So many discussions have been happening lately about guns. Orlando, Sandy Hook, Virginia Tech; these are all at the for front of the conversation. It’s easy for some to say that the American public wants the government to put a stop to the violence with guns while others want the government to stay out of it. I think the problem is that a lot of people have opinions but don’t truly understand the situation.
Republicans and Democrats both came to the table of the Senate with proposed gun control measures to vote on. Each proposal required a 60-vote minimum in order to pass, yet even with the Republicans controlling most of the seats even they found it hard to get anything passed.
The Senate rejected first a Republican proposal to update the background check system for gun purchases, which would have required states to add more information on mental health records to a national database. It also included a provision to alert law enforcement agencies when an individual who was on a government terror watch list in the last five years buys a gun. The proposal, sponsored by Iowa GOP Sen. Chuck Grassley, failed to get the 60 votes for passage. The vote was 53-47, largely along party lines. Some Senate Democrats warned that the legislation’s revised definition of who would be considered mentally ill could potentially still allow those with significant psychological issues to legally purchase guns. A second proposal to expand the background check system for those buying guns to require checks at gun shows and for online purchases went down 44-56. Murphy, the Democrat who launched a nearly 15-hour filibuster to press for new gun restrictions after the Orlando massacre where 49 people were killed, sponsored the proposal. A Republican proposal to delay gun sales to individuals included on a government terror watch list failed in a mostly party-line vote of 53-47. The measure was sponsored by Texas GOP Sen. John Cornyn. The bill would allow a judge to permanently block a purchase if the court determined probable cause that the individual is involved in terrorist activity. And a Democratic option that sought to bar all gun sales to those individuals on the terror watch list failed 47-53, the second time the proposal went down to defeat after a mass shooting. California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein originally pushed the proposal in December after a shooting in San Bernardino, and revived it after the horrific Orlando nightclub shooting by a gunman who pledged allegiance to the terror group ISIS. Feinstein’s plan did garner the support of some Republicans, including Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire who is facing a fierce re-election bid this year. Sen. Mark Kirk, another vulnerable Republican up for re-election, voted with Democrats on all of the four amendments. On the flip side, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, a moderate Democrat, voted with Republicans to oppose the two amendments offered by Murphy and Feinstein.
But this isn’t a fight between political parties; it’s a fight between gun enthusiasts and anti-gun Americans. Using the most recent event, the Orlando Pulse Night Club, as an anchor anti-gun Americans say that there should be no reason that the main weapon in question, the AR-15, should even be sold to the general public. This is quiet understandable just looking at the gun; it’s a very scary looking gun but what most people don’t realize is
that it is NOT an assault rifle or automatic rifle. The “AR” actually stands for “ArmaLite Rifle” after the company the developed it in the 1950s. To fire the weapon, you need to squeeze the trigger for each bullet fired, just like most of your standard hand guns such as the Kahr CW380, the Glock 19 Gen 4, the Smith & Wesson SD9 VE, the Sig Sauer P250, and the Browning 9mm. And these were the style guns that were used in the Virginia Tech shooting, not any type of assault rifle. These weapons have the same destructive capabilities as the AR-15 yet most people find no issues with them. The primary difference between the AR-15 and the other hand guns is that it is a long barrelled gun and that it holds a larger clip the the others.
The next argument is that people shouldn’t even own guns; there’s no need to own one in America with or military forces and police forces on guard. It’s no secret to the rest of the world that America spends more money then anyone else on our military forces and we have very special men and women that protect our freedoms such as mine to have my opinions placed in a forum such as this. But it is a constitutional right that people are allowed to own a gun or guns. Whether for personal protection or for recreational purposes it is your right. I know many people that own guns and are the nicest, law abiding people that you would never know are carrying their gun. As for the police, even with the negative publicity they’ve been receiving lately in the media, they are a very important part of society that allow us to continue to live a health and free life in our home towns, but they can’t be everywhere at all times.
