A few weeks ago, a terrible tragedy occurred on the campus of Umpqua Community College down in southern Oregon. A shooter, whose name I don’t care to mention, shot and killed 10 innocent people and wounded nine others, resulting in the worst school shooting in Oregon history.
Immediately following this horrific event, people all across Oregon responded with prayers, support and love for the people affected by this heinous crime. Even the president himself paid a visit to Oregon, spoke with the families who lost loved ones and offered his condolences to the community.
However, as the initial shock of the event began to fade, the debate over gun control began yet again in our country. Gun control seems to be one of those issues that people appear to have no interest in until a tragedy like this occurs, and after a while it gets placed on the backburner.
After this shooting, and given the political climate, many people have been weighing in on the issue, from presidential candidates and state governors to family members on Facebook.
Even during the recent Democratic debate, Hillary Clinton attacked Bernie Sanders’ record with regard to gun control, due to the fact he voted against the Brady Bill in 1993 and supported legislation that would protect gun manufacturers against lawsuits from those affected by gun violence.
It’s no doubt gun control is a polarizing issue, one that can be very emotional, especially if you have been personally affected or lost someone to gun violence.
Despite this fact, when the gun control debate does arise, people seem to stick to age-old arguments, weak platitudes and rhetoric that doesn’t do anything to understand either side or find a logical middle ground.
For example, it seems that the only time conservatives in America care about Switzerland’s existence is when it’s politically beneficial to call upon them as some sort of gun utopia.
However, Switzerland’s gun laws are much stricter than in the United States, and gun possession is partnered with mandatory military service and training. Along with this, in 2007 Switzerland’s Federal Council passed a measure that requires ammunition to be kept in a central arsenal.
Heavy automatic assault rifles, suppressors and open carry are all illegal in Switzerland. At the end of the day, guns are not seen as a mode of self-defense but rather an issue of national security.
What gun proponents don’t bother to mention is Switzerland has a problem with these privately owned guns being used in situations of domestic violence, a fact that has led many in Switzerland to support even further restrictions.
There are hundreds of other bad arguments against control that always seek to compare guns to completely unrelated things. For instance, people who are against gun control often cite prohibition of alcohol as something the government failed to effectively restrict. However, guns are not moonshine, and until people are making .45-caliber pistols in their backyard, the comparison makes no sense.
Another comparison people like to make is with motor vehicles. People argue that if we don’t restrict the use of motor vehicles when someone misuses them, then we shouldn’t do so with guns. The problem with this is that guns are made to do one thing: shoot things with lethal intent. Cars, on the other hand, are used to transport people to school and work and bring victims of mass shootings to hospitals.
If all these arguments are dismissed, most proponents of the Second Amendment will claim that citizens need guns in order to protect from potential government tyranny. As much as the American in me wants to support this idea, it’s completely ridiculous. No amount of Americans wielding rifles and handguns will ever stop the full might of the United States military. After all, they have tanks and jets.
Now I’m not saying military action against a well-armed tyrannical government by a civilian militia isn’t impossible. One has to only look to Libya and Syria for modern examples. However, in these cases, they had outside help. You know, from the United States government.
Recently, I even saw a post on Facebook from an NRA fan page that claimed more people died from falling down than from guns in a year. Whether or not that’s true shouldn’t matter. The fact any amount of people are dying from gun use is a problem.
According to one statistic, verified by PolitiFact, more Americans have died from gun-related violence than have died in all the wars in America’s history. Roughly 32,000 people die in the United State due to gun violence every year, and we average about 30 gun deaths per 100,000 people.
This is almost more than motor vehicle deaths.
Some people even have the audacity to claim that gun violence is a mental health issue. However, this is purely rhetoric used to steer the conversation away from the issue of gun violence.
Even everyone’s favorite socialist Bernie Sanders claimed that gun violence is a mental health issue.
The fact is, according to the American Journal of Public Health, fewer than 5 percent of 120,000 gun-related killings were committed by people who were diagnosed with mental illness.
Clearly this is a gun control issue—one that people like to avoid.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a proponent of completely restricting private ownership of guns. I think any of this prevailing all-or-nothing approach is inherently wrong and fails to see the bigger picture. The fact of the matter is, a large portion of citizens who own guns do so carefully and have no intention of shooting up a school. However, it seems it’s nearly impossible to advocate for a person’s right to own a semi-automatic rifle that is kept in a well-locked safe while simultaneously supporting a massive overhaul on gun control laws, especially of handguns.
At this point, federal action is the most important step to creating a safer country. As much as the federalist in me wants to think this could be left to the states, if even one state had lax gun control laws it would completely undermine any attempt another state could make.
So, to supporters of the Second Amendment, please stop deflecting the greater issue at hand and please fight a battle that is worth winning.
