Tuesday, February 11, 2014


There have been 80 school shootings since 2010 and more than 10 in the month of January 2014. 90 people have lost their life in that time frame, another 94 were injured, and a countless number of people will have to live with the memory of those events for the rest of their lives. In the month of January 2014, there were at least 30 gun deaths a day all across the country. In comparison, the Vietnam War saw 11 deaths per day, the American Revolutionary War saw 11 deaths per day, the War of 1812 saw 15 deaths per day, the Mexican-American war saw 29 deaths per day, the Philippine-American war saw 3.8 deaths per day and our current war, the War on Terror, is averaging about 1.57 deaths per day.

Let me be clear in saying that I believe in the right to keep and bear arms. I also believe in personal accountability and common sense. The fact that it is harder to get a silencer for a weapon than to get the weapon itself shows just how deeply flawed our gun ownership process is. About 75% of the US population drive cars. To do so, you must pass both a driving test to show you can use the machine and a written exam to prove you know the laws. With only 40% of Americans claiming to own a gun in their home, deaths by gun and deaths by motor vehicle were almost identical in 2010 and yet gun purchases and licenses do not require the same precautions drivers licenses do. There are stipulations on how fast you can drive but not magazine sizes. Stipulations on where you can drive yet many politicians support conceal carry laws. Cars must be inspected regularly yet guns go unchecked for safety or modifications once purchased.

Many argue that gun ownership is important for self defense and I do not disagree. While much of what I just said sounds anti-gun, it isn't; what I just said is pro-responsible gun ownership. I don't believe in banning guns altogether, but I will offer a case study that shows how gun laws can positively affect a country: gun politics in Australia.

A big misconception about gun ownership in Australia is that you are not allowed to own any guns. On the contrary, everyone in the country is allowed to own a gun as long as they meet specific conditions; key among those are the following: must be over 18 years old, must possess a firearms licensee, must be able to safely store your weapons, and a mandatory registration of the weapon to the owner by serial number. Aside from the safe storage of the weapon, all of that sounds identical to car ownership in the United States.

A series of violent gun incidents from 1984 to 1996 culminated in one of the most gruesome shootings this world has ever seen. Six weeks after a gunman entered the Dunblane Primary School armed with 4 handguns and killed 17 people (15 of which were children only 5 years old), a lone gunman with a history of poor mental health (violence, erratic behavior, etc) killed 35 people, injuring an additional 23, with two legally purchased military style semi-automatic rifles. The Port Arthur massacre, as it has come to be known, shook the entire continent and an outcry for the ban on firearms went out from all corners of Australia.

A 2012 article in the Washington Post (article can be found here) which cites a study by Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University, found that the firearm homicide rate and suicide rates both fell by drastic margins in the decade after the laws were introduced to the country: 59% and 65% respectively. At the same time, there was no increase in non-firearm related homicides or suicides. And mass shootings? Not a single one since the 1996 Port Arthur massacre mentioned above.

The NRA, in 2000, chimed in with claims that since the law passed violent crimes had increased in Australia. It did not take long for the federal Attorney General to accuse the NRA of falsifying government statistics and urged the NRA to remove the information from their website. Although the  NRA began as an organization that promoted firearm safety and competency, it has been a strong supporter of looser gun laws worldwide even in the face of mass shootings in this country.

Gun laws are tough to discuss. Many Americans feel strongly about their guns and none of them want to lose their right to bare arms. Most Americans, however, are in favor of background checks and proper gun legislation. I say it is time for our politicians to listen to the American public. There is no reason our schools need to be as dangerous as our wars. We know it can be done because it has been done elsewhere.

What are your thoughts on gun control?


