I’ll start with the part of my opinion on gun control that counters what seems like common sense: Sandy Hook should not be why these laws are changing now. I say this with all due respect to those affected by the tragedy of Dec. 14, 2012.
But respect must also be paid to the countless that die every day in our hushed rural towns and cacophonous cities from gun violence. It is a shame that it took the Sandy Hook massacre to wake some people up. Our nation has made this incident a turning point when some things could have been done sooner.
I am also not very confident in the response that is underway now. There are gun laws that are very important, but the response to the threat of the mentally unstable must be talked about and acted upon as much the gun law overhauls. As Sandy Hook Promise Co-founder Tim Makris told the Associated Press, “This is not about just guns. … The gun is the enabler, the cause is mental health.”
Let us not forget that a University of Colorado – Denver psychologist told authorities to beware of James Holmes’ homicidal tendencies about a month before he opened fire on a cinema audience in Aurora.
As for the gun laws that were passed last week in Connecticut, there were definitely some steps taken in the right direction. At home I read the latest American Rifleman every month (at school I would not feel as comfortable doing so) and even I agree that background checks are a must for people purchasing guns. Just the same as tighter reins on illegal arms trafficking may have made it harder to kill some of my peers in high school, mandating background checks and registries do more good than harm.
I know and understand the fear that people have in this country of a tyrannical government. To put the argument for overthrowing possible oppressors in perspective, all you need to do is glance at the votes conservatives cast in favor of military spending. Our budget has developed the greatest military force on the planet. It is glorious, and if you ever wanted to take up arms against our government, it would evaporate you with a robot airplane at the click of a button.
This may seem bleak, but it is what we have come to in the name of preserving the great American experiment. Whether democracy with liberty is truly alive is not for gun control to determine.
This is why our approach to the issue must be simply logical. There is no easy way to answer the big ethical and constitutional questions, but we must limit murder. Banning “assault weapons” does not do this.
Does the general public know how these laws are defining “assault style”? Folding stocks and pistol grips do not kill people. High capacity magazines, on the other hand, did enable a rate of fire that worked very well for Adam Lanza’s intent. Personally, with a 10-round magazine, I can still enjoy the traditions and lessons that come with visiting the firing range with family and friends.
The point is: There are a few specific areas that can really hit a disturbing national trend hard. A lot of states allow the purchase of weapons without any kind of background check. I had to undergo a type of background check to attend college anyway – and you know what? I value the physical power of firearms just as much as I do some of the classes I’ve taken here. That should seem like common sense.