What “battle” would you suggest the 2A supporters fight?
There is some common ground between the 2 camps, but both sides of the debate seem to want to get a majority and slam through legislation. This feeds the divide.
Meaning legislation to me is fixing the NIC’s system, develop a Federal License to Carry program, fund mental health programs. 2 of these are bipartisan. One requires no new laws at all, just finding and a will to do something.
Aw, isnt it sweet all the lies it can wrap into one short story, how much blooming idiot pay you to spew such lies, unconstitutional and treasonous BS sweety….
It may be more difficult to build guns than to brew alcohol, but village workmen in the Philippines and Pakistan manage it. They can be bought in any corrupt 3rd world country and smuggled in like drugs. If necessary, criminals can get guns by assassinating cops.
It’s true that cars were not designed to kill people. But killing a violent criminal is a perfectly proper and acceptable use of a firearm. Even for it’s most common use — deterring violent crime, a gun’s effectiveness in legally killing or grievously wounding people is key.
The people of Oregon disagree with your asinine assessment. The people affected realize that Gun Free Zones are a joke, and that armed security is the answer. BTW they were definitely NOT pleased with Obama’s appearance.
I won’t argue with Mr. Richardson (you can’t fix stupid), but I will share some actual facts. The homicide rate in the U.S. is the lowest since 1957 (FBI 2014 UCR). Meanwhile the number of guns in the U.S. and the ability of a law abiding citizen to carry a gun has increased over the last 15 years. Violent crime overall has decreased (unlike Australia where people can’t protect themselves). Thank you Mr. Richardson but I will continue to use my time and money to fight for my ability to protect myself and my family.
“the greater issue at hand ”
This is the greater issue at hand….
“Is the damage to society from the misuse of guns worth the freedom to have guns?”
Mental health as a weapon against the people is communist in origin, and the social sciences..
Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.
Soviet Influence in America and Gun Control..
Deceptive Transformation: The Truth of Soviet Influence in America and Gun Control..
The idea of using mental health as a weapon against the people is communist in origin, and the social sciences, or the studying of human behavior has its roots in early twentieth century Russia when Ivan Pavlov developed his
“classical conditioning” theories. In fact, Pavlov was disturbed that Vladimir Lenin would use these conditioning methods against the people in order to get them to accept communism. Since that time the social sciences have been used as a means of maintaining control over populations and getting them to accept their own down fall. This is happening today in the United States as our universities and public schools have long ago adopted educational techniques based on the social sciences and classical conditioning methods. Subjects like White Privilege and Multiculturalism are used to demoralize our population, create a guilt consciousness and silence usinto accepting a new agenda based on the idea that we have been unfair, and our lifestyles are oppressive, and offensive to others. This agenda dates back to the early twentieth century; however, it saw some of its most major advances in the mid 1900’s after the U.N. was created in 1945. While many people today view the Democrat Party as being made mostly of communists or socialists; the sad truth is that the Republican Party is just as responsible for what we are seeing in education and culture in the United States today.
As I wrote in “Not on My Watch: Exposing the Marxist Agenda in Education,” Dwight Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan, two presidents that were considered American Patriots, actually signed agreements with the Soviet Union that gave them influence over U.S. education, culture, scientific and technological research, radio, television and finally, medicine. This is according to U.S. Department of Education whistle blower, Charlotte Iserbyt. It is the area of medicine that should draw your attention because as mentioned earlier, Soviet medicine revolved around the idea of mental health, and classifying people that were opposed to communist objectives as being mentally ill. This is where the Surgeon General’s claims about banning guns being a part of medicine comes from. Slowly but surely, they will work to associate gun ownership with mental illness. From the 45 goals of the Communist Party USA
Dominate the psychiatric profession and use mental health laws as a means of gaining coercive control over those who oppose Communist goals.
(Note: Many websites are now appearing claiming this list of communist goals to be a hoax. If you read them for yourself you will see many have been accomplished and that they bear a striking resemblance to many things currently happening in the U.S. The claims that they are a hoax could be a deliberate misinformation campaign headed by the Information Regulatory Affairs office led by none other than Cass Sunstein. Just looking at the state of our society, it is clear that these goals are not a hoax.)
While the move for an Article Five Convention seems to be gaining momentum, you should take heed. There is another constitution waiting in the winds and it won’t protect your rights to keep and bear arms.
Liberals have a mental illness.
They form opinions/beliefs based on feelings/emotions rather than fact, reason and logic.
There is only ONE response: The people’s right to arms shall not be infringed.
“The right there specified is that of ‘bearing arms for a lawful purpose.’ This is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.” – U S v. CRUIKSHANK, 92 U.S. 542 (1875) 92 U.S. 542
This really isn’t a subject for debate. When it comes to fundamental rights, ‘debate’ initiated for the purpose of mitigating liberty of the people is foreclosed by their very nature as fundamental rights.
