The Gun Control Debate Is Over.
The gun control debate is over.
Americans (the vocal ones, at least) insist that their right to own guns is greater than another’s right to life.
To not be killed by a gun.
It really is that simple.
The debate was over as soon as the dust settled over Columbine, and things didn’t change. It began to set in cement with Virginia Tech.
And things didn’t change.
When Sandy Hook happened, the choice was more than clear: it is more important for people to have a right to bear arms than it is for schoolchildren to not be murdered.
And these aren’t accounting for a fraction of the incidents of mass gun violence in the past 20 years. Not even touching the lower level instances of gun violence.
Nowhere in America is safe from gun violence. No one in America is protected.
But when was this debate really over?
When two reporters were shot on live television, and Americans posted more pictures of their dogs than of their outrage.
Of even their notice, that two people were killed on ‘Live Television’.
Is this the America we dream of? Where people are free to shoot innocent people on television, in schools, in movie theaters? In churches?
“If someone is mad at you and you both live in America, it’s very easy for that person to get a gun and murder you with it. That fact should scare you, every single day.” ~ Sam Biddle
Does that sound like freedom?
The original Second Amendment reads: “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.”
Amended by Thomas Jefferson, it reads, “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.”
I have a feeling that Thomas Jefferson had no idea that one day people would take these words and use them to defend open-carrying an assault rifle to a mall.
But, it’s your right. It’s in the Constitution! A sacred, unchangeable document.
Oh wait. That’s not true.
So why do people continue to insist on their rights to own murder weapons?
Compared to nations like us, as seen below, the United States leads in gun related deaths.
One person dies from gun-related violence every 16 minutes on an average in the United States. In the time it took you to get ready for work this morning, how many people was that?
“More Americans die in gun homicides and suicides every six months than have died in the last 25 years in every terrorist attack and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.
More Americans have died from guns in the United States since 1968 than on battlefields of all the wars in American history.
American children are 14 times as likely to die from guns as children in other developed countries, according to David Hemenway, a Harvard professor and author of an excellent book on firearm safety.” ~ Nicholas Kristof, New York Times
Kristof goes on to use Australia as a model: “In 1996, after a mass shooting there, the country united behind tougher firearm restrictions. The Journal of Public Health Policy notes that the firearm suicide rate dropped by half in Australia over the next seven years, and the firearm homicide rate was almost halved.”
But when we use models like these, the response is, “Well, then go to Australia” or “people will always find ways to get guns” or “but I hunt (a real man’s sport, to kill unsuspecting, non-threatening animals from afar)” and so on.
By this logic, we should not have rules and regulations for cars, construction sites, power tools, and countless other tools.
Because they all have an ability to be dangerous, and they are all regulated because of that fact.
Do the 92 lives that are claimed by gun violence daily not matter?
Prayers and love are nice, and the world needs more of it, for sure. But that’s not going to change the discussion surrounding gun violence.
What is going to change it?
Be vocal. Be seen. Be heard. Get un-numb, re-sensitized, and consider this:
What would your stance on gun control be if it affected you personally?
You can change the world with your voice. Why not use it to save lives?