In the wake of the Paris terrorist attacks — as well as the numerous, recent, campus shootings, street violence, a news crew being shot on live TV, etc. — once again there’s been an explosion of overreaction, hatred, a division among people and a near endless stream of sensationalism in the media and social media. Personally, I’d love for it all to just stop.
That said, there’s certainly a place for open, honest and rational discussion when it comes to these events.
My feelings have become conflicted as I’m finding myself agreeing with BOTH sides of the debate as to whether or not the answer involves more guns or less; tighter laws or less restrictive ones.
One argument heard time and again is that in order to stop these types of shootings – we, as a society, need not less guns, but more guns. The argument, from my understanding, is that if more people had guns they could easily stop the bad guys when they decide to shoot up a street, a bar, a school or theater.
In some ways, I get that. In some ways, that’s logical. Having civilians armed would deter the bad guys from creating havoc and shooting others knowing that there’s a possibility they could get shot themselves. It’s sort of an equalizer.
My question(s) are: would that truly work? Is there proof that would reduce gun violence? Is the general public responsible enough to handle personal firearms?
No offense, but I tend to lean towards NO – especially for that last question. I deal with the general public enough to know we’re a nation of idiots. Don’t believe me? Watch “The World’s Dumbest” on TruTV. Explain the infatuation with anything related to the Kardashians. Troll Facebook for week.
Is the average person in this country intelligent enough, or better yet responsible enough, to handle a gun? Walk down a crowded street, stroll through Walmart on a Sunday afternoon, look at the guy in the car next to you in traffic. Would you feel safe knowing many (or all) of the people in those places could have a handgun in their possession?
On the other hand, there’s certainly a large group screaming for more rigid gun laws. They argue that it’s too easy for people to get guns in this country; that these senseless shootings could end if the perpetrators simply didn’t have access to weapons in which to commit their crimes.
A big argument is that so many other developed countries have strict gun laws and their violent crime rates are much, much, lower than in the U.S.
And after every major shooting in this country, this group of people loudly demands – and often receives – even stricter gun laws either on the state or local level.
My question(s) to those people are: has it truly worked? Have tighter background checks, longer waiting periods, “no tolerance” laws or total banishment solved the problem? (Hell, how have those “gun-free zones” worked out?)
Again, I lean towards NO. Actually, I don’t have to ‘lean’. The shootings haven’t stopped and, in fact, it seems like they’ve increased.
So what’s the solution?
I’ve never shot a handgun before, but in listening to those that have – it’s not easy. Even expertly trained police officers and military personnel have said that handgun accuracy is not very good unless you’re very close to the target.
In the case of the Paris shootings – would a few armed civilians, as being argued by many, have been able to stop the terrorists? Maybe, but doubtful.
Did the ultra strict gun laws of France stop the terrorists from obtaining firearms? Obviously not.
In this country, for every mass killing that could be prevented if more people were carrying a concealed weapon – how many more shootings would happen as a result of, well, more people carrying a concealed weapon?
Whatever the answer may be, I think we all can agree that what’s being done now isn’t working.
I believe in the 2nd Amendment. I believe we should be allowed the right to bear arms — for hunting and general protection of our selves, property and family. I do not, however, think that John Q Public should have access to sniper rifles, armor piercing bullets, silencers and military grade assault weapons.
There has to be a middle ground. There has to be a way to satisfy both sides of the debate. Unfortunately, I don’t know what that middle ground is nor do the dolts on Facebook who constantly scream that “Obama is trying to take my guns!”
You write exactly what I think, too. I see both sides of the issues, and there’s reasonable doubt that either side is right (or wrong). But something needs to be done because what is being done now isn’t helping at all. Well said!