My goal with this site was to keep things more light hearted and non-political, but for some reason I’ve felt the need to respond to peoples comments and stances on gun control in this country in the last week. And since this is a fairly anonymous platform for me to talk about things, I figured I’d say my piece and then leave it at that.
I’m not here to argue with anyone, just want to give my perspective on things. I don’t have a fool-proof solution, but I like to think that there are things that can be done to help.
So first, a little background about me (without giving away any personal details), just so you can understand where I’m coming from.
I do not personally own any guns. There are no guns in my home, however I did grow up around guns. I have family that are police officers, I have family that loves to hunt, and I have family and friends that own plenty of guns, AR-15’s included.
I do not think the answer is to take away people’s guns, and I don’t think the majority of the people that are rallying for stricter gun laws want to take away all of your guns either.
Taking away all of the guns in the country would never happen, lets be honest. Even if you instituted some sort of trade-in/buy back program, or fined those people with registered weapons, if they didn’t turn them in, you’ll never get all the guns out of the country. It’s not a viable option, period.
I do believe that imposing more regulations around the legal purchasing of a firearm could prevent some of these mass shootings from happening, and here’s why.
I understand the people that say that imposing stricter gun laws won’t keep someone who wants to get a gun, from getting a gun. If a person is hell bent on securing a firearm for villainous purposes, they will find a way… but why make it so easy for them?
The thought behind stricter gun regulations is to make it so that you can’t just walk into Wal-Mart or a gun show and walk out with a rifle capable of causing mass casualties in a short amount of time. And yes, handguns have a waiting period and a background check for most purchases, which is a step in the right direction, but it still means that a person with no criminal history and no recorded history of mental illness (although that doesn’t really matter any more under Trump), can still legally go and purchase a handgun since nothing will come up as suspicious on their background check.
And in addition to just not having any issues on paper, that would prevent them from purchasing a gun, they don’t need to have ever even held a gun before, in order to make the purchase.
It’s not an end all solution, but I feel that imposing a licensing system in order to own a gun, legally, would definitely help prevent some of these tragedies that have happened over the last 20 years.
As I said above, I know that it’s not going to stop someone from getting a gun if they are dead set on it, but if you had to take a class, pass a written exam, go to the gun range and take a class on actually shooting a gun, and then pass a background check mandated at a federal level, before you could legally own a gun, then I think it would help prevent at least some of these shootings where a person was able to just walk into a gun store and walk out with a gun, no questions asked, no experience necessary…
If I have to be licensed by the state in order to drive my car on the roads, legally, then legally I should have to be licensed in order to own a gun.
Those people that legally want to own a gun should not have any problem with this, yet for some reason they do… and I’m not sure why.
Yes, it’s your 2nd amendment right to own a firearm (although semi-automatic rifles like an AR-15 weren’t around when the Constitution was written, so clearly this isn’t what they had in mind, but not the point), but there is literally no reason for a normal citizen to own an AR-15, or a semi-automatic rifle of military grade.
I don’t think the government would ever ban semi-automatic rifles across the country, but as I said, I don’t see why any normal civilian needs to own one. If you’re looking for protection for your family and your home, a pistol will work just as well in that scenario.
But let’s get back to the topic of regulations, since I do feel that’s the only way to move forward with this issue…
Gun Violence in Chicago
Let’s take a look at Chicago, since everyone loves to use Chicago when they are talking about gun violence, and for good reason. First of all, Chicago had more deaths last year due to gun violence than all of these mass shootings combined, throughout the entire country.
There were 590 deaths from mass shootings, which include all incidents where 3 or more people died. So that includes school shootings, church shootings, the Vegas shooting, etc.. Chicago had 625 deaths from gun violence…
Let that sink in for a second.
Yes, I understand that a mass shooting of innocent children at a school compared to gang violence on the streets of the south side of Chicago, are two very different things, but they are still both related to the topic of gun violence in this country.
And now for everyone’s favorite argument against stricter gun regulation, and what do you know, it has to do with Chicago.
The city of Chicago has some of the strictest gun regulation in the country. And this is the argument that a lot of gun owners use when trying to point out that gun regulation doesn’t work.
“Well Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the country, yet they have the most gun related deaths in the country as well, therefore more regulations means more deaths.”
And to most of the country, this is probably what it seems like… but you forget a few simple things that can easily explain why, even with strict gun laws, Chicago still has an issue with gun violence.
Have you looked at a map recently? Do you know where Chicago is? Take a closer look at that map and see if you notice anything about Chicago that could explain why guns are such an issue in the city, even with the strict regulations…
Don’t see it? Don’t worry, the majority of people spouting off this bullshit don’t realize it either.
The south side of Chicago basically borders the state of Indiana. The state of Indiana has some of the most relaxed gun laws in the country. And, guess what, there is nothing keeping you from bringing a gun you purchased in Indiana across state lines to Chicago…
No that’s not to say that all of the guns used in the violence across Chicago were purchased legally in Indiana, but it does render the argument against stricter gun laws, using Chicago as an example, mute… And, on top of that, the strict gun laws are just in the actual city of Chicago. You can take a short 20 minute drive outside of the city limits in Illinois and purchase a gun under more relaxed laws.
