My friend Josh Fielder posted this fantastic essay in Facebook two days ago after President Obama released his new gun control proposal – a day after the National Rifle Association released a new ad targeting the Obama girls. (Yes, this is the same NRA that blamed violent video games for the Sandy Hook tragedy and then released its own mobile target-shooting game a month later.) For highlights of Obama’s proposal, visit this link.
So, here's my two cents (which will end up being closer to $1.50, I'm sure) and I'm sure I will regret posting this later, due to the "friends" I will lose while exercising my First Amendment, but here goes:
Instead of posting a meme with a picture and a falsely-attributed quote or a made-up statistic, I've spent my time researching the gun violence/gun control debate. And I'd like to talk about some of the pervasive themes I've seen lately.
First off, Hitler did not say, "In order to conquer a country, you must first disarm its citizens." In fact, Hitler made it his position to enable guns to be obtained more easily. (See this link.)
Thirdly, there is NO law or bill being considered that would allow anyone to come marching into your home to take your legally-obtained and legally-owned firearms. There are possible laws that are being explored that would require more responsibility on the part of the gun owner or person purchasing a gun (i.e. pass a background check even if buying a gun from a gun show dealer). If you buy a car from a dealer, it must be registered (a record of the transfer is documented). If you buy a car from a private citizen, it must be registered. If you buy a gun from a dealer, there is a record of that sale and it is registered. So how is it illogical to require the same for private sales of firearms?
Fourth, there are not more people being killed with baseball bats than guns. If you disagree with that because you saw a picture stating otherwise on the internet, then I would like to offer you the chance to buy some oceanfront property in Arizona and I'll throw in the Brooklyn Bridge for free. There is no magical solution for solving the problem of gun violence. THAT is what we need to solve. (See this link.)
The media is not hiding other gun-related stories because they want to sensationalize the problem; they are simply unable to cover every gun death story because there would be an average of 80 of them each day. So they concentrate (unfortunately) on the massacres which, I think we can all agree, happen all too often.
I find the fact that more children are killed in the U.S. by guns than in the entire Middle East region very disturbing.
I find it disturbing that the NRA blames the rise in violent shootings on video games and then comes out with its own shooting video game (categorized for children as young as 4 years of age) less than a month after Newtown.
I find it disturbing that other countries spend in excess of twice as much as the U.S. on violent video games and have a small fraction of the amount of gun-related deaths/injuries.
I find it disturbing that instead of looking for a solution to a problem like Newtown, there are people wasting their time and energy trying to turn it into a conspiracy theory.
I find it disturbing that a child in America is 12 times more likely to be killed with a gun than the rest of the "developed" world.
I find it disturbing that there are more privately-owned guns in America than the next SEVENTEEN countries combined.
I find it disturbing that all of these statistics are not discussed but fake statistics about a baseball bat death rate are plastered everywhere.
I find it disturbing that some people believe that the ONLY answer to this problem is more guns.
Banning all firearms is NOT the answer, which is exactly why it's not being proposed. This country has enacted laws that didn't work before, so they've been revised, repealed and reformed. Isn’t it ludicrous to think that we evolve as a society but the laws governing us cannot? The NRA states that the assault weapons ban didn't work the first time. Well, you know what they say: "If at first you don't succeed, f*%k it.” If armed guards are the only answer to ending school shootings, then explain the Virginia Tech shooting. Virginia Tech had an entire police department complete with a SWAT unit. Explain Columbine, which had an armed officer on staff. When discussing an end to gun violence in schools, there should be NOTHING left off the table.
Ronald Reagan, a huge gun proponent and signer of the Brady Bill, wrote to Congress in 1994 asking them to propose legislation limiting or stopping altogether the manufacture of guns classified as assault weapons. (Anyone who says "assault weapon" is a made-up term should remember that every word in every language is, in fact, made up.)
No, criminals don't typically obey laws, but we still have them. Can you use that logic to say there should be no laws at all? No.
The president enacted 23 executive actions today, of which only two have anything to do with limiting the availability of a category of gun or a magazine capacity. The remaining 21 deal with aspects regarding background checks, school safety and mental health system requirements and deficiencies. Will it be a perfect solution? No. Will it help? We'll see. Is it better than doing nothing? Definitely. If we keep insisting, "It's too soon to talk about it" after each tragedy, pretty soon we'll never talk about it.
Okay, so maybe it ended up closer to $2.00 instead of two cents. So shoot me.
RBD Pet Outfitters, and promotes social, political, economic and environmental change in his spare time. He doesn’t take himself too seriously.
Sources: Politico.com, CrooksandLiars.com, CNN.com, snopes.com, centurycouncil.org, secretservice.gov.