It’s sad to think that nowadays, when someone asks me about the mass shooting at the school, my reply is “Which one?” This cartoon from “This Modern World” sums it up nicely:
The truly sad aspect of this is that the cartoon was published August 31, weeks before the shooting in Oregon.
As the cartoon suggests, whenever a shooting like this occurs, a great debate on Facebook ensues. Despite my efforts to explain myself to the contrary, many people lump me in with other liberals when it comes to gun control and why we want it.
Here, then, is my position on gun control. I hope it opens your eyes in a number of ways. Feel free to copy and reference it as you will.
- I do not think gun control measures will eliminate crime, or even gun crime. If someone wants to get his hands on a gun, even if more stringent regulations were put in place, he could get one. What gun control measures will do is reduce the number of gun-related injuries, the number of domestic disputes that end in death, and the number of school massacres. Note again that I said reduce, not eliminate. Even just a reduction in these kinds of gun injuries is a big step.
- I do not want to take everyone’s gun away. There are many responsible and safe gun owners. Taking their guns would deprive them of a sense of enjoyment and satisfaction.
- I do not want to put restrictions on every kind of gun. People have shotguns and rifles for sport, and handguns of all types for protection. However, I don’t see a need for any citizen to own a semi-automatic gun, like an AK-47 or an Uzi. It’s not sporting to shoot a deer with an M16, and it would be more difficult to use one for self-defense.
- I do think licensing and training requirements will help reduce gun violence. It is not a big stretch to require a person to show that he has passed a gun safety course before being able to purchase a gun. That will also limit (again, not eliminate) gun violence in the heat of passion; given time to think about it, I believe many people would not resort to guns to solve their problems.
- I think licensing and training requirements would pass constitutional muster. Here is the full text of the Second Amendment. It is only one sentence. (Feel free to check to make sure I didn’t add anything or leave anything out:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The key part, to me, is “a well regulated Militia.” A militia is, according to Merriam-Webster,
a : a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency
b : a body of citizens organized for military service
“Organized” implies a level of discipline above that of ordinary citizens. I know not everyone interprets the amendment that way. Maybe in the future they will.
So, that’s it. That’s my stance on gun control. It is not as extreme as the stance of some, which means some of the ideas I support are more likely to become law some day.
There are also a lot of falsehoods being spread that I would like to address. Maybe another time.