So this argument that Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the country, yet it’s doing no good, is an absolute bullshit point.
Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People
This is the other argument that I hear a lot and while I do agree that it’s the people doing the killing, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s too easy for these people to get their hands on a weapon.
Yes, anyone set on killing someone else will find a way to do so by any means necessary, whether that’s using a gun, a car, a bomb, an airplane, whatever. People with that mindset will find a way to carry out their attack, but at the same time, guns make it easy to carry out these attacks on a massive level, and continue to do so without any recourse from our Government.
When 9/11 happened, air travel changed forever. When one person had a failed shoe bomb on an airplane, we now forever have to take off our shoes when we go through TSA. Granted, TSA in itself is just a way to make you feel safer, they haven’t actually thwarted any terrorist attacks, but there were still new regulations put in place because of one clown with a shoe bomb.
But a bunch of assholes go through and shoot up schools, churches, and concerts, killing hundreds of innocent people, and not a single thing is done… that seems odd to me.
So I get that the gun itself isn’t doing the “actual” killing, but come on… that’s just an uneducated way to try and defend your precious guns.
Nobody is going to take your guns away completely, but there absolutely has to be more regulation on who can own one and who can’t. Even if it’s just for a certain caliber of weapon, semi-automatic rifles for instance, so be it, but something needs to be done to some degree.
Media / Social Media
The other piece of this puzzle is the media (TV, newspaper, etc.) as well as social media. Whether you watch Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, or whatever else, just know that they are feeding into this frenzy and doing so in order to make more money and get better ratings. They don’t give a shit about doing their due diligence, or fully researching all the facts. Ever single network out there is in it for the money, don’t be mistaken.
Social Media is even worse, as people share articles, stories, and comments about things they know nothing about, things that aren’t truthful at all, and yet a lot of people believe them because they trust their friends.
Look at what’s coming out now with the way that the Russians are manipulating social media to sway people’s minds about our government and our policies… it’s ridiculous.
Unfortunately there are a lot of uneducated people in this country who take everything they see or hear as being the truth, and don’t bother do do 2 seconds worth of research before believing what they read online.
And the so called “Fake News” that Trump is always spouting off about… he knows what the fuck he’s doing. He’s feeding into that fear mongering and trying to make you think that anything bad that’s come out about him is false. Do your own research, wait for the facts, and don’t jump to conclusions.
Also, don’t read internet comments, and try to move yourself away from politics on social media. Just use it as a way to share pictures of your kids, pets, and food… that’s all anyone really wants to see anyways.
Not a single person has been swayed by an argument over politics that has erupted on social media. People that post their thoughts on this sort of thing on social media are just looking for a response and a reason to argue, and if someone is willing to argue with you, they’re never going to change their mind, so why waste your time.
So that’s it, I’ve said my piece. I really just wanted to get my thoughts down on paper somewhere; kind of a way to vent without venting directly at anyone (let’s be honest, nobody will read this).
I do want to take a look at one more thing though, and I know it’s not the same, but bare with me for a second.
Drugs themselves aren’t violent (most of the time). Sure, they can make people violent, and cause them to do things they wouldn’t necessarily do sober, but for the most part they aren’t violent themselves. Indirectly, however, they cause a ton of violence. Much more violence than any mass shooting.
Drugs are responsible for deaths every day; they are responsible for cartel related deaths, overdose deaths, and a lot more. Drugs are indirectly responsible for those deaths even though it’s the people causing those deaths. Just like guns.
Look at what is happening in the world of drugs right now. Marijuana is being legalized, in some capacity, all over the country (and the world), and it’s taking money and power away from the cartels and it’s bringing in legal money for the states.
Now, if you’ve ever bought weed illegally you probably have an idea of what the prices are (around $60 1/8th in my area). Did you know that if you were to go into a store in California and buy an 1/8th ounce of weed it would cost you $60 + 25% in taxes, which would make your 1/8th ounce more like $75 to purchase legally… bullshit right. Yet California’s recreational marijuana industry is booming because people would rather pay that little extra than have to deal with the shady side of drug deals.
Again, it’s not the same, but in regards to guns, I think most law abiding citizens would have no problem going through a few extra hoops in order to obtain a gun legally than see nothing done about this epidemic that has plagued our nation.
And that’s it, now I’m really done. Agree or don’t that’s your right, but if you do find this article, and you want to have a discussion about this topic, be civilized and educated in your responses. I will delete any comments I feel don’t add anything to the conversation.
Oh, one more thing. Someone on Facebook said that they are now scared to send their kids to school, and I’ve heard people say that they are scared to go to concerts now, and things of that nature.
Even if absolutely nothing gets done about this, which would be a shame, I am not afraid to send my kids to school. I’m not afraid to go to a concert, movie theater, or church. Just like I’m not afraid of a terrorist attack when I get on an airplane.