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Gun Control and Society in America: Legislation Is Not Enough

By       Message Kevin Brown     Permalink
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Gun control, Gun Control, Gun control. The hysteria has recently engulfed the US. The debates are everywhere including congress, but the debates are also non-existent. Solutions are offered, then promptly debated with no outcome in sight. Leaving the issue up to a failing congress that is incapable of solving the numerous problems facing the country, both socially and economically, doesn't look to provide a solution.

Newtown yanked at the strings of our hearts, and of gun-control advocates. It seems as if the only solutions capable of passing are limiting magazine clips, enforcing background checks, and a possible assault-weapons ban, the last of which doesn't even seem likely. Despite the terrible aftermath of Newtown, the more recent incident in California is forewarning to how ineffective this legislation will turn out to be.

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A student entered his school with a handgun and after firing off shots, he was talked down by a teacher. From the reports it seems that there was a personal vendetta rather than intention of a mass shooting. It was by pure luck that no one was killed, and there were only injuries involved with the incident, but this should be the warning necessary to our lawmakers that what they are about to vote on will have little effect in practice.

Laws preventing the mentally ill and criminals from accessing guns need not apply here. Laws affecting the amount of rounds in the clip need not apply here. Some will be quick to point out that no one was killed but that is a circumstance of pure chance. Some will say that even if he had succeeded that the laws would have been effective in limiting the numbers. I believe that one is too many. One child, one grieving family, one classroom of psychologically affected children is far too many for me.

When I read the reports from this recent incident I was disgusted. What disgusted me most? Students in other classrooms went into an active shooting alarm. We are not involved in World War II with bomb drills. Our children aren't only subject to the occasional fire drill but must now practice protecting themselves from their armed peers. What is new gun legislation going to do tp prevent that? Access to guns will still be easy. Sensationalist media reporting of these incidents will further promote shootings of this type. So what, a student will now have to reload to increase the number killed.

As a concerned American, I have often looked over the gun-control stats. I have investigated other countries such as the UK. I understand that only 6% of their police force carries guns and that guns account for double-digit deaths per year, which pales in comparison to us. I also understand that we are not the UK. I do believe the right to own guns should be limited more than it currently is, but the new legislation won't be the solution. I believe that part of the problem still remains in our society, and even our parenting. I watch and listen to the pro-gun advocates. I hear them saying that the "good guys" need guns to protect against these few bad ones.

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This is not the old wild west. There are parents throughout the country celebrating gun use. Christmas gun sales this year were booming amidst the possibility of new gun regulation. Parents giving them to their children, husbands to wives and vice-a-versa, siblings to siblings. Children watching with jealousy as these cool and awesome gifts were handed out. Unfortunately, an AR-15 is a weapon of death rather than a cool toy. A handgun is a weapon of death. Even a hunting rifle is a weapon of death, but one that a responsible citizen can respect. I would never harm a hair on an animal's back but I will not take aim against those with hunting rifles that use them for their purpose.

Of course we should all understand how ridiculous the claim is that we need these guns to protect ourselves from our own government. We are referring to a government, and military, in possession of the most advanced weapons in the world. The populations that hold these ideas should concede to the fact that their assault rifle stands little chance when a government drone comes flying above. We are in no need of forming militias in the most highly militarily protected country in the world. There is no use for semi-automatic weapons of any sort. I often ask why one would even purchase one. It has no use accept to murder quickly and in large numbers. No hunter is taking it out to shoot deer because that would be a disgrace to the sport of his act. Similarly, no hunter is taking a handgun to do that duty.

Maybe I'm privileged, and maybe I'm one of the few, but I have never once needed to defend myself with a gun in my life nor do I know of many people who have. So the question still remains. What is the use? Why do we need these guns? More importantly, why are these guns so awesome? This Christmas families across the country gave the gift of death, now we must wonder which gift of death will be used in fulfilling its purpose. Which family member will be responsible for another death toll in the news? I know that it will not be me because I will always make sure to teach that guns are not cool, and they are not a toy. They are of no use to the majority of the civilian population despite what any gun laws, or lack thereof, state. I reserve no more hope for the legislation of our government, and there is only slight hope left for the population in general, as I watch this debate carried out.

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An international master's graduate in international development from the University of Bologna in Italy. Kevin has worked on projects in both environment and human trafficking. His experiences living and traveling abroad have provided a unique (more...)
 

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Gun Control and Society in America: Legislation Is Not Enough