For the first time, I am struggling to put my anger into words. I am completely astonished by the reaction some people are having to solve the problem of mass shootings in this country. People are getting defensive when we have a mass shooting epidemic unlike any country in the world.
I don’t have anything against guns. I like them, believe it or not. I’ve been around them; Hunting with them, shooting with them. I’m a pretty damn good shot too (I’ve always been able to keep up with the boys). Many people I know have guns in their homes. Some of my favorite people in the world use guns constantly. And if you are a gun owner, like I might be someday, my opinion should not threaten you. Nobody is trying to take your gun away.
I know the day I walk into a store to buy a weapon that can kill someone, I would personally be completely ok with going through an extensive background check, waiting three days or even a month to obtain the gun, passing a gun safety course, not being able to purchase military-style assault rifles or high capacity magazines and bump stocks (someone explain to me why you would want one of these), and really any other precautions that come with it.
And If you think an extensive background check will show signs of reoccurring violent crime and no sign of reform, maybe you should reconsider buying a gun. I think all of these things are worth the lives of children in schools, and come at a small price to me, a future gun owner. I think the ability to purchasing a tool used to kill things should come with some safety measurements and precautions, is that so bad?
Another thing. As a future gun owner, am still having trouble understanding why people are placing the blame on mental health or media violence. In America, we don’t have substantially more crazy people. We don’t have substantially more violent video games or movies. But more people are killing mass quantities of citizens. How does that make sense? Because what America has substantiallymore of than any other country, is guns with little to no regulations. If a mentally ill person who plays a lot of video games wants to come stab me with a knife then I’m ok with that, but he should not be legally allowed to purchase a military-style assault rifle to shoot up a school. No problematic, mentally ill person should.
Something I have heard a lot of, such as Making laws about guns won't stop guns because you can get them on the black market. Well, making a law that says “don’t kill people” isn’t going to stop people from killing. People still kill, steal, go over the speed limit all of the time. Think if those regulations weren’t even in place. And honestly, if a troubled person wants to get a gun on the black market go ahead, but at least he didn’t get it legally with government permission.
The last and most important point about increasing gun regulation is the fact that background checks in America don’t give all the information needed to tell whether a person is qualified to own a gun. This problem is also called “slipping through the cracks” or people “ignoring the signs”, but these things happen too often to be a coincidence. Getting kicked out of school, mental health records and criminal backgrounds of any kind need to be mandatory to report.
In Switzerland, authorities have a list of about 2,000 individuals they suspect of being willing to commit shootings. All of them are frequently approached by authorities, along with psychologists, and are forced to hand over their weapons immediately or are barred from purchasing new ones. Switzerland has the third highest rate of gun ownership and is often compared to America when it comes to liberal gun laws. It has only had 2 shootings in the past 20 years. They have the ability to purchase guns easily but have more regulations with gun ownership.
We have many other problems. State and federal laws don’t agree. For example, in South Carolina, you can walk up to a counter and buy a gun immediately with no background check. Also, We allow private sale which gives the right to just about anyone to buy a gun. Have you ever seen the video of the 13-year-old not being denied lottery tickets and cigarettes but buying a gun at a gun show? There are many other things, but all I’m saying as a potential future gun owner is that I don’t think there should be a problem with wanting regulations.
I understand America's history of guns, the Second Amendment, and keeping our rights as citizens. But I'm also not stupid enough to believe you can fight violence with more violence. More guns will create more of a problem and it's always best to be proactive than reactive. If you can stop the problem in the first place, why wouldn't you? I don't understand why is taking a little more time and effort to buy a gun in order to save lives so offensive to some people? This may not be the answer, but to me, it seems like the right thing to do.