Dissension: guns are not the problem

Gun control is not the solution. We are not disagreeing that gun violence is a tragic waste of life. We’re not claiming that nothing should be done to try and ensure that as little life as possible is lost. We simply disagree that any amount of legislation will solve the problem.

It is claimed that the mass shootings that have occurred lately are a direct result of weak gun control policies, but that isn’t entirely true.

Consider the most recent example of the shooting in Orlando, Florida.

The shooter was a security guard that had gone through the required background check.

He had gone to a firearms store and attempted to procure large quantities of ammunition and the best body armor he could get but was denied and reported   to authorities.

He had been on terrorist watch lists and was under FBI investigation. He was later cleared and removed from watch lists. He was able to purchase firearms completely legally.

Even if people on watch lists were not allowed to buy firearms, Omar Mateen, the man responsible for so many deaths, would still have acquired his guns.

There have been many cases of mass shootings where the shooters did not purchase guns legally. They either purchased guns through illegal means, or they have used the firearms of another person who did purchase the guns legally.

Banning all people who are on the no-fly list from buying guns would deny them the right of due process.

In this case, citizens would be denied their Second Amendment right to bare arms without a fair trial. The idea that we would grant the government the power to deny anyone any of their constitutional rights is a problem in and of itself.

If the loss of life is the main issue here, then why are guns the only real focus for change? Why are there only sit-ins for gun control?

For example, in 2013, there were 11,208 gun-related homicides. This number represents all reported gun-related homicides, including gang-related deaths, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Compare that to the 88,000 alcohol-related deaths per year on average, or the 32, 675 car-related deaths in the year 2014, according to the CDC.

If the loss of life is the main focus here, why are guns the only thing we seem so strongly opposed to? Why doesn’t the House hold sit-ins for stronger control of alcohol consumption?

If we are going to claim to stand up for preserving life, then preserve life. Don’t just selectively preserve it.

We find that adding more and more rules about guns only truly punishes those law-abiding citizens that choose to comply with the laws.

Most, if not all, of the schools where mass shootings have taken place have been gun-free zones, but the shooter brought it in anyway.

The theaters and the clubs where shootings have taken place were also gun-free zones, but the shooter brought a gun in anyways.

Gun laws only impede those that choose to obey them, and we are of the opinion that people who are willing to kill dozens of people don’t much care for any gun regulation that is currently in place, nor will they care for any future regulation.

Guns can do good things if you let them. On Jan 11, 2014, Thomas Elliott Hjelmeland entered the Mystic Strip Club and began firing. He struck the bouncer, a waitress and a patron. He was stopped because Jonathan Baer, a concealed carry permit holder, drew his legal firearm and shot Hjelmeland, killing him.

There are any number of other cases that show that a responsible gun owner was able to prevent a great deal of death in schools, clubs and theaters.

All of these increased regulations are only going to limit people in their ability to protect themselves. If you want to make true, lasting change, find a way to teach people the value of life. Don’t cripple a person’s ability to defend themselves with so many fears and dangers surrounding us every day.

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