I promised that I would comment on the politics of the recent Newton shooting after giving it a few days, mostly out of respect, but also out of necessity. It takes time to really think about these matters and form an intellectually honest opinion. Well here it is:
People really don’t understand gun control.
Before I get into this, however, let me just say that I don’t really think gun control is the grandiose solution to all of these mass killings. I really don’t. When we have people willing to go to such extremes to fuel their hatred for whatever is going on in their heads, I don’t think trying to keep the weapon out of their hands will solve the problem. It may only just prolong it.
I am so sick of this debate, mainly because it really isn’t that complicated. People on both sides absolutely refuse to have a conversation about this, and the only people really making sense right now are the left of center (of which there’s not many).
I scoured the opinions of my friends and colleagues relating to this, and there is a pretty solid consensus:
Those opposed to gun control are so because they are afraid guns are going to be completely banned.
Those for gun control think that we should just ban guns altogether.
Those actually willing to talk about this are saying we should, gee I don’t know, make it harder to get guns.
Admittedly, most liberals I’ve talked to about this say we should just ban guns outright. No handguns, rifles, you name it. This is nonsense. Not only does it violate an inherent freedom (whether you like it or not), it makes people unable to defend themselves during an emergency in their own home. Also, banning guns would be about as effective as banning marijuana. These all-purpose bans do nothing but create a violent, criminal underground and the problem only continues to get worse.
Most conservatives seem to think that guns should be carried by everybody. No laws. What??? How is that a reasonable solution? That would incite panic, and realistically, no one would do it because most people are not comfortable with owning guns, especially parents.
The conversation needs to be about banning assault rifles and high-capacity magazines (just like we do certain military weapons) and require background checks for owning a gun and maybe even requiring the NRA to charge people for safety courses in order to purchase a weapon.
The NRA doesn’t want this, even though they would benefit from selling these courses, mainly because they are petrified of losing their market, but let’s be honest. There will always be a market for guns, and regulation is necessary in order for us to permit having such dangerous tools available to the general public.
Can we please have a conversation about that?
Most people on the left and the right won’t. We don’t understand each other. We only care about being right and making the other person feel wrong.
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