- Posted January 9, 2013 by
Colorado Springs, Colorado
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Gun control debate: Background checks
NRA Position “More guns, more safe”, The Debate Continues
The US has an estimated total of 270,000,000 guns in private ownership. The next closest country is India which has a 46,000,000 (that’s 5.8 times fewer private guns.) Ok, that’s a lot of guns but you may be thinking the populations of the countries are different so of course the gun numbers will look disproportionate.
In per capita gun ownership, the US, again, eclipses its nearest competitor. The US rates at 89 guns per 100 residents, 30% ahead of Yemen’s 55 per 100.
If we can’t achieve higher safety with a third more guns… how are even more guns going to make us safer? So I ask you, do you still agree with the NRA that we need more guns?
“Guns don’t kill, people do”
That might be true, but guns sure make it a whole lot easier. I came across a post validating that people kill people and not guns.An owner placed his weapon with a loaded clip next to the open door of his house. He noted after a few minutes that the gun didn’t run out and massacre anyone.(Note: ensure to be logged in to Facebook to follow this link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151344166508606&set=a.391474713605.169598.242181938605&type=3&theater) That’s cute, I challenge him to do the same on the streets of downtown Chicago and see if his gun doesn’t kill anyone. I don’t think he would feel his gun is as safe in that situation. I wish I was seeing these gun enthusiasts posting solutions instead of being cute.
The NRA and its supporters continue to put their heads in the sand on developing rational gun control and instead focus hysterically on irrational fears the government is going to take all their guns away. That fear may be partially true because proposals to ban assault weapons would take some people’s guns away… but they would still be able to buy other types of guns. Gun enthusiasts would still be able to buy hunting rifles, handguns and many other types of weapons, just not military style weapons.AR-15s and AK-47s are designed to kill people, not deer or other game. That’s why the military uses them instead of hunting rifles. It seems reasonable to limit access to weapons designed to kill masses of people.
Former Marine Joshua Boston, wrote an open letter to U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, saying that he would not register his weapons with the government even if a ban on assault weapons is passed, because it his right. Take it from another former soldier who has a little more experience than former Marine Joshua Boston, former Gen. Stanley McChrystal who thinks the 2nd Amendment, which was drawn in the era of muskets, doesn’t extent to civilian ownership of semi-automatic assault weapons.“An M4 Carbine fires a .223 caliber round which is 5.56 mm at about 3000 feet per second. When it hits a human body, the effects are devastating. It’s designed for that. That’s what our soldiers ought to carry,” said McChrystal. “I personally don’t think there’s any need for that kind of weaponry on the streets and particularly around the schools in America.”
Regardless of the argument that assault weapons are meant for soldiers serving to defend nations, I don’t agree with a wholesale gun ban. I also don’t agree with the wholesale rejection of gun control efforts. Outlawing assault weapons is too big a leap, there are just too many out there already. Banning all weapons would also create a prohibition-era type world for guns where criminals have them and the regular guy doesn’t. But leveraging multiple small strategies may have a cumulative effect on our consistent mass shootings.
Controlling magazine size, for instance, won’t stop the next massacre, but would help limit the potential carnage at any one incident. Let’s address the gun show loopholes that circumvent background checks. It wouldn’t hurt anyone who plans on attending a show to apply for a background check a couple weeks prior and go to the show with proof, or have vendors at the show check a consumer’s background report.
“Fingerprinting” barrels of weapons to attribute recovered bullets to the gun may be another measure. Of course, gun makers will cry of the costs involved. But such a record will bring the threat of accountability to those thinking of killing with guns and maybe a few shooters won’t follow through. And when the deterrent fails or if poor sales records don’t lead to the actual killer, such a measure would give law enforcement one more clue, one more data point leading to the perpetrator.
Requiring registration is another proposal some gun owners freak out about. Registration won’t take away anyone’s guns and it also won’t stop future mass shootings. But, again, it will aide law enforcement efforts to find those responsible and maybe greater potential of being caught may prevent some more shootings. But the NRA is against registration, at least gun registration.NRA CEO LaPierre focuses on the mentally ill in his complaint, “We have no national database of these lunatics.” Yes NRA, we shouldn’t register guns, we need to register “lunatics.” This is an example of another failure to propose a reasonable solution and instead bring forth something that makes little sense.
Speaking of lunatics, guns owners should be horrified by those who purportedly represent their interests. The NRA’s statements are bad enough, but they pale to Radio host Alex Jones’ recent verbal attack on the host of CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" on Monday. Jones predictably fell into a fanatical monologue inciting irrational fears of a pending tyranny preluded by the taking away of guns."When they get our guns, they can have their world tyranny," he said. He recited a list of despotic world leaders who he said took away guns such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Castro, and Chavez insinuating such is America’s future if new gun controls are passed into law. His argument implies you must fear the gun control discussion because it leads to guns being outlawed leading to the rise of America’s Hitler.
Jones spoke at a strong intensity interrupted only by his flailing arms pointing violently in the host’s face and looked ready to jump from his seat. One could argue his actions were a real assault on the brink of physical battery. He blamed Piers Morgan as one of the sources of the threat against the 2nd Amendment. Jones was hardly an example of a person ready to engage in a reasonable discussion or provide any value to the National debate. Again he proposed no solutions and transitioned to lobbing personal attacks against the British-national host and eventually resorting to a threat of climbing into a boxing ring with Piers Morgan.(What would boxing the host do to help the Nation’s gun control issues?) If Jones represents the gun owners fighting against gun controls, he showed us exactly the type of threatening delusional citizen we need to keep guns away from.
This issue is devolving into a classic case where the ranting, raving, irrational minority is loudest and so assumed to represent the majority of gun owners. (To me, this is similar to the radical jihadist minority, who hijacks and taints the image of Islam with their violence.) They are crippling the debate and slowing the search for agreeable solutions with fear-filled rants and red herring arguments. I hope that the majority of gun owners, who aren’t being accurately represented by this media-garnering minority, are able to wade through the barrage of rhetoric to arrive at the table to participate in crafting reasonable and sensible measures addressing this hot-topic issue.