I’ve been hearing a lack of reason in the current debate over how to deal with our violent culture, including through gun control. I can’t go very deep with this subject, because the flaws in these arguments are so obvious, but I still feel the need to give some simple reactions.
“None of the proposed changes to law would have prevented what happened in Newtown.”
The students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary school were murdered with a Bushmaster .223 semi-automatic rifle, the same version of the AR-15 used by the guy at the movie theater in Colorado, the guy who ambushed and killed the volunteer firemen outside Rochester, the guy who shot people at the mall in Oregon, and on and on going way back to the DC Beltway snipers in 2002. If the federal ban on assault weapons (1994-2004) had still been in effect, that gun would not have been in the killer’s home. Re-banning them is part of the proposed changes.
There are also recommendations toward changing the health care system. Children with mental health issues get a certain level of assistance up to age 18, and then the bar to qualify for continuing care is raised considerably. The Newtown murderer was 20. Would he have done it anyway? Maybe. Maybe not. Possibly yes, with fewer victims.
“The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
Would you mind explaining that to Jesus (see above), Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.? You can bring down entire empires with focused intent and the resolve to refrain from violence. It has been done before. The other obvious flaw is that there’s no end to the arms race required by this line of thinking.
“Guns aren’t the problem. It’s violent games, TV shows and movies.”
We don’t know what relationship media has to violence, because it hasn’t been studied. Until it is studied, everyone’s opinion is a guess. I don’t like guessing. It’s unscientific. There’s a recommendation in the President’s 23 executive orders to actually study the causes of violence.
“Criminals won’t obey the new laws. You’ll only hurt law-abiding citizens.”
Laws are not written based on what criminals will do. They are directives for the law-abiding to observe, with penalties for those who do not obey. Duh.
“The Nazis (or North Korea, or insert boogeyman here) believed in gun control.”
Since we have different motives for seeking gun control, we are not the Nazis.
“Gun control doesn’t really work in other countries.”
Then why do they have lower percentages of gun deaths? Yes, yes, gun control will not prevent all murders. Humans are animals that when stressed, will sometimes resort to killing. Why make it so easy for even an untrained person to kill efficiently and effectively?
“Obama’s children go to a school with armed guards. Why can’t mine? He’s an elitist!”
There’s a difference between being an elitist, and being a member of the elite. The school Obama’s children attend costs $32k/year. Their classmates are the children of rich people and world leaders, high-value targets for kidnappers. Your children deserve safety too though. The President is trying to find ways to make that happen.
“Second Amendment! Second Amendment! Second Amendment!”
Although my emotional response to this would be “my ass”, I’ll try to explain myself in a more civilized manner. Rights in the Constitution are not unlimited. Freedom of Speech, Press, Assembly etc. all have limits. The requirement of government to provide for the general welfare, which includes public safety, means it can limit how many guns you can own, what kind, how easy it is to get them, and what kind of license or permit you have to qualify for. States and cities can restrict the 2A right to bear arms even further, if they deem it necessary.
“Trying to restrict the Second Amendment is treason. Impeach him!”
My ass! (Sorry. I have limits too.)