That Time I Talked About Guns

January 16, 2013

Earlier this morning, I saw that Neely posted a blog post about how she, as a liberal, disagrees with the “liberal view” of gun control. I was really interested in the post, since y’all know I’m so politically minded, and wanted to write a response to her post.

I grew up in a small Southern town. People hunted on a regular basis. My babysitter even had a huge fun closet full of them sitting in their living room. My family is conservative, and my dad owned (and still has) a rifle in his closet “to protect us if anyone tries to hurts us.” It wasn’t anything that I wasn’t familiar with.

When the tragedy at Columbine happened, I was only in the 5th grade. I remember very clearly the administrators talking to us about what to do if a similar situation happened to at our school. I was a senior in high school when the shooting at Virginia Tech happened, about to leave for college only months later. I was terrified, thinking that something like that could happen to me when I left for college.

Mainly I disagreed with the point where she said people were trying to make guns illegal or take them away from people. I like to think of myself as pretty well versed with what’s going on in the world and political discourse, so I’m totally open to rebuttals here. But I don’t remember seeing anything about people trying to take away guns or make them illegal. At least not handguns anyway.

The New York legislation that was passed yesterday included new and improved background checks, which I don’t know if anyone could argue are a bad thing. I know that people aren’t keen on the idea of regular citizens being able to buy military grade guns. I don’t see the problem in that. Why do ordinary citizens need such powerful weaponry?  No one is trying to take away anyone’s right to bear arms. (While we’re on the topic of a right to bear arms, we need to think about the context of the law. Think about the difference in weapons from 1790 and today. It’s a major difference.)

Only a few minutes ago, President Obama signed 23 executive orders to help gun violence, including increasing access to mental healthcare. In essence, the President is calling for universal background checks on anyone buying guns, a restore on a repealed ban on “military style assault weapons,” a campaign on gun safety, and much more. I’ve seen a few tweets from people saying that it’s going to happen no matter what is put in place. Does that mean we should stand by and watch this happen time and time again?

Also, she mentioned in the post that guns don’t kill people, people kill people. I agree with that to some extent. But don’t you think that guns greatly enhance the extent to which people can be killed? On the same day of the Newtown tragedy, a man in China entered a school and attacked 22 people with a knife. None of them were killed.

Again, the main point that I’m trying to make is: I’m liberal and I do not think that guns should be illegal. But no one is trying to do that. Should guns be regulated more strictly than they have in the past? Absolutely. Should we just stand by and say, “there’s nothing that can be done. These people will get it anyway they can”? Absolutely not. Standing by and allowing it to happen again without making any sort of movement towards a better and safer future for our children is one of the worst things that can be done.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic, but please keep in mind that any disrespectful comments will be deleted.

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