Sunday, August 19, 2012

Gun Control (Or Lack Thereof)

Unless you've spent the last few years hidden in a barrack in the Middle East, you've heard of the many mass shootings and other manifestations of gun violence sweeping the US.

Every time something happens, the nation is flung into a high stakes debate over gun control, with some saying weapons should be banned completely, and others saying we should be able to carry them under our Second Amendment rights. And a week or so later, the debate inextricably dissipates into nothing, and not another word of it is spoken until the next wave of violence hits.

I'm not surprised at the lack of discourse surrounding gun control - normally it becomes a question of interpretation of the Second Amendment, which unfortunately in wording states that only citizens being of a well-guarded militia (police, SWAT, etc) should be allowed to carry weapons.

My question is, when did we become so narrow-minded that we stopped looking at the big picture?

Our government would never send an army of able-bodied men into battle without weapons with which to defend themselves. Arguably, it is just as dangerous to step outside of your house, yet we are sent out every day with little to defend ourselves with. Why is it okay to leave our citizens defenseless against those with the wherewithall to purchase guns and use them at their discretion, knowing the retaliation will likely be nonexistant?

Many say, "you can find alternate methods of protection: use Mace!"

I hate Mace. Besides, that stuff is aerial...just because you spray it at your attacker doesn't mean it won't spread through the air and affect you too. I'm far less likely to be hurt by the recoil of a handgun than Mace.

I have also admittedly carried knives of all sorts, from ordinary steak knives concealed up my sleeve to butterfly knives in my purse. But as it goes, who carries a knife to a gunfight?

At the end of the day, I care far more about my safety than I care about the law. If I get shot and killed, God is not going to let me in the gates because I abided the concealed carry law and died as a result! But at the same time, I'm not so grossly disrespectful of the law that I'll risk jail time simply because I wanted to protect myself.

If guns are illegal because more money comes into the government as a result (versus regulation), then our officials should be ashamed of themselves. Putting citizens' lives in danger to make a buck - isn't that more criminal than having a gun?

In the meantime, I'll continue to watch the news, and feign shock every time I hear of a new shooting - as if these things aren't commonplace by now.