Gun Control 101

| 3/10/2008 5:04:59 PM

RiflesI’m typically not a paranoid person. I try to see the best in people. I’m a college student on a liberal campus in the heart of the Midwest.

But lately, there’s been a growing suspicion, a fear of the soft-spoken introverted guy in the same lecture as I am. School shootings have been a concern in the media for the past 10 years, but the issue has eluded thoughtful political discourse since the wake of the Columbine massacre. With two major shootings on college campuses in the past year, I am wondering: What will it take to make gun control an issue?

“Barack Obama offers hope and Hillary Clinton offers solutions, but they offer little of either on gun control,” Derrick Z. Jackson writes in the Boston Globe. Indeed, all that the candidates, including “straight talk” John McCain, seem to offer on gun violence are condolences. If a murder-suicide in a major university classroom doesn’t spark some debate, what will? Second Amendment preservation seems to stretch across party lines, with nobody willing to take a stand on tougher gun control laws.

In fact, it seems the opposite is occurring. Currently, 15 states are weighing bills to make it easier to carry guns on campuses, the New York Times reports. A main proponent of this movement is Arizona State Senator Karen S. Johnson, who says, “I feel like our kindergartners are sitting there like sitting ducks.” See, she felt the bill should cover all public schools, K-12.

Meanwhile, a “heavily-medicated” man who was institutionalized within the past ten years was able to legally purchase six weapons in Illinois. And the ammunition he used to kill five at Northern Illinois University? Purchased from the same website as the Virginia Tech killer.

So if I’m a little shifty-eyed in the lecture hall, please forgive me. Access to guns is as easy as ever, and with nobody willing to talk about it, I fear it’s only going to get worse.

3/16/2008 10:48:51 PM

As a confirmed skeptical/moderate, I've tried to weigh the arguments of both sides. Visited dozens of sites, many with agendas, many without. Some of the most succinct points I've come away with are: 1.Vast majority of gun crimes are by people with a ciminal record. 2.Most gun crimes happen in high crime areas (Chicago+gun free=much higher than the rest of IL. 3.Criminals will obtain and use guns regardless of the laws. 4.Gun Free/Gun banned zones don't deter mass killings (rather obvious) 5.Total gun bans are a fallacy (see 3). 6.John Stossel can cover a topic better in 30 min. than Micheal Moore can in 2 hours. Lastly, the 2nd amendment aside, "Life,Liberty and the..." Life being the first of the Inalienlable Rights in the D of I, Re:I should be allowed to protect that right via the best means available, be it laws, law enforcement, or personal means.

3/16/2008 4:16:05 PM

Liberals have a history of not using their brains and instead "just follow your heart". You can not get around the fact that any time there is well meaning or political pandering (the kind that you want) gun control put in place, crime in that community of states goes up 86% of the time. The very logical reason (something liberals strugle with is logic); Criminals do not care what law you put in front of them. That is the reason that they are criminals.... they do not obey the law. Therefore if you pass your law that no one can buy guns, the only people that you will be taking guns from are the good people that can stop the killers that Liberals do there best to keep out of prison. Liberals just hate logic....

Bill Chastings
3/15/2008 3:17:38 PM

The US is the only "advanced" nation that holds gun ownership as a sacred "Constitutional" right, and ignores the historical context of the Second Amendment in oursuit of this "right." No politician dares to talk against it; after all consider the campaign against Michael Moore for his temerity to challenge this sacred cow. The truth is,guns kill people; the statistics are overwhelmingly so. But what is really terrible, is that ONE, the gun industry is extremely lucrative and backed by politicians and their lobbyists, and TWO, that we promote this gun culture around the world as we sell them massive excess production, quite regardless of the endless suffering it causes to the least powerful people who are the victims.

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