporters, and other friends posting for more gun control.
Pro gun control
I hear that once a day, on average, we have a mass shooting in this country. Not a gang-banger, not a cop taking down a suspect, but a mass shooting. They don’t always make the news, but apparently it happens – it’s kind of amazing really. The reasons are usually varied – lonely, angry young man shoots up a school, another man watching too much TV without the self-awareness to process it shoots up a health clinic, and an angry coworker planning an execution with his wife. It’s always a person pulling the trigger, but it’s always a big, bad gun as the weapon of choice.
Some of the 2nd amendment folks like to cite the fictitious scenario where a home invader is deterred or dispatched by a gun wielding homeowner. This argument only works in the echo chamber. Too much research has been show that the guns in the home are more likely to be used in domestic violence than fending off a burglar.
On the other side we have things going on like the Oath Keepers defending a miner’s rights from government overreach with a legal show of force up in Oregon. Vice news has a very interesting story on it. While the 2nd amendment doesn’t refer to protecting citizens from government overreach, I see the logic in this application of the law.
Gun sales are going up and to the right. It’s great news for gun makers. I would imagine that they will be placing some heavy bets on republican candidates. They don’t need their horse to win the race, they just need to keep fear about “Obama taking your guns away” going so that sales continue to surge. I think a lot of people are buying the guns because they figure that sales of the good ones are going to be restricted soon.
A bit of soap box
because I’m mostly a bleeding heart
I’ll be honest, one of the deterrents of coming out on the 2nd amendment side of this argument is getting lumped in with some of the gun nuts. It’s amazing, especially during a political season, how often they throw in pro-gun comments on seemingly heartfelt, sometimes tear jerking threads. IMO – inappropes. They don’t end up convincing anyone – They’re talking amongst themselves. They also don’t do their argument any favors.
The crux of this argument, for me, is whether or not assault rifles are restricted. In much the same way you aren’t allowed to buy a surface-to-air missile, you wouldn’t be able to buy or own an assault rifle. The anticipated result would be fewer fatalities since a shooter would not be able to shoot as quickly, and fewer incidents since a would-be shooter wouldn’t be as interested in killing if he or she can’t kill a lot of people quickly.
The gun dance
I’ve been trying to dance around a pro-control stance by looking for commonalities amongst the shooters that point, collectively, to some other societal problem that we can address without restricting guns. The three killings I’ve cited here all seem to have drastically different circumstances. The primary commonality is guns.
So – I have no quippy image to post to express my opinion, no quote from a founding father and still no side on the debate. But there’s the debate… for me.