Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Too Many Senseless Shootings



We’re all pretty much on the same page, sad and angry about the senseless killing of 20 innocent little children along with a number of adults last week.  What to do about it?  Stricter gun control is the first thing that comes to most people’s minds, and the horror of this latest massacre may be enough to finally make that happen.  But is more gun control the answer?

As with most other issues, I’ll take the middle ground here.  On the one hand, I’ve been a member of the NRA (on and off) for over 30 years.  The “on and off” part refers to times I’ve let my membership lapse, as I did earlier this year, out of frustration over the NRA’s  intransigence when it comes to sensible gun control.  So I guess that’s the other hand.  I don’t like the fact that the NRA won’t even consider some of the more modest gun control proposals.  Even worse, I hate the way they’re always crying wolf when it comes to having our guns taken away.  They’re too paranoid about that possibility, in my opinion, and that drives much of their sometimes-irrational behavior.

Going back to that first hand though, it’s not true that “there is no reason to own an assault rifle in our country”, as many are saying.  There are several reasons for doing so and they’re like this:
1)      They’re a lot of fun to shoot for recreational purposes
2)      They’re a decent long-term investment
3)      They’re a good choice for certain types of hunting
4)      They’re a good choice for self-defense, especially in case of some great social crisis
5)      They provide a deterrent to the rise of a dictatorship or other unpalatable form of government at some future date
6)      There’s evidence that gun control folks see the banning of assault rifles as just the first step in banning virtually all gun ownership in America

But the question should be:  Are those good enough reasons, in light of all the deaths and damage they cause?  Hmmm….   Let’s take a closer look first.

Reasons #1 and #2 are basically true and won’t generate much argument, but reasons #3 and #4 are less clear.  As an avid hunter myself, I know that an AR-15 or similar rifle firing .223 caliber bullets is not a good choice for most hunting situations.  The sporting magazines have featured ads and articles in recent months about hunting with these kinds of weapons, in an attempt to burnish their image – “see, hunters DO use these!”  But I’m not buying it.  Except for a rancher trying to protect his livestock from packs of coyotes, or farmers dealing with herds of wild pigs destroying their crops, there are better choices for hunters.  And even in the coyote/pig scenarios, there are a number of other, non-assault rifle choices that would be just as effective. 

If the Chinese finally succeed in bringing down our Internet and electrical grid, or some other mass disaster hits the U.S., then I guess owning an assault rifle with multiple 30-round clips might look like a good decision.  But again, there are other options such as a Browning-BAR or, Ruger Mini-14 Ranch rifle, which perform much like assault rifles but lack the heinous appearance that drives all the loonies to choosing an AR-15.  And then there are shotguns and other choices that would serve one well in times of social anarchy.  But really – what are the chances of that anyway?  So # 4 isn’t all that convincing either.

I think there’s some merit to # 5.  Just because we’ve never been threatened by a dictatorship or been taken over by a foreign power doesn’t mean those things could never happen.  As fighters in Syria and countless other places (Iraq?) have shown, even a bunch of guys with assault rifles can make a stand against a much more powerful military force, at least until heavier weaponry becomes available.  That, of course, was the main reason for the Second Amendment (whether you believe that it meant guns for individuals, or guns for state militias).  And you can’t really take away all the guns now because we’re not worried about such a scenario, and then 20 or 50 or 100 years later try to bring them back when circumstances change.  That would almost certainly be too little, too late.

Similarly, I think there’s something to # 6.  I haven’t kept up on this because I’m not one of those who’s freaked out about a conspiracy to take away all our guns.  But I’ve read quotes from some gun control leaders over the years that are troubling.  Some of those folks would prefer to make it illegal for anyone