Over the past few months, people across the nation have been debating about gun control. Topics ranging from firearm restrictions to background checks have been heavily discussed by both emotion and logic, by both gun supporters and gun control activists, and it seems like their is no middle ground for both parties to agree on. My opinion is that, although this is an emotional topic, emotions should be secondary to logic, for finding a solution to prevent gun control can not be on that makes us feel better. It has to be one that actually works and is not insanely expensive.
I believe that gun violence is a problem that is extremely difficult to eradicate, but can be prevented if people think of new ideas while not letting emotions or radicalism get to their heads and background checks are implemented. According to Harvey Rosenthal of the New York Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services, “It is sad that almost the only time meaningful public attention turns to our community is in the wake of a tragedy”. I agree with this statement, for it perfectly shows America’s disaster-response cycle. We do not anticipate any tragedies, we simply react to them.
I believe that, not just with gun violence, Americans need to feel a sense of responsibility to protect their fellow Americans and eliminate problems while they are still growing, not wait until they are endemics. It seems that, whenever a tragedy occurs, we respond by being irrational and trying to cut off the head of the “beast” (guns, in this case) without much consideration for other, more logical solutions. In order to find a logical solution, we first need to realize that guns don’t kill people. People kill people with guns.
For this reason, banning certain guns or reducing magazine sizes will have a very minor effect, if they have one at. So, since the real “beast” in this case is the population, not guns, we must find a way to prevent possible killers from getting access to firearms. I believe that simple background checks can prevent some potential murderers from gaining access to the weapons. However, If somebody really wants to gain access to a gun, even if there are background checks, they can always buy one in the black market or steal one from family or friends. This is one reason why gun violence is a tremendously difficult issue to eliminate.
We like to think that there is a facile solution to every problem. Oftentimes, we formulate opinions and whimsically put them into action. But there isn’t a simple solution to gun violence. We have to realize this before we waste human and monetary resources on plans that may only have minor effects, if they have any at all. For example, arming teachers with firearms to protect students is an impossible and paradoxical plan. How would adding more weapons into the equation ever reduce the amount of violence? It wouldn’t. Bringing guns into schools would desensitize students to guns, not repulse them.
Furthermore, training staff would waste money and be ineffective, for most teachers would feel utterly repulsed at the idea of preparing to shoot their own students, and would not take the matter seriously. Personally, I know that not one of my teachers would find this law appealing. If gun violence is so difficult to solve, what is the solution? Out of the current plans today, again, I believe that background checks will be the most successful. Instituting background checks on all firearm buyers would be an easy and productive way to separate some of the criminals from the harmless.
Also, the fact that the mentally ill are being viewed as unstable killers and the primary reason for instituting background checks is completely preposterous. Sally Satellite, a psychiatrist states in her article, “Severely I’ll people account for only 3 to 5 percent of violent crimes in the general population. ” As far as the effectiveness of background checks goes, however, the fact that most of the guns used in crimes are bought illegally means that even background checks will not solve the problem. In addition to other radical ideas, the plan of banning most firearms is yet another impossible task.
Adam Winkler of The University of California states, “One key to ratcheting down the emotions in the gun debate is to move beyond disbarment and to recognize the permanence of guns in America. With approximately 300 million guns already in circulation and gun owners unlikely to ever comply with orders to turn in their guns, the guns are here to stay. ” This quote proves that the plethora of firearms in the United States is currently insurmountable by any bans. Although this is a fact, I believe that gun enthusiasts need to open their eyes to new suggestions that may arise from the debate. Stubbornness, in this debate, will solve nothing.
Any laws that are enacted by the United States government will not violate the second amendment, which seems to be the gun lovers’ primary tool for argument. We, as Americans, need to sacrifice our emotional attachments to guns in order to create a safer future. Robert Walker, who was previously the legislative director for Handgun Control, writes in his New York Times article, “… there is nothing in the Constitution or our love of guns that should prelude us from enacting sensible gun laws that would significantly reduce gun violence, and we can do so without jeopardizing the right of law-abiding Americans to own guns.
This quotation shows that, because reforms can be made to guns in America without violating the constitution, gun lovers should be more accepting of necessary plans to reduce violence. In addition to this statement, Mr. Walker adds, “having a gun in the home – assault weapon or otherwise – is accost acted with a much higher risk of death or injury,” which supports my opinion that there are positive effects to gun restrictions which need to be considered by gun enthusiasts.
In conclusion, the current gun debate is full of radical and emotional ideas that hinder progress in reducing gun violence. Before any reforms are decided on and instituted, both the gun enthusiasts and the gun control activists need to face the facts about guns in America and realize that reaching a mutual decision is the only way to solve this problem. I believe that although gun violence is an extremely difficult issue to eradicate, it can be done through proper procedures and logical planning.