There was yet another mass shooting spree recently, the horrific shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Our thoughts and prayers go to the families of the victims of this horrible tragedy, and only God’s healing spirit can provide comfort in this most difficult time. The kids who marched on Tallahassee and Washington, in response to this mass shooting, were no doubt feeling frustration, anger, and sadness. The media narrative that they were marching for gun control is incorrect – those demands were reflective of adult influence or the uninformed … they are marching because they want to be protected at school.
Mass killers usually are attacking soft targets – schools, movie theaters, concerts – you know the type: gun free zones!
There are many issues to resolve which can protect our kids, from heightened efforts to treat and identify mental illness and separating kids with evidence of such mental issues. You can arm teachers, use metal detectors, add armed guards … you harden, not soften, the target. Do you want someone to confront and eliminate the threat, or just cower in their room praying the police arrive on time?
Many did not waste a single moment before they immediately politicized this tragedy, calling for (A) immediate gun control legislation, and (B) mocking the call for prayer and support for the victim’s families. It is their default position to immediately attack in the political realm as opposed to considering the pain of those enduring the tragedy first hand.
Left off the list was a number of things that are no longer common – child rearing, punishment for bad behavior, respect for other people, respecting the value of life, being taught the permanency of death, parental responsibility, video game addiction … all of the above have a greater impact on why kids are acting out more often through the use of violence.
Make no mistake – guns are a central feature in our culture wars. Passing legislation to limit access to guns is an ongoing political objective of many. Of course, no one seems to get the irony that the same government we want to take control of our weapons and to get rid of the 2nd Amendment was tipped off (the FBI) dozens of times regarding the Parkland shooter and did nothing. This is the same government who ignored these advance complaints regarding the shooter among other high-profile failures …the same government who could not protect the school in the first place … a government bankrupt and awash in debt … these are the same people we wish to give control of our guns to, right???
Spurred once again by national tragedy, the gun control debate is raging … what are the key points on the opposing sides of gun control?
I. Arguments in favor of more gun control legislation:
- 2nd Amendment not an unlimited right to own guns. Gun control proponents point to the “well-regulated militia” language found in the amendment to argue that the language only guarantees the right to those who are members of a militia. However, the courts have interpreted it consistently throughout history as a personal right of ownership. The most recent Supreme Court rulings have stated as much:
- District of Columbia et al. v. Heller (2008). US Supreme Court majority opinion stated – “The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes….”
- McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010). The Supreme Court ruled “…that the Second Amendment is an individual right. The Founders understood that the right to own and bear a weapon is as fundamental and as essential to maintaining liberty as are the rights of free speech, a free press, freedom of religion and the other protections against government encroachments on liberty delineated in the Bill of Rights.”
- Other countries have gun control and it has worked. Switzerland and Finland among others both have high gun ownership rates, yet their death rates by gun are much lower than the US. They maintain a strict licensing and background check regime which many suggest is far more extensive than here in the US. The data, however, does not reflect mass shootings, and only refers to overall gun deaths. Further, it does not control for mental illness, disease, or homicide committed by other means. The US has a licensing and background check system, so having those in place does not ensure yourself from being free of gun violence.
- Civilians should not own military-grade weapons. No one needs to own an AR-15, so goes the argument. You don’t need it for hunting purposes, and it is an assault weapon whose only use is for mass-scale slaughter. At least, that is the narrative. An AR-15 is no different than most hunting rifles and the ammunition for a .30-.30 traditional hunting rifle is larger in diameter and can cause much more damage to the target. The only difference in most cases is the AR-15 is painted black.
II. Arguments against additional gun control legislation:
- What other countries do is not comparable to the US system and American society. Countries of a few million people, with a mono-ethnic population, are not comparable to the United States. Further, there are trade-offs in personal freedom that US citizens enjoy than many Europeans do not. Homicide rates everywhere else – Latin America, Russia, Asia – all are either police states or do have comparable homicide rates as in the US. Lastly, mass killing is not limited by gun restrictions – as seen with the number of deaths caused by knives, blunt instrument and vehicular homicide. Mass public shootings, per one million people, the US is NOT number one, but 11th … behind France, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, and just barely ahead of Canada (14th), England (15th) and Germany (16th). In England, mass stabbings have surged 21% since 2015, and gun crime is up 15% even with strict gun control laws. In other words, even with 2nd Amendment gun rights, we are no worse off than other modern Western countries contrary to mainstream media reporting – and better off than many.
- The very purpose of the 2nd Amendment is the right to own military grade weapons. The language is quite familiar to most:
- “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.”
It can be both – protecting the right to a militia and, after the comma, the right of the people to keep and bear arms so they can easily join the militia … it could be that the right to keep and bear arms must exist in order to have a militia … it explicitly says the right cannot be infringed upon … but the bottom line – it is not about protecting against crime or a mass shooting, but it is about how to maintain your freedom. This suggests we find other ways to protect our children, not by taking away fundamental Constitutional rights.
- 2nd Amendment is a protection from the government … not an issue related to school shootings and mass crime. As stated, the 2nd Amendment is not designed to allow gun owners to hunt, or even protect their homes from intruders, but to overthrow the federal government if it becomes tyrannical (these were the wishes of the Founding Fathers, NOT radicals). The United States is a revolutionary nation, born from its de-colonial roots, and its anti-monarchial creed. Centralized power was to be resisted, as the Founding Fathers exclaimed commencing with the Declaration of Independence. The 2nd Amendment is what guarantees all of the other amendments.
(Just as an FYI – these countries established gun control, you can see how well it went:
* In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
* In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
* Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
* Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
* Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
* Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.)
Gun control laws and banning guns is unconstitutional and goes against how Americans ensure they can keep their God-ordained, Constitutionally enshrined and protected freedoms. That’s what the 2nd Amendment is for. Hardening the site, adding armed guards, arming teachers, bullet-proof glass, hardened doors, restricting ingress and egress, force deployment around campus … those actions and more could have prevented the assault at Stoneman Douglas High School.
This may not have a direct effect on your money, but the fraying of the social fabric does. We are living in difficult times, and safety should be a top priority in planning out your everyday life. Our kids deserve the same consideration.