The argument on gun control has been a long raging battle, littered with bloody casualties on both sides. Gun rights activists stick to their guns on this issue, while those that are gunning for firearm control remain firm as well. And for good reason – more than 30,000 people lose their lives from guns per year in the United States alone. So what’s the right thing to do? Where can we strike a balance?
The main problem is, the elimination of gun use in the United States is a well nigh impossible task. People shoot, people get shot, people die. It’s almost normal in the US, where pretty much everybody has rights to possess the weapons they claim protect them. In fact, it’s an almost American tradition for armed citizenry, because the people place upon themselves the responsibility to protect their loved ones and their community. This long-ingrained culture of gun ownership makes it very difficult to implement a change to restrictions on guns.
A lot of people in support of gun rights use as their ultimate weapon the notorious Second Amendment, which states that “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”. So to contribute to a state’s militia if needed, people are given the right to own and use guns in daily life. That’s good and all, I mean, self-defence, right? Wrong. Because a militia that will actually work should consist mainly of able-bodied males within a certain age range (18 – 40-ish). Anyone outside of this range, give or take a few exceptions (like a really buff war grandma), doesn’t technically fall under the militia that is ‘necessary to the security of a free State’. Which means these people are bystanders who do not in any way contribute to the improvement of the security of their free State, and do not need to possess guns!
Besides, even though the Second Amendment was built upon a pre-existing and ancient right of the individual to bear arms, it certainly doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have some form of control on assault weapons. It certainly doesn’t condone random mass shootings which have become a fairly common sight in the US. And it certainly doesn’t account for the numerous lives lost in the numerous shootings by numerous people whose faces blur together in a horrible mugshot of death and destruction on the headlines.
Scott L. Bach (of the National Rifle Association) said in his post “When an arsonist lights a match that burns a building, is the match at fault? … The same match that is misused by the arsonist lights the fireplace that warms us, and the stove that feeds us.” He goes on to point out that the purpose of a match is to ignite, and that the misuse of one does not make it an evil invention.
This would be an amazing argument, if not for the fact that he seemed to forget: guns were made and manufactured to kill. A match is not made with the intent of killing, so if a person uses it to set a building on fire and kill people, a) it was misused and b) it must’ve been a crazy strong match. On the other hand, a gun is created solely for the purpose of inflicting bodily harm, regardless whether you’re using it to shoot a burglar, rapist, your annoying neighbor, your annoying neighbor’s annoying dog, or your cheating wife. Guns are meant to kill. So I’m sorry, mister all-for-guns, but you lose.
Guns save lives? Right.