Into the Fire: The Debate over Gun Control

Oh boy…what am I thinking with this one?  Debating gun control is like debating abortion.  No matter how you phrase your viewpoint, someone will rake you over the coals for it.  It’s one of the touchiest subjects out there, especially now in the wake of the school shooting in Oregon.

Before I delve into my personal views on gun control, I feel I have to get something off my chest.  It bugs me to no end that the gun control debate immediately took center stage when it came to the Oregon shooting.  And I mean immediately.  It wasn’t even a day after the shooting occurred that statements were made pertaining to the value of guns or the value of gun control.  I’ve seen so many different posts on my Facebook feed about the subject, each espousing one of two basic viewpoints (namely “guns good” or “guns bad”).  Why is it that we immediately have to use this tragedy to put forth our personal agendas?  Can’t we wait one damn week before we run roughshod over the memories of the victims, using their horrific final moments as a sort of soapbox?  Does this not seem disgusting?  I mean we’re taking advantage of grieving families by using their trauma for our own ends.  Let them grieve a little while for crying out loud.

There’s a time for having the debate.  I just don’t feel like one day after a shooting is the correct time to do it.

But with all that being said, I’m throwing my hat in the ring.  Because screw it.  I’m going to have my say at the risk of angering some people.  And that’s just how it has to be I guess.

First off, I don’t like guns.  I find it weird that people even want to have guns.  Guns are tools of killing and nothing else.  Think about it.  A gun is a weapon.  A sword, a spear, and a gun are all the same.  They were meant for a destructive and violent purpose.

Now I know some people will probably point out that I play video games and there are plenty of guns in video games.  But there is a marked difference between shooting a digital representation of a gun at digital representations of living beings, no matter how many politicians or “crusaders” say otherwise.  Humans are capable of differentiating fantasy from reality.  They’re just entertainment, provided you use the appropriate discretion (and by that I mean don’t be giving a five year-old access to Grand Theft Auto).

Anyways, when it comes to guns, people are perfectly free to want them.  I just find it strange that when the government even hints at adding some more restrictions to obtaining larger guns like assault rifles, people immediately lose their minds.  Why do you need an assault rifle anyways?  Home defense?  A pistol would do just fine.  With an assault rifle, you’re more liable to damage your personal property than actually wound the person breaking into your house.  Besides, what kind of burglar is going to be breaking into your house wearing heavy body armor and carrying automatic weaponry?  Because that’s the only real justification I can see for needing an assault rifle when it comes to home defense.

Besides, any gun you bring into your house is statistically more likely to end up being used to accidentally harm another family member or the gun owner themselves.  Now I know that statistics are not the best method for determining things, because they don’t account for the uniqueness of individuals.  They’re a generalization at best.  Some people would say “oh that’ll never happen to me”.  But I must ask, how do you know?  You could just assume that person X who killed themselves or a loved one with their gun was just crazy.  But how do you know that you aren’t crazy?  The thing with crazy people is that they kinda don’t know that they’re crazy…

At this point I feel that I should refer you to this video of comedian Jim Jefferies talking about gun control (I will caution you, there is some strong language in the video so viewer beware).  I pretty much agree with everything he says in this video and I think that he makes some very powerful arguments.  Like him, I’m totally for people’s second amendment rights.  But also like him, I think we need to take the second amendment in the context of its time.  The second amendment was ratified to give the people the right to form an armed militia to fight against a tyrannical government.  Which is all well and good back when we had muskets, but things have changed a little bit.  Now we have assault rifles, automatic shotguns, sniper rifles, rocket launchers, backpack nukes, and so on.  The constitution has to be reinterpreted every now and then.  It’d be foolish give every citizen an assault rifle or a rocket launcher, mainly because not all of them are capable of using them properly.

I’m not saying “take all guns away”.  I’m saying we need to be cautious about who we give them to.

And as for the fighting against a tyrannical government idea, I think Jefferies puts it best when he says this:

“And that made a hell of a lot of sense when it was just muskets!  But you do know the government has drones right?  You get that?  You’re bringing guns to a drone fight!

So basically, if you want guns, fine.  That’s your right.  But when you argue that “this problem would be solved if there were more guns”, is that really the case?  Would putting more guns in schools actually make things better?  We’d be sending our kids into what amounts to a police state every single day.  Do you really think they’ll feel safer when the adults around them are all packing weapons that could end their lives in the blink of an eye?

Pro-gun people say that you can’t blame guns for what happened.  And they’re right, you can’t.  But it’s not the guns I’m worried about.  It’s the people.  Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, more guns would just lead to more danger.  You can’t always trust people to make the best decisions.  The rash of police shootings that the media has been reporting on over the past year are proof of this.  You can’t always assume that people will be rational and use the gun as a last resort.  If they’re afraid for their lives, even in an unjustified way, they will immediately grab for the most powerful thing they can get their hands on.

And when that thing is a gun?  Someone usually ends up dead.  Because guns are made to kill.  Simple as that.


Well that’s all I have for this week.  Thanks for reading.  I know I probably got a little heated on this one, but it’s a topic that’s been bothering me for quite a while now, and the events in Oregon reopened the floodgates for it.  So thanks for allowing me to ramble for a little while at least.

Check back next Wednesday for another post.  Have a great week everybody!

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