Editorial: Leftover debate gets reheated

To many people, tighter restrictions on guns seem like an attack on Second Amendment rights. It seems like this issue is all over the news and online. Is it really such a big deal that Obama came out with a list of recommendations?
Following several acts of violence involving guns, most notably semi-automatics, Obama came out with his proposed plan to reduce gun violence. Soon after Obama announced his plans, NRA members and gun rights activists exploded in rage over what was happening.
At www.whitehouse.gov/now-is-the-time, there is a rundown of Obama’s plan to help end gun violence. If you go down the list and think rationally, it isn’t hard to come to the conclusion that these “suggestions” are not completely incomprehensible.
The first thing on Obama’s list is to strengthen background checks on those who buy guns. Currently, some types of sales don’t require background checks. Why shouldn’t they require that for every gun and ammunition purchase? If you are going to buy a gun, you should be open to a check on your criminal history.
The second on the list is banning assault rifles and magazines that hold 20 or more rounds. This seems to be the part that is getting the most attention. Ban the big guns and the little guns are sure to follow, but is that true? Let’s face it, does anyone really need an assault rifle in his or her closet?
Third, and quite possibly the most important, is to make schools safer. Proposed in this part of the plan is taking a part of the law enforcement budget and hiring officers to be in schools. This could sound somewhat tyrannical, but where some of us grew up it is already done.
The fourth part of the plan involves the improvement of mental health services. This will include training for teachers to help them recognize the signs of mental illnesses and helping those with mental illnesses get treatment.
These four recommendations are reasonable, especially in light of all the things that have been happening recently. The main question is, will making these recommendations really change anything? In short, probably not – it is all up to the people and the states they live in.
There are places like Texas where most of these recommendations will never go through. Other locations may take them to heart. However, the bigger picture shows that unless everyone gets on board, nothing will change.
Even if guns were illegal, people who really want them will get them. For a small reminder of this, we just need to look back at prohibition. People would just be making their own guns like they did their own alcohol, or selling guns on the Black Market.
Another thing that makes these suggestions moot will be gun fanatics. The people who are currently crying out saying that Obama is a dictator and we are losing Second Amendment rights are the ones who will keep gun legislation the way it is.
It is fine to own a gun. It is fine to go out and shoot at your local range or go out hunting, but like most things, moderation is the key. Nobody needs a 100 guns sitting at home. What are you preparing for? Protecting your home is okay, but that only takes one gun.
What kind of example are people who hoard guns really setting for their kids? It takes one generation to start a trend, but if you drill the thought into your kids that a room full of guns is necessary, they will believe it and pass it on.
To be completely honest, the answer to decreasing gun violence is not in a list of plans or in better education alone. The answer to decreasing gun violence is in a combination of the two and the willingness of people to accept that something is wrong and it needs to be fixed.
It has been said that “Guns don’t kill people; people kill people.” That statement is half true. Guns by themselves do not kill people but people with guns do. The quicker people realize that, the better.
An agreement needs to be reached between the two sides of this argument and it needs to be done with the expectation that neither side is completely right.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *