Yeah, punny, I know. I just had to do it. I just got in the middle of a long and annoying Facebook debate, so I’m actually really anxious about posting anything to my blog about gun violence.
I’m not trying to take your guns, and actually, majority of democrats and those in support of changes in gun law are not. No one is going to come door to door and have you forfeit your weapons.
If you want a handgun, locked safely in your house for protection, out of reach of your little ones and stored securely so that you yourself don’t get injured, go for it. Keep your handgun.
If you want a hunting rifle, locked safely in your house until you securely take it out on a hunting trip, out of reach of your little ones and stored so that you yourself don’t get injured, go for it. Keep your rifle.
If you want an automatic weapon that releases 1000 bullets per minute, all while depressing and holding the trigger, I have a problem with you keeping your gun.
If you want a weapon of mass destruction, and that’s what these are, I have a problem with you keeping your gun. Please, explain to me why you need an automatic weapon that can cause mass chaos and destruction in a mere minute. I can assure you, you wouldn’t be ambushed by suicidal deer on a hunting venture. You likely won’t be ambushed at your home by a parade of murderers (though, I’m not ruling this one out). Why do you really need that weapon?
Yeah, yeah. Second amendment. This was argued against in that Facebook post, but I still hold to it. The second amendment states the following:
“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.” I know, I know. It’s been interpreted and reinterpreted and interpreted to death. But, unless you’re part of a regulated militia, I don’t consider the right to bear arms a right for individuals to own guns. It was said in that Facebook post that the Supreme Court has ruled on this repeatedly in that this does mean individuals, but my searches came up fruitless.
Even though I don’t think it’s an right as set forth by the second amendment, and certainly not an inherent right, I do believe that it is a privilege, and one that individuals should be entitled to. I suppose this is where I sort of split the fence with some democrats, in that I do support some gun ownership, but I’ll explain why I sit where I do. As you might’ve seen from some of my previous posts, I’m extremely liberal, and I’m big government but only in the sense that they protect our ability to do things that do not harm others. Do I believe in the illegality of drugs? No. Do I support the legalization of gambling facilities in my state? Absolutely. These things all have one thing in common—they have the ability to harm the user (drugs, gambling, etc.) but not others. (Obviously, I’m not talking about individuals who drive under the influence or the psychological effect of addiction in families—and trust me, these are huge issues, but they’re also separate issues from this one.)
Guns are a little different. They have the direct and physical potentiality to harm others. I still believe that you should have the ability to own a handgun or hunting rifle, for protection or sport (though, I feel like I should make it known that I hate hunting and I think it’s an unnecessary sport and I value animals’ lives over humans ninety-nine percent of the time, but again, it’s not my choice to make that for you). If guns are used “correctly” (i.e. for protection or sport only, not for mass destruction), they are not harmful to others. If used incorrectly, you’re discussing criminals, which unfortunately takes the ethical obligations out of everything you might say in support of or against gun control.
Criminals are a different ball game here. No one is talking about the criminals. People are talking about taking away everyone’s guns (though I assure you, no one is really talking about it). People are talking about making gun ownership illegal. But criminals will still commit illegal activities. Just as they buy things off the black market, guns will be no different.
Now, is there a solution here? To stop the carnage? As of this date, October 9, 2015, there have been 18 shootings on college campuses this year (if you add in last night’s incident). These are the numbers as reported in a Time article reflecting the aftermath of the Umpqua Community College shooting of October 1, 2015. There have been over 45 shootings on school grounds this year. The tragedy of Sandy Hook took 26 lives.
Unfortunately, there’s no cut and dry answer. As long as there are psychologically unstable individuals, there will be crime. There will be shootings. There will be carnage. But, are there steps that we can take to lessen the carnage?
Insurance on gun ownership? That’s a good idea (a good idea that my hubby posted to Facebook and tons of people shut down, mind you). Yes, it’s requiring the ‘good’ masses to produce to cover for the ‘bad.’ There is an upside and a downside to this. It’s argued that we all pay for food stamps, and this is similar. But living in poverty isn’t a crime. Murder is. Requiring insurance to be paid in case of someone else’s crime is far reaching, but I think it’s necessary in that car insurance is required if your car is driven off your property, and licenses are required for numerous professions. Of course, those who do no wrong do not want to fork out more money, especially since they’ve likely paid to obtain their concealed carry license and paid other taxes for registration. Again, if they’re not, and they’re carrying, then they’re criminals, and that’s a’ whole ‘nother ballgame here.
After the Umpqua shooting, gun sales skyrocketed, as they apparently have after each mass shooting in the last decade. People are fearful for their lives, and buy guns for protection, and people are fearful of government intervention, and buy guns while they still can. That’s all fine and dandy. You buy your handgun to lock up in the safe for a potential break-in. You buy a couple extra rifles to ‘stick it’ to the POTUS. Go for it. But what should we think of those who are buying weapons of mass destruction?
Now, I’m not saying, and have never said, that banning automatic weapons and allowing the sale of semi-automatics will stop school shootings. They will continue. Unfortunately, we now live in a world in which I am terrified to send my five year old to kindergarten next year. It is what it is. If it were up to me, I’d move the hell out of America and to a country with much stricter gun laws and much lower crime rates, but alas, I don’t have the money to uproot my family. Instead, we live in fear. Semi-automatics are still dangerous weapons, and can still be used on a mass scale.
That said, the only automatic weapons, to my knowledge, that you can even buy anymore are ones that meet federal regulations, including being made before 1986. They’re outrageous, hugely regulated, and taxed. I’d say many career criminals aren’t following these regulations. So again, we’re looking at criminality.
So there’s a problem here. If we are already regulating automatic weapons, and semiautomatic weapons are often the weapon of choice in mass murders and school shootings, how can we solve the problem? We often think of, as I stated at the beginning, weapons of mass destruction as being automatic weapons. Semiautomatic weapons in manual mode only shoot one bullet at a time per trigger depression, while automatics can shoot 1000 bullets per minute with only one, long depression. However, a crafty shooter can learn a semiautomatic to fire up to 60 shots per minute in semi-auto mode, but can fire as quickly as one can depress the trigger in manual mode—which can be up to 800 shots with a steady and fast hand. That still sounds like a weapon of mass destruction. How do we discriminate?
Really, we should be looking at rate of fire. As I said earlier, you aren’t likely to be ambushed by a herd of suicidal deer, so I see no reason for an automatic or semiautomatic rifle. You’re aiming to kill one deer. If you’re an avid and skilled hunter, that should be sufficient. If you’re not, you can reload. But, it will take you more time. It will take time for the deer to get away. Your shot will get better, don’t worry.
I was going to post this whole blog post ranting about gun control and providing some realistic solutions to the mass shootings happening in America. You know what I realized in doing my research and writing things up to this point?
I don’t have an answer.
Did you know that the rate of fire for an assault rifle is 600-1100 rpm, submachine guns and machine pistols is 900-1200 rpm, and machine guns are 600-1200 rpm?
I don’t believe in prayer and I don’t have the scientific knowledge to build a bulletproof bubble around my kid. We’re fucked (sorry, mom).
Note: I got frustrated in realizing these last 4 lines. I closed out of all of my browsers. If you need something I’ve said validated, let me know and I’ll find you the source. Sorry for not crediting throughout as I usually do.