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  2. I think a lot of the 2nd amendment supporters beef is that people who are good, hardworking and law abiding citizens are the people being limited. The few people who refuse to follow the laws or just go mad are ruining it on a daily basis of the people who repeat the privilege of owning a weapon. They are pissed off and I don't blamed them for it. You mentioned before that there are laws that tell people how fast you can drive, but not limits on magazine size? Tell me though, do those limits have any effect on the crooked or the ignorant? Absolutely not. People will still drive 65 in a 45 or worse. Even after you take away their cars and licenses, people will still find a way to drive. Now without regard for anyone else. They all lack insurance too those cheeky bastards. So what is limiting magazine round going to do to them? honestly? If someone wants to kill people well the boston bombers... enough said.
    As you know, I agree with you on mental background checks. There are some unstable people out there and we need to make it difficult for them to acquire guns. I am also a supporter of the "if you can afford to buy it, you can afford to lock it up" motto. However, if you have a clean record and pass a mental examination every so many years you should be allowed to own what you want and add the safety attachments that have been overly embellished by the movie industries. Example, Silencers are not silent. they are made so when an officer goes into an apartment and lets off a round on a criminal. He does not loose his hearing (same applies for a homeowner defending him/herself.) So I agreed with you that it's ridiculous the government made it harder to obtain a silencer than a gun. Just probably not in the way you imagined. Final example, "collapsable stocks" not to be confused with "folding stocks." Either case does not make it easier to hide a weapon and even if they did it would be by means of trench coat. If you do not know to avoid people in trench coats, there was probably no saving you anyway. Collapsable stocks were made to adjust to the shooters comfort so he or she can properly use that specific tool properly and in the safest manner possible. Unfortunately... yet... again... the people who pay attention to the laws are stripped of there safety because someone saw too many Steven Seagal movies. Now people are out there improperly holding their weapons. Thanks a lot Steve. Oh and you are part of the problem, even if you are a huge gun supporter. Perhaps it's time that laws be passed by experts instead of some fear mongerers. Perhaps its time that all these anti gun celebrities stop making movies with gun violence in them. Perhaps the only time people get upset about gun violence in schools is when it has to do with white suburbia. Perhaps something needs to change. Perhaps it won't. Perhaps we are all fucked. Perhaps we should all start worrying about how we are going to protect ourselves. You see that? Total mind-fuck ;)

  3. 1) It is "bear" arms, not "bare" arms. Check your last paragraph.

    2) Owning a weapon is NOT a privilege - it is an inherent, human right - the right of self defense. The Second Amendment simply recognizes that existing right, as do all the Amendments in the Bill of Rights. This is a precept accepted by all Constitutional Scholars, the government, the entire courts system, and the Supreme Court (basically anyone and everyone that matters). Driving is a privilege, according to the law. If the "right of driving" were enshrined in the constitution, your argument might be legally valid. As it stands, it has no bearing or standing under the law.

    3) Because of #2, you cannot pass laws restricting a Right, the same as you could pass restricting access to a privilege. The reason any other country on earth can legally pass these laws, is that no one but the US enshrines the right to keep and bear arms in its Constitution.

    4) Things like gun bans, magazine limits, etc will eventually always be overturned on appeal to the Supreme Court, even if passed in haste by extreme legislators. We see this is case law over the last decade. Liberal legislators pass whatever they like, and it gets overturned by the courts on decisions made from groups suing the government, or in criminal cases. This is why cases like Heller and McDonald got decided the way they did. These decisions were no surprise inside the legal community, because the Law and the Constitution are very much like Math and Science - they are what they are, and actually leave little room for Judicial Activism an Interpretation.

    5) You will continue to see a loosening of gun laws in this country. This is not because of the NRA, nor is it because of widening public opinion on the subject supporting loosening of these laws. It will continue to happen because the law and the Constitution support the Second Amendment, by their very nature. Current laws that have been passed (magazine limits, gun bans, bans against open carry, subjective concealed carry laws, etc) are overly restrictive, legally speaking, and violate the Constitution and specifically the Second Amendment by "infringing" on the individual right to keep and bear arms.

    6) It is sad that criminals commit crimes. But, this is a fact of life, and can be combatted in ways other than restricting Civil Rights of law-abiding citizens. No one's life, including my own, is worth more than Freedom, as possessed by the collective of individuals that make up this great nation.