It has become the most expected response to a senseless crime involving a gun, so much so that before the ink dries on the report the words have been released, ‘gun control.’ As if the journalist or politician is secretly celebrating the tragedy as another point to add to defend their argument. Instead of showing empathy for the family of those lost, politicians rather use gun tragedies to mention gun control. Never-mind the fact that any new laws implemented automatically makes it too late for the deceased. Regardless of which side of the debate you find yourself, the fact that our country is overrun by criminals, would be disgruntled employees, and people with mental problems and their easy access to guns, is becoming more obvious at each tragic incident.
Within hours of the killings of two journalists in Virginia on August 26, 2015 the Governor referred to the incident as another reason gun control laws need to be stricter. However, in this case as in many others in which such obvious rhetoric comes out, the alleged shooter purchased the gun used legally. Which begs the question, what gun law would have kept him from purchasing the gun since he obviously passed the federal background check? It is facts like these that make the comment about gun control laws moments/hours after the fact that sends a shock through an already torn apart community. Keeping guns out of the hands of known criminals may be the intention, however what about apparent law-abiding citizens that for some reason or another go on a rampage leaving death and destruction in their wake? Reports of these kind of incidents drives Americans to act by taking initiatives to increase their personal protection.
One of the first things people consider after hearing or reading about a gun tragedy is purchasing a gun. Perhaps they first consider obtaining a permit to carry, or, at the very least, keep one in their home and/or vehicle.
Stricter gun laws would seemingly only affect the people who genuinely want to feel safer and protected from becoming victims of random shootings, such as the one in Virginia or the one in Colorado in a movie theater.
A recent report revealed that the president has evoked executive privilege to pass a gun control law in which medical professionals are required to report the names of patients prescribed medicine for depression. This apparently violates U.S. privacy laws. Moreover, it is done in secret instead of with congressional approval. A contrasting report reveals a ruling of a judge that stripped a police officer’s right to carry his firearm while off duty because of a prior diagnosis of depression, yet he is still a commissioned and active duty officer, and he carries a gun during his shift. Sounds like the epitome of double-standard.
Guns are inanimate objects that are incapable of inflicting harm unless aided by the actions of human beings. Therefore, can it be said that stricter gun laws actually work and make a difference?
Gun control laws did in fact make a difference in Australia because of drastic changes to their laws including a huge gun buyback program 19 years ago. The challenge with that is the fact that the United States is not Australia. Our second amendment rights provides the pathway to not only own and bear arms but to form a well-regulated militia in case the U.S. government breaks down. Therein lies the reason imminent changes to gun control laws are so difficult to pass and implement.
As early as Feb. 15, 2015 the statistics on the number of people killed by police in the United States revealed a rate of at least 3 people a day had already died at the hands of law enforcement. Could such actions and wide-spread media coverage help to create an insensitivity to the sanctity of life and actually foster those harboring feelings of harm and a desire to commit such heinous acts of violence? Perhaps it is a question worth posing to authorities.
The problem with common sense gun control is the fact that there is nothing common about common sense especially when the laws created after the fact slow down efforts by people desiring to increase their personal protection and keep from becoming a victim themselves.
Written by Jireh Gibson