Even when those who favor gun control lay out perfectly rational, common sense arguments, they fall on some stubbornly deaf ears.
President Barack Obama addressed the nation to explain executive orders for gun control he was putting in place.
It was easily the most emotional speech I’ve ever seen him give. He made some excellent points, though for some, whose only answer to curbing gun violence is to arm more people, there’s just no reaching them. Lost in much of the president’s points were the tired, juvenile rhetoric about the “tyrannical” government “taking people’s guns away,” which no one is proposing.
But if we do nothing else in the few moments it takes to read this post, let’s at least consider some arguments that need to be heard with an open mind.
“Each time this comes up, we are fed the excuse that common-sense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, or the one before that, so why bother trying. I reject that thinking.”
We all should.
Nothing is going to change if we don’t make changes. The question is always what kinds of changes should be made and how far changes should go.
“We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence.”
If that one act of evil saves a member of your family, it’d be worth it, even if you fall into that category of people who refuses to admit it.
“I also believe we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment. I mean, think about it — we all believe in the First Amendment, the guarantee of free speech. But we accept that you cannot yell ‘fire’ in a theater. We understand there are some constraints on our freedom in order to protect innocent people.”
We have freedom of the press, too. But despite that freedom, one doesn’t have the right to libel another person. No one, not even journalists, think this is a problem.
It makes sense to put a boundary in place so one person’s act of exercising his or her freedom doesn’t cause injury to someone else.
“We cherish our right to privacy, but we accept that you have to go through metal detectors before being allowed to board a plane. It’s not because people like doing that, but we understand that is part of the price of living in a civilized society. And what’s often ignored in this debate is that the majority of gun owners actually agree — a majority of gun owners agree that we can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible, lawbreaking feud from inflicting harm on a massive scale.”
I know gun owners who feel that way. This isn’t some made-up argument. They’re out there. They’re not as vocal, but they’re out there.
To be honest, I have a difficult time imagining why more of the responsible gun owners who don’t see a problem with background checks aren’t coming forward.
“Today, background checks are required at gun stores. If a father wants to teach his daughter how to hunt, he can walk into a gun store, get a background check, purchase his weapon safely and responsibly. This is not seen as an infringement on the Second Amendment.”
It’s also not an attempt to “take away” one’s guns.
“The problem is, some gun sellers have been operating under a different set of rules. A violent felon can buy the exact same weapon over the Internet with no background check, no questions asked. A recent study found that about one in 30 people looking to buy guns on one website had criminal records. One out of 30 had a criminal record.
“We’re talking about individuals convicted of serious crimes — aggravated assault, domestic violence, robbery, illegal gun possession; people with lengthy criminal histories buying deadly weapons all too easily. And this was just one website within the span of a few months.”
Forget the “mass shooting” mentality. The reason the gun control debate comes up every time there’s a mass shooting is that such an event is a blatant reminder to the rest of us that we have this unfixed problem in our society.
“We maybe can’t save everybody, but we could save some. Just as we don’t prevent all traffic accidents, but we take steps to try to reduce traffic accidents.”
We have speed limits that are designed to make roads safer. That means that some drivers, who are better drivers than most, have to drive a bit slower than they’d like. But they still get where they’re going.
There are some people who insist that the only way to prevent gun violence is to have more guns in the hands of everyday citizens, the “good guys.” What these people seem to intentionally ignore is that there are plenty of “good guys” who do not wish to carry a firearm everywhere they go. They may not be comfortable with the idea. They may not feel that they can handle that responsibility. They may not feel that it’s their right.
Those who do choose to carry guns need to respect those people’s decisions just as they demand everyone else respect their own decision to carry.
Carrying a gun is a right, not a requirement. There’s a big difference.