In the last fifteen years just between Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary, Aurora, Colorado, Isla Vista, California, and most recently, Seattle, Washington 90 people have been killed in shootings. These are some of the most horrific and terrifying events to happen in my lifetime.
These are just some of the seemingly countless shootings in United States history and while, on one hand, I do support the second amendment to the constitution, on the other hand, I also fully support stricter gun control laws. I think that it is important to be able to protect your house and family with a weapon, I just don’t see the reason why it has to be with a high-capacity AK-47 assault rifle, or a Rocket Propelled Grenade launcher.
Nutcases and AK-47s
The National Rifle Association is one of the biggest anti-gun control lobbyist groups out there and they regularly piss me off because they claim that the government and gun control laws are trying to take away our guns. One argument made is that if the second amendment is taken away, the rest of the constitution will go, and I highly doubt that. I feel if the first amendment were to go, that would be more of a problem.
Furthermore, when you have someone like Sarah Palin speaking at NRA conventions about owning machine guns, how waterboarding is actually baptizing the terrorists, and to get ready to take on the government because they are coming for our guns and then our rights, who also supports your organization, I am more than willing to give up my right to own a gun. Someone who supports your organization and then “can see Russia from her house,” I feel much safer if someone like Sarah Palin does not have a weapon to hold.
I am not against owning guns either, I don’t think everyone should be restricted to only being able to have a handgun, because you need something like a rifle or shotgun to go hunting. I know there are many who do it for sport, and I enjoy my turkey dinner as much as the next person, but why in the hell do you need something with a high capacity clip to go hunt. I don’t know of many people who hunt with an assault rifle, so what else could you want it for?
I need my gun now!
Some criticism with gun control would mean that customers buying guns have to wait longer to receive weapons and have their background checks take longer. Isn’t that a good thing?! Sure you have to wait longer, but doesn’t that provide more time for the gun to not fall into the wrong hands? Doing thorough background checks, and making absolutely, positively, sure a person will not use it for the wrong reasons is well worth the extra wait.
Ironically, to help garner a positive outlook open carry laws, gun right activists have been marching into stores and fast food joints to protest their right for open carry laws. Many people have said that it creates an “uncomfortable environment.” I can completely understand that, there are many families that go to restaurants, and the next thing they see is you walking in with an AR-15, first impressions are not great. For the protesters it is easy for them to say they are the good guys and just protesting, but a family has no idea that you are there to just eat and it is just weird to see someone ordering food at Wendy’s with an AR rifle on their back.
Recently, the NRA has criticized these protesters, and I applaud them for that. But, as all rational things from them quickly turn irrational, they ended up correcting themselves and supporting them.
I feel that these open carry laws are definitely a step too far. For what purpose do you need a Desert Eagle to enjoy a salad at Applebee's? Do you keep it on you at all times in the case of the event something bad happens?
They say the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun, but leave that up to the police, they are the trained professionals.
The big picture and the one track mind
I believe there is a bigger picture to all of this, while gun control certainly does play the biggest role in it, I do feel there is a mental health aspect that I fear is overlooked because everyone goes crazy over the gun control aspect.
Columbine sparked significant outrage at violence in the movies and the video games industry. While I can understand this, it’s not entirely their fault. Movies and video games are violent, there is no denying that. But, there are reasons why we have restricted ratings for adult movies and mature ratings for video games. Whether parents follow that, is up to them. You can’t blame the film industry for letting a ten year old see an R rating movie, if the parent is the one that took them to go see it.
The apathetic, careless government
The fact of the matter is the gun control debate is a very large and complex issue and I get extremely sick and tired of people only blaming it on gun control or only blaming it on violence in movies and video games. There is a mental health component that no one seems to be talking about.
Sandy Hook was an unspeakable act of violence. While initially there was a lot of outrage and talk, but that is all there was, talk. The background check, which would have helped significantly, failed in the senate. The outrage later died down and people seemed to forget about it.
When it gets to the point where innocent children in an elementary school are the victims of supposedly strict gun control, and then nothing happens to stop another Sandy Hook because the government is too busy playing politics, my government has failed me.