I originally planned to write about my excitement for the new indoor shooting range that just opened in Fargo.
While I was planning my article, however, another mass shooting occurred in the U.S., helping solidify the debate about which I was on the fence.
Mass shootings occur in the U.S. on a regular basis. And I’ve pretty much come to the point of not even caring anymore.
After every major shooting incident, the same old arguments come up in favor of gun regulation and those against gun regulation, which leads to nothing being done to prevent these types of tragedies.
I am in favor of stricter gun laws. I am in favor of mandatory background checks, mental health evaluations and mandatory gun safety courses to be completed before anyone is allowed to own a firearm. I believe in regulation on the types of firearms that people are allowed to own, as well as the type of ammunition and the size of the magazines they can have.
This may seem a bit weird since I am excited about the new shooting range, but regardless of if we like guns or not, we must admit that we have a problem in this country due to the lax gun laws.
There are a few key arguments that people who are against gun laws use:
The argument that “gun-free zones” are a bad idea because they do not deter mass shootings is completely idiotic. The purpose of “gun-free zones” is not to deter mass shootings, but to prevent accidental injury or death.
A prime example is of the shooting that involved the military recruiters. After the attack, some recruiters decided to come to work the next day with their own private weapons.
That same day a recruiter accidentally shot himself in the leg with his own weapon while at work. “Gun-free zones” are in place to prevent accidents, not to deter mass shootings.
The people who use this argument are naïve. They believe that if everyone had a gun, then people would be afraid to shoot up a school, church or other public places because they will be afraid to.
They believe that if there were more people with guns, the rampage would not last as long, thus saving more lives.
There are few problems with this. First, studies have shown that when people are in the presence of a gun, they become more aggressive.
Second, a lot of people do not have the proper training to engage in an active shooter situation. Also: how would we be able to distinguish between a good guy with a gun and a bad guy with a gun?
We already have good guys with guns (law enforcement officers) who have training, and even they end up making mistakes sometimes.
People also like to fall back on the Second Amendment to justify their view on not having gun laws. However, they tend to leave out the “well-regulated militia” portion of this amendment.
Cities with strict laws/criminals do not follow laws
This argument is used to provide support that stricter laws lead to more crime. The problem with this is that these people are using correlative studies to determine causation.
The main issue with this is that you cannot determine whether the strict laws cause more crime or whether high crime rates lead to stricter gun laws by simply looking at the statistics.
Another problem with this is that even though one city or state may have stricter gun laws, there is nothing stopping a person from going to another area with lax gun laws to buy a gun.
The other part of this argument is that criminals would not follow those laws, so you would only be harming law-abiding citizens. This argument has to be one of the dumbest. Essentially you could use this argument to get rid of all laws.
People have other means of killing
People use this argument to show that many different things other than guns can kill you.
One of my Facebook friends shared a story about an attack that took place in China back in March of 2014. The attack left at least 29 people dead and 130 wounded. The attack was carried out using knives in a crowded train station.
Let’s look at this story a bit more closely. There were more than four attackers — one was arrested, three were killed and authorities were looking for others.
If these terrorists were able to kill 29 people and injury another 130, imagine how much more damage could have been done if they had firearms.
Yes, knives can kill people, but it is much easier to kill with a gun, both in technique and scope.
The way I see it, we have two choices: We can either address that guns are partially responsible for the deaths associated with them and try to prevent these types of tragedies from occurring.
Or we can just say,”Screw it. Shit happens” and leave it at that.
Refusing to assign any blame to guns is taking the cowardly way out.