To touch on the issue of gun reform, gun control, or whatever you would like to call it. I think it is important to note that doing things like requiring a professional evaluation before being 'permitted' to exercise your second amendment rights places too much power in the hands of those who do the evaluations.
So we shouldn't
try and evaluate the people we're giving dangerous firearms to? Saying "Guns don't kill people" is just like saying "defibrillators don't save people." I don't think anybody is saying "Take the guns away," but the fact of the matter, Leslie, is that Obama is exactly right; America is the ONLY "developed" country where these mass shootings happen on a regular basis, and statistics show that countries with stricter gun laws than America have less gun-related deaths than America. America has the laxest gun laws and the most gun crime in the Western World. So why on Earth wouldn't stricter gun laws be a sensible idea?
People are not perfect. People are prone to making mistakes, and to taking advantage of their position for personal reasons or just personal gain. Such a system where a limited body of a few determine which of the masses is permitted to take advantage of their constitutionally granted rights is assured to fall into corruption based only on the fact that it is composed of, sponsored by, and over seen by fallible humans.
You know what? I would rather people get a bit corrupt from choosing who got guns than another school got shot up in a few months, but that's just me. But by your own logic...you're saying that we shouldn't have a group of people saying "This person is a felon previously convicted of Assault With A Deadly Weapon," or "This person is convinced that the voices in his head are Angels telling him that all Latinos need to die" (an extreme case, but it's possible; psychosis takes many forms, after all), so it's probably best NOT to give them a gun.
Besides, by your own logic, that means we shouldn't even have a government, since they're in the business of telling us what we can and can't do. We shouldn't have background checks for employment, since that means that the individuals are telling us whether or not we can work, we shouldn't have an application process for schools, since everybody has the right to education....it's a nice idea, but it's misguided. Some people just shouldn't be allowed certain shit.
Also, on the note of your Second Amendment, it actually reads:
"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."
First off, it's kinda vague by what it means by "militia;" does it refer to the national guard or the army, or each states independent militia? Either way, not important. The reason I bring this up is because:"A well regulated Militia""Well Regulated""Well Regulated"
IN THE CONSTITUTION, it says "REGULATED militia," which suggests some government oversight as to who gets the firearm and who doesn't. It doesn't say "GUNS FOR EVERYBODY, NO EXCEPTIONS!"
I don't see why so much effort is spent in trying to determine who can or should be able to purchase a firearm, when the gun itself is not the issue.
...to....stop these shootings happening so often? Countries with fewer guns and more gun control have less gun crime. You're arguing against pretty ironclad statistics here. I agree that guns aren't the root cause, but SO WHAT? The fact that anybody with ill-intent can SO EASILY get a firearm IS a problem that needs to be addressed, and the more you oppose it, the more you're inadvertently saying "These mass shootings? I don't really want to solve them." You can address the root cause AND the equipment used by people to do harm. It isn't a "one or the other" thing. So tell me exactly...why shouldn't America have tighter gun laws, if it's been proven that tighter gun laws reduce gun crime?
Oh, and Gun Free Zones have fewer gun crimes. Just putting it out there.
The issue is the state of the culture those guns exist in, and the levels of rational thought existing within said society. Guns are dangerous right now, yes, because our society is so perfectly tuned to produce dangerous, uncompromising people who are prone to severe and radical thoughts.
I agree, and that needs to be addressed. But why can't you also put stricter gun laws in place to STOP THOSE PEOPLE GETTING FIREARMS? You're never going to de-radicalise everybody and you're never going to be able to catch and pre-emptively stop every serial killer and mass shooter, so why not cut them off at the knees and make them getting the WEAPONS they use much harder? Law abiding, average citizens would have almost nothing to worry about in getting guns, but people who might be issues WOULD. This is one of the occasions where a "Big Government" is necessary, since they're responsible for societies well being, and having a mass shooting every few months is NOT good for society. Plus, people use guns for more than just "radical thought." There are people who use them to commit murders over personal matters, or people who use them to attack people because they've been pissed off or had a bad day at work. How do you address THOSE issues?
This is a matter of culture, not law.
Completely and utterly wrong. It IS a matter of law, since these weapons are used to BREAK the law and hurt people. While you're arguing for a "change in society," the chances are, somebody out there in America is right now picking up a gun with the intent to do harm.
You're arguing with statistics here. 90% of the American populace supports gun law reform. only 13% of gun crime occurs in gun free zones. In the UK, for example, where gun laws are rather strict, you are 58 times less likely
to get shot. In Europe, there is roughly 1 gun death per 100,000 people every year. In America, that figure is closer to 9 or 10. Yes, society plays a role, but it's indisputable that the ease of access to guns in the USA also plays a role, and the statistics show that if you increase the strictness of gun laws, you get less gun crime. It's as simple as that! Basically what you're advocating is NOT passing gun reform laws and thereby causing more people to die. You can address the society in the long run, but in the short run at the very least, the USA NEEDS to increase its gun legislation. It's the laxest in the Western World and America has the MOST proportional gun violence. Increase gun legislation, decrease gun crime. It really is that goddamn simple.
We need a change in our society. We need more tolerance towards each other, and towards those who are different from us.
Agreed. But how will that stop people like the Sandy Hook Shooter from gunning people down? There will ALWAYS be loners and there will ALWAYS be people who are a little unhinged and there will ALWAYS be people with extreme ideas. You can't stamp them out completely. It just isn't possible. So what do you do? YOU MAKE IT HARDER FOR THEM TO GET DEADLY WEAPONS. I agree that American Society needs to change, but why is that mutually exclusive with gun control? This isn't an argument against gun control, this is just an argument for societal change, which inevitably happens at a slow rate. The only anti-gun control argument I've heard is "It'll take away my rights!" Sorry, but if a universal background check would deny you a firearm, you aren't the kind of person I want having a gun in the first place.
Your right to swing your arms around ends at somebody elses face. If there is reasonable cause to think that you could use your gun to hurt somebody, or you've used it to hurt somebody in the past, you no longer have that right because you can't be trusted. Guns aren't toys, and they shouldn't be handed out like they are.
Right now, we have less and less. It has become common to think that because something offends us, that thing has to stop happening. It doesn't matter if a majority of people do not find it offensive, if one person is offended, it is suddenly a huge deal. This is a wrong way of thinking, this sort of mentality elevates the self and lowers the value of community.
And yet, that is what you're saying in regards to gun control, at least if I've read your position correctly. "The majority of people support stricter gun laws, but since I don't agree with them, it shouldn't be done." I agree that the deeper issue is with society...but why on Earth is that mutually exclusive or in any way an argument against gun legislation reform? If anything, it's an argument FOR gun reform, since by your own words, your society can't be trusted with firearms at this point in time.
I don't believe guns need to be regulated any more than they are today. We should close loopholes that allow guns to be purchased without criminal background checks,
...which in and of itself is increasing regulation, but whatever.
but I feel we need to spend some time in collective cultural meditation, until we understand that we're one people. In spite of our differences, we are America (sorry non-USA people, I'm speaking from my view of my nation). Until we stop hating each other, it doesn't matter what weapons we limit. We're always going to find a way to kill each other.
Naivete at its height. I'm sorry, but it is. It's a lovely idea and I wish the world worked that way, but do you honestly think that Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia and all the others in the last four or five years wouldn't have happened if the killers had meditated a little? They did. They meditated and considered their own thoughts and the actions they wanted to take, and decided that shooting people was a good idea. The statistics show that you are wrong. More legislation and regulation == less gun crime. And I'm not in the business of saying "people, we should all meditate and realise that we are one people!" I'm in the business of saving lives, and gun regulation will do just that. It's proven that more gun laws results in less gun crime. It's common sense. Guns need to be regulated, since they are DANGEROUS. If you legalised drugs, for example, would you just say "Ah, everybody take what you want!" No! You'd regulate it to minimise the amount of people hurt by its new ready availability because drugs are DANGEROUS. Same with guns. Anything as dangerous as a firearm should be regulated to try and stop it from being used to hurt people.
I am a "democrat" though I pretty much identify independent, I'm not a gun owner, and I never intend on being a gun owner.
So what? No offence, but it doesn't matter since you're provably wrong. Yes, society needs to change, but so too does gun legislation or people WILL continue to die. How exactly do you intend to enforce this "everybody meditate and realise we're all one?" How do you intend to ensure that they come to that conclusion? How do you intend to make sure that nobody meditates and comes out with the prejudices they went in with? How do you intend to ensure that those people don't then go out and commit mass shootings, just like they would have beforehand? How do you intend to legislate this meditation? How do you intend to get everybody to do it, especially if they say "nah, don't feel like it?" Will you force them? It's a lovely idea and American society DOES need to change, but it's just not a practical solution. What you're advocating, besides closing a couple of loopholes, is doing diddly squat to prevent the next mass shooting. Meditation on a national level will simply not work due to the diverse and inherently bias nature of humanity. The only thing the government can do while it's trying to push society forwards - at a slow pace, since societal change will only ever come gradually - is enforce laws that make people safer. And gun control laws MAKE. PEOPLE. SAFER. The statistics PROVE this. Your idea is lovely and I wish it would work in practice, but in the real world, it would never have the effect you hope it would. But go ahead, try, and I hope I'm proven wrong. In the meantime, however, I'll be over here in a country where there isn't a gun for every resident and where mass shootings happen once in a blue moon as opposed to once every few months because guns are rarer.
Culturally speaking, the UK and the USA aren't really that different. There are a few key differences, of course - the UK populace is, as a rule, generally less religious than the USA's, we don't tend to - as people - get bent out of shape over race or sexuality as much and a few other differences, but when it comes down to it, we're actually extremely similar. And yet we have - proportionally speaking - MUCH less gun crime than you do. Why is that? Oh yeah. Less guns and more gun control laws. You can still GET them legally, it's just relatively difficult.
So....yeah. Your idea of cultural meditation is lovely in theory, but in practice? It wouldn't really do a damn thing. I'm sorry, I really am. But the only real way to curb gun violence with immediate
effect, at least, is more gun regulation. It really is that simple.