— Jon Stewart (via kristinastewartcolbert)
Some people don’t want to hear any more about the recent slaughter of innocent Americans. Too bad. Silence on this subject perpetuates the status quo and therefore makes those who keep silent directly complicit in the continuation of these unacceptable events. People react to, and express grief differently, but if you’re not horrified, sad, and extremely angry at yet another of these incidents along with the daily occurrence of gun violence, there is something fundamentally wrong with your humanity.
It’s time for gun control reform. Our current approach is a completely unacceptable failure. Gun ownership needs to be treated at least as stringently as owning and operating a vehicle with age requirements, training, testing, registration, sales tracking, and with regularly repeated renewals of licenses required. Various types of weapons should require their own certification. Ammunition access should be limited in quantity and also tracked and sold only to licensed weapons owners and dealers. The size of clips need to be limited as well. Secure storage of weapons and ammunition needs to be a requirement also since this is how most guns end up in the hands of criminals, children, and impaired individuals. Even more rigorous training by professional experts should be required for conceal and carry permits.
The arguments I hear in favor of the status quo are fallacious:
“If you take away our guns, only criminals will have guns”- No, people who are competent and skilled will have guns to protect themselves and for target shooting and hunting purposes.
“People determined to kill can kill with other weapons” True, but not with the efficiency of guns. 22 people were reportedly stabbed in China on the same day as the CT. school shootings, none of them died. It’s far, far easier to disarm or escape from someone who doesn’t have a gun.
“Terrorists killed thousands with only box cutters or fertilizer” Yes, and we enacted stringent regulations in response to decrease the possibility of those events reoccurring. That’s what we need to do with guns which have killed far more people in the US than terrorist acts and the wars that followed combined.
“If someone at the theater, school, etc. had been armed, they could have stopped the monster” It’s extremely unlikely that in a chaotic, crowded situation that an untrained gunslinger would do anything other than shoot more innocent bystanders. Even trained law enforcement officers shoot bystanders in these crowded chaotic situations. There’s lots of armchair Dirty Harry’s out there who live in a tv fantasy world where they are dead eye shots and heroes. The reality of facts say otherwise. Arming everyone to the teeth is only a guarantee of even more death and mayhem.
“The 2nd Amendment guarantees our right to bear arms” Only in regards to a well regulated militia using muskets. What’s the name of your militia and who is it regulated by? We have already established that certain people may have gun ownership denied such as felons. It is not a precedent to extend those restrictions to those deemed incompetent to own fire arms.
The NRA is one of the most powerful lobbies in the world. It’s dedicated to preserving an industry worth billions. It could give a rat’s ass about you or your loved one’s safety. Its message of fear is meant to inspire sales and nothing more. There is nothing noble or patriotic whatsoever in supporting them.
It’s well past time to speak out loudly enough to drown out big money lobbyists and demand change.