The Great Gun Control Debate

Just because you have freedom of speech does not mean you are free to publish lies by which the public is deceived. If you own a car, that does not give you the right to break the speed limit. Likewise, if you are the owner of a gun it does not grant you the permission of shooting someone or something that bothers or offends you. Such an act of violence is against the law and against common sense. Freedom and power are special gifts which are accompanied with responsibilities.

Yet it seems that every year the number of shooting atrocities rises, subsequently causing the toll of shooting victims, both those killed and injured, to rise as well. The premeditated murders happen in such common places as schools, bars, and theaters. No place of public assembly or recreation remains a true safe haven.

Death, destruction, and violence have become so commonplace in the United States and in the world that the everyday news viewer or commentator no longer thinks twice about the human lives being lost in the many frequent man made catastrophes. We are slowly growing more desensitized to the reality of the brutality in so many of the news stories.

Perhaps our minds start to register the violence as a sort of blur in order to protect us from trauma, but at the same time we are covering up the one key emotion we ought to be expressing, namely sorrow. Seeing a shooting is one thing; committing one is another. Yet both can cause trauma. And indeed, many of the individuals who have gone on a shooting rampage have been previously traumatized. Some have even been considered mentally unstable which should not be surprising.

Unfortunately, the people making headlines as they go about on killing sprees have begun to give firearm users a bad name. Some of us have this idea that most gun owners are shadowy characters, the ones that might live in the forest and grow long facial hair. That is not the case. Too many of us forget to remember that guns are also capable of saving lives. They can save lives when used as defensive weapons or as a show of force, and in the latter case, the trigger might never have to be pulled.

For a number of years now, many politicians have been discussing and actively pursuing the formation of gun control laws. However, there is reasonable doubt as to the effectiveness of any future gun control law. America has forgotten to learn from its past. Think about Prohibition which spanned from 1920 to 1933. During those years the making, owning, selling, or drinking of any alcoholic beverages was deemed illegal by the federal government. What happened? Thousands of people were taking part in “criminal” activities, people who had previously been law-abiding citizens.

In a similar way, if guns were to be severely outlawed, some of the people who went hunting, who went to a shooting range for target practice, and even those who kept a gun as a means of protection would likely tend to still own firearms. And the true criminals intent on killing or pillaging would continue to acquire weapons illegally (as they have done for decades) no matter how many laws are passed.

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