The US is buzzing over gun laws in light of shooting in Colorado at a movie theater that killed ten people and injured scores more.   The shooter legally purchased a semi-automatic rifle, the proper equipment to make it an automatic rifle, a ammunition magazine augment, and various handguns with ease over the internet.  Proponents of gun control laws to regulate the sale of semi-automatic weapons and automatic weapons use this tragedy to point out if there were tougher laws, this wouldn’t have happened; while on the opposing side, gun enthusiasts point out that the shooter was psychologically unstable at the time of the shooting and that one “crazy” person should not be the measure of who can buy what weapon and augmentation for personal use.  As the debate rages on, there are some interesting facts that might be overlooked by both sides of the same argument.  I will explore the debate and you can make up your mind what makes the most sense for you.

Gun control proponents say that semi-automatic weapons and automatic weapons are instruments of murder that are dangerous to have in the hands of the average person.  They say that the availability of such weapons breeds events like Columbine, a deadly school shooting, and the Colorado tragedy where a man wearing body armor opened fire in two movie theaters.  The reason they point to is that guns like these shooters had have only one purpose of killing people and that no one in their right mind needs a AR 17 assault rifle to hunt deer.  They also define the constitutional amendment permitting the ownership of firearms to be for the use of a militia, not for a sole proprietor to collect and shoot at a range when he or she feels like taking it out for a “spin”.  The hardcore gun control activists say that any gun in the hands of any American citizen is a recipe for disaster, siting the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teen, by George Zimmerman whom they refer to as  an “overzealous” neighborhood watch volunteer.   With both arguments in mind, one first questions the supposition of ignorance and stupidity on the behalf of gun owners every where that one would randomly open fire on a schoolyard, theater or suspicious person in a haphazard delight for committing a crime.  Most responsible gun owners keep their weapons and ammunition under lock and key, transport their weapons separately from ammunition, practice rigid gun safety, clean their weapons, and teach their family responsible gun ownership.  These are not the people driving about Chicago killing hundreds of people, these are people who are mindful of the gun as an instrument of possible destruction and self defense.  The people committing the crimes owning guns are usually those who subscribe to a culture of gang violence, violence, or are unstable mentally and fall through the cracks of the Brady Law designed to keep guns away from mentally ill people.  It should also be noted that most mentally ill people have no desire to pick up a gun and kill as many as they so desired.  There is always going to be one or more exceptions to the rule that falls through the cracks.  It should also be noted that not everyone who sees a psychiatrist is mentally ill and homicidal, a powder keg of violence that can be satisfied with a gun.

On the behalf of gun ownership supporters, it should be noted that hunting deer with an automatic rifle is a lot like fishing with weighty dynamite.  The necessity of semi-automatic pistols or rifles that can be easily converted into automatic weaponry is questionable, considering that weapon is generally intended to cause death, destruction, and wounds capable of incapacitating a target.  Is there a real necessity to have an automatic weapon, much less one that can be converted into a heavy and quick loader, in one’s home for any purpose other than self protection?  It could be easily made available to those people wanting to commit crimes with them such as murder, or to prove a valuable point upon rival criminals.  What real purpose does having such a weapon have?  Is it truly a collector’s piece or is it insurance that should something terrible happen that requires it to be used in order to maintain and protect the country from undesirable elements?  The questions remain unanswered and sometimes the reason why exasperates gun owners to the point that response to a stupid question over and over ad nauseam gets old pretty quickly.  Yet gun control proponents pose that there are a multitude of equally effective other weapons that would be just as reliable and less lethal to innocent lives caught in a crossfire.

The question remains highly and heatedly debatable, considering the rational lists of pros and cons on both sides.  However, I find it equally annoying that someone who supports gun control uses the example of hunting deer with an AK 47 as an excusable reason to control who owns a weapon.  It is ridiculous to assume that a responsible gun owner would ever feel the need to hunt with such a weapon, imposing a kind of ignorance upon gun owners to degrade their right to bear arms.

 

 

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