Why Guns Aren't The Bad Guy
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Politics and Activism

Why Guns Aren't The Bad Guy

Addressing the age old dilemma of gun rights from the perspective of a shooter

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Why Guns Aren't The Bad Guy
thefederalist.com

It deeply saddens me to see yet another shooting here in the United States- not only for the devastating loss of life that took place, but also for the chaos and sadness of everyone across the nation that comes after. It is a terrible thing to see these headlines splashed across the news, to see the death count coming in, and to watch as scared people streak across the screen in search of loved ones. It is a hard fact for us all that sometimes, the world isn't always just and right- things like this should never happen.

However, it also makes me unbelievably angry to watch the media coverage unfold. It of course makes me angry that a man killed 50 people and wounded countless others in Orlando, but it's more the aftermath of the event that makes me angry. Instead of focusing on the countless lives wounded or lost in this tragic event, we instead focus on politics: how can this effect laws in the future? The topic on everyone's mind, and the one that makes me the most upset, is the debate about firearms.

Now, let me preface my argument with this: I have been around guns my whole life. My dad started professionally shooting at the age of 16, and never put a rifle down after that. Today, he has won four national championship titles and smiths his own guns for shooting. And the other shooters I meet that also professionally shoot like my dad? Some of the nicest, kindest people I know. All gun activists aren't fanatics.

It's pretty commonplace when I hear a gunshot: my whole family shoots, and it's simply just one of us practicing out in the backyard. Being one of the two children he has, I was taught from a young age about firearm safety and how to properly handle and use a gun. I'm not afraid of guns, mainly because I know what they can do, and I know how to use them.

When I see the media focusing on gun rights instead of the loss of life during and after a shooting such as the one in Orlando, it makes me so angry. To me, it doesn't seem like it matters about anything else other than the gun that he used or how he used it. They report on if he purchased the gun legally, how many shots he fired, when he reloaded, whether or not anyone else knew that he purchased said gun.

They focus on the material item he used, blaming it for his actions instead of the man himself.

I think a lot of people my age have never even come into contact with a firearm. Last year, I even gave a speech about taking a firearm safety course, and over 75% of my peers had never even handled a firearm, let alone shot one. So, in addition to the media coverage of guns, most people don't know about guns and paint them in this negative light. I don't blame them: if I heard that bears killed someone every time someone went into the forest, I wouldn't go near it. Perhaps that's why education might also be an important factor in shedding light on the gun control issue.

Even so, I'm no stranger to the weird, suspicious looks I get when people find out that my house is full of guns. They look at me like I am akin to the terrorist attacks on their TV screens. And that's what makes me angry: guns automatically equal all of the bad that's in the world.

But to me, that doesn't make sense. If it was the gun that made the shooting in Orlando take place, why are the guns I have in my house not enticing me to do the same? If guns are so bad, then why is it one of my most enjoyable hobbies? Why is it a pastime that also brings joy to my life, and lets me spend time with my dad or friends when we go out and shoot?

The answer is: it's not the gun that is the evil thing. Some people are simply bad, and they use a gun to commit a heartless and ruthless act.

So, it brings me to a simple question: if I had a water balloon and decided to throw it at my brother, would it be my fault, or the water balloon's?

All I ask is for people to think about what took place. While a rifle or pistol and an automatic weapon are not the same, I firmly believe that we're all blaming the wrong thing. And, while we do need better screening to make sure guns don't fall into the wrong hands, I believe that the terrorist should be blamed for his actions, and not the weapon he was using.

Bad things happen, and sometimes, we can't change that. But I urge you to not be afraid of and angry at firearms, but instead of the terrorists using them. Guns can be used for both good and evil purposes, just like everything in this world. I ask you to give them a chance: take a class and educate yourself on firearms if you've never experienced using them for yourself. It just might change your mind.


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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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