That is an immutable ground rule. It is a First Principle of this nation.
Suggest your brush up on your Ben Franklin and Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Security and Feedom are mutually exclusive in every society. The bottom line is that those of us in the “gun cluture” don’t consider your proposals reasonable at all and just don’t care how editorials you write and many laws you pass, we’l just ignore them all. Of course you could try confiscation, or mandatory buybacks aka the Austrailian model, but we’ll ignore those too.
Of course, none of this will impact suicides and crime will actually be much worse…..just look at Chicago and NYC is a borderline police state. Funny how those border states with loose gunlaws don’t have near the problem that those two locations have.
Bottom line is Molon Labe! And yes, we do plan to “fight a battle that is worth winning”. Seen the price and availability of ammo lately? Gun Stocks? All your rhetoric does is create 100 new shooters every time you progressive pansies open your yap . You’ve already lost the war due to your arrogance, but are just too stupid to raise the white flag. Surrender, while you still can because we won’t and last I checked, the manufacturing and .mil veterans are all on our side. Personally, I’d prefer a national divorce ie Czechoslovakia to another civil war.
Freedom, by any means necessary …. Malcolm X
Concealed carry is just common sense gun control. You keep your gun on your person, out of sight and under your control.
“…..I will share some actual facts.The homicide rate in the U.S. is the lowest since 1957 (FBI 2014 UCR). Meanwhile the number of guns in the U.S. and the ability of a law abiding citizen to carry a gun has increased over the last 15 years. Violent crime overall has decreased (unlike Australia where people can’t protect themselves).”
It is good idea to share facts but important to understand their significance and put them in context. The homicide rate has indeed dropped steadily since the mid-1990s along with most other crime rates. I am guessing you want to use this fact in combination with the increasing number of guns in the country to show that more guns does not mean more homicide and might even mean less homicide. That does not follow. The relevant question is whether more gun control (which doesn’t necessarily mean less guns – see the example of Switzerland) would mean there were less homicides (and indeed suicides) than there would have been otherwise. The US homicide rate – while dropping – is 4 or 5 times higher than other stable Western democracies who also have dropping crime rates (you are wrong about Australia, see http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/violent%20crime.html). Isn’t it worth discussinging why without immediately hurling abuse? If the USA was able to get its homicide rate down to the levels of Western European countries it would save something in the order of 9,000 lives a year – and these would almost all be young lives. Of course you may think that is unimportant – in the end that’s your judgement.
An article in the opinion section on bad science reporting is something you should really look into; your making correlations not identifying actual causes. I myself left a nice comment on the faulty method employed in the social sciences you so casually defer too.
Gun control is a red herring; with or without them shit will happen. And neither are people mentally ill who are doing these mass shootings, they are depressed kids in the middle of a society with absolutely no sense of community, trust, or social capitol going around but an abundance of judgement, alienation, inequality, and disconnection. A kid does not need to be mentally ill to find reason to pick up a gun in this society we’ve created- they just need to be a very weak person who responds to adversity in a very weak and selfish way.
So many people love labeling shooters mentally ill and evil, because if they are not then there must be s a problem with the environment we’ve created – maybe even ourselves – and in turn that we must somehow untangle that mess – it is a battle writers like you and social scientist who prefer hiding behind the safety of a book rather than making direct observations of actual criminals and mentally ill in the real world and in their natural environment understandably like to ignore, as to identify any real cause you might have to actually get to know these people and understand them (that would require not hiding behind a book, computer, or the safety of a laboratory). You can label it mental illness or evil if you want, but so long as you neglect striving to identify actual causation you are just pushing your own agenda and creating detracting arguments, not helping the next victims.
Understanding you enemy is the only hope for a solution, and that is what should be the focus of any article on the matter. If understanding leads to compassion for a killer so be it, but far more important is that it leads to actually addressing the cause rather than playing around with different ways we can let it manifest itself. i.e. take away the guns and people will still be people, the problems they deal with will still be there, and they’ll still be killing each other for what seems to the likes of sheltered people senseless reasons. The good news is that you’ll still have something to write about!!!
At the very least you could write about what constitutes a person’s motives (psychology, social, etc.) rather than simply labeling it “mental illness” and trusting we’ll take your word for it.
Ever wonder why people don’t make bombs and other unholy contraptions – even when there is so much they are perfectly capable of constructing with all the knowledge out there today? Ever think, “why don’t people put their brains to building crazy and unorthodox weapons?”. Well take away the guns and you may see this change. Guns are the tool not the problem. Take them away or keep them, it makes absolutely no difference, it will only force them to evolve along with the military who you noted has already upgraded.