Hillary Clinton in many of her political speeches mentions many times that she feels that in the instance of a crime that we need to go after the manufacturer of the weapon used in the crime; this I can’t support. It is not the manufacturer’s fault that the suspect used their product for criminal purposes. What about the vehicle they used to try and get away? The hoodie or mask manufacturer they used to hide their identity? Not even in a gun related crime; what about someone who gets into a DUI accident? We don’t go after the manufacturer of the car they were driving, we don’t go after the alcohol manufacturer for them drinking. And when you do go after the manufacturer and collect a fine or penalty, where would the money go? To the victim? The victims family? Or to some government program that has nothing to do with why you collected the money in the first place. This just doesn’t make any sense.
Gun enthusiasts have arguments for gun ownership as well that don’t have much merit either. Main point they like to bring up is that in cases of local terrorists or criminals in general is that if everyone was armed that these criminals would think less about robbing, assaulting, attacking or committing crime at all. This is untrue. Anyone that wants to commit a crime will always find a way. Just because the general population are carrying a weapon doesn’t mean they will know how to use it if an emergency situation would occur. You see this in situations of medical emergencies even with people that are properly trained to act that they hesitate sometimes or make bad decisions. This can happen too with a gun owner.
They then want to use that it is their 2nd Amendment right, “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.” On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) was adopted, and NO ONE in government is trying to change this statement. This is your freedom and right to own a gun. The new NRA (National Rifle Association) president Jim Porter seems to want to insist that this is the case. Porter states that in a speech that President Obama gave that he stated that he wants to unarm all Americans which is just not the case. What President Obama actually said, transcript here, you could still own a gun, you can own thousands of guns. You could still own bullets. What Obama proposed was the same assault weapon ban we had until just a few years ago. Did the world end, and tyranny take over, because of this ban? No. It’s the very same ban George W. Bush has been quoted as saying he felt should have been renewed in 2004. A ban on the same weapons George H. Bush and Ronald Reagan both said had no place in the hands of ordinary civilians. In short, he supported better/universal background checks, enhanced resources for preventing mentally ill individuals from purchasing firearms, increased funding for more law enforcement, funding to provide researchers the resources to study why people do these heinous acts and funding for schools to have armed security on campus if they so wish. None of which is an attack on the Second Amendment, it’s called using common sense.
Look, in the end do I want to see guns taken away from people? No. Do I want to see stronger regulations put into place? Absolutely. There are people that like to collect guns just like there are people that collect models, or cars, or movies, or anything else that people collect, but I do think that because of the destructive capabilities guns appose that we need to be more mature about owning them. The first step is to make background checks for purchasing a gun from any location; Retailer, Trade Show, Online, become universal. If you want to work in America you need a background check, then there should be no problem with doing the same for a gun. As well, remove the loop hole that says if the background check doesn’t come back after so many days then you’re allowed to purchase the gun. It should be that only when the check clears you that you can then own the weapon. The next thing I think might be required is that in order to own a gun you should need a license, which means proper training on how to operate and store the gun properly. You need to have a license before you can purchase and operate a motor vehicle and it can cause just as much damage as a gun. This way people are then learning right away proper handling and operations of a firearm that makes them be more responsible. Also, smaller clips need to be sold with these weapons. If you’re hunting and can’t kill your game within ten shots then you probably don’t need to be firing a gun. If you really want to fire off larger magazines, then doing so in a controlled and secure environment like a sport shooting range with its own security is not out of the question either. If you’re on a terror watch list or under investigation by the FBI or CIA, then you can NOT purchase a gun, and to those that say what if you end up on one of these lists by mistake then just like hiring someone to clear your credit history for identity theft you hire a lawyer to help clear your name from these lists if you really need to buy that gun.
These are just some opinions I have on the matter but I’d like to know what you guys think about all of this. I pose this question to you; do you think perhaps there is a glorification of guns in society today? Are we forgetting that guns were created as tools of war to gain an advantage over our enemy to becoming an almost accessory to our personalities? Please leave a comment down below and give me your thoughts.