Archive for April 29, 2013
Gun control is currently the subject of a lot of national debate. Many recent shootings have offered us conflicting feelings on gun control. Is it better to limit access to guns so that potential killers are not as likely to receive them, or make sure that people can protect themselves? There is no easy answer. Many people agree that future tragedies could be prevented by responsible citizenry having access to guns. There are several issues that pro gun control advocates have with this, however. One issue is that gun owners are more likely to shoot and injure, or kill, people they know rather than intruders. This often has to do with people acting on panic and instinct rather than logic when it comes to disarming a potential intruder. Often times a child coming home at late, a spouse rummaging for a late night snack, or having poor aim, result in a too quickly pulled trigger and an unnecessary injury. Pro gun control advocates will point out that the chances of a school shooter coming to any particular college lecture hall are incredibly low, while the likelihood that a scared armed student will accidentally hit someone who is unarmed and mistaken for a shooter, is a lot higher. People acting on impulse is one reason pro gun control advocates desire education and stricter licensing. Several big headline cases lately have shown that white people often perceive black men to be dangerous, especially if they fit a thug stereotype by wearing hoodies and loose jeans. This fact probably surprises few but is a racial issue that becomes exacerbated when white people acting on this socialized fear shoot first, and ask questions about why someone was in a neighborhood later. Many people who do not agree with pro gun control argue that bad people will always find a way to get guns, and the only people really being punished or limited by these laws are honest citizenry. To an extent, this is certainly true, since potential murderers are not likely to respect other laws. However, gun control statistics of other countries that limit or outlaw gun ownership completely, as well as state by state comparisons of where guns are and are not easier to purchase, are highly suggestive and there is a clear relationship between gun control measures that limit legal access, and a decrease in the amount of deaths and injuries by guns.