The Great Debate – Gun Control

Friday, December 14th, 2012 @ 5:37 pm | Uncategorized

As I’m sure everyone is aware by now – a 24 year old man went on a shooting rampage in an elementary school in Connecticut today and killed 27 people, most of them children.

So of course, the great debate has started – should all guns be outlawed?

I have been wishy-washy on this topic throughout the years, but I think I’ve finally decided that I support our right to bear arms. However, I do not support the right to bear assault rifles and other military weapons. Outlawing all guns would not stop shooting crimes, for many reasons:

- There are already so many weapons in the public’s hands that it would be impossible to recover them all.

- If bad people want guns, they will get guns. If they don’t mind breaking the law by using a gun to rob or kill, then they won’t mind breaking the law that bans them from having guns in the first place. Since so many are out there already, it will just increase the black market for weapons where they will be completely uncontrolled.

- We are a nation of hunters. How do you get rid of hunting weapons? If law still allows hunting weapons, then what’s stopping criminals from using them in assault?

- If we don’t have guns, we’ll just have something else to replace it. There will be more homemade bombs, or psychos will run through crowds with swords.

- If someone has malicious intent, they will carry out a crime with or without a gun.

I don’t believe in violence, but I do believe in free choice and the right to protect one’s self. I support enforcing more difficult regulation when it comes to procuring a gun. I support extreme background checks. I support mental health assessments, if that’s what it takes. I support licensing to own a gun, tests to prove one knows the operation and safety rules of all guns and specifically the gun they own. Originally the amendment was written to support militia’s. As I said, I do not support violence, but I understand why it is important for us to have the right to form militia.

Although I support the right to bear arms, I am still not certain that owning one is right for me. I like to think it will protect me, but it is statistically more likely I will have an accident involving the gun than I will actually use it for protection. Choosing the right gun for protection is difficult. If I get something small, it may not stop the intruder. But if I get something big, I could kill the intruder, but I could also shoot through a window and hit a neighbor or someone outside. Some of the bigger guns will go through multiple walls. People have killed their spouses thinking they were killing an intruder, but it was just the spouse using the bathroom in the middle of the night… They come with a heavy responsibility. Far too few people understand that.

Well, to wrap this up, I do not feel banning guns will solve anything. If people want to be criminals, they will be criminals. No law will stop them. Sadly, violence will never be eliminated from the human race, but we can keep trying. We can fight wars with kindness and compassion. We can support a health care system that supports mental health; a system that can recognize potentially violent people and help them. We can support each other and live each day striving for peace. Violence and Peace is within the individual, not the objects in their hands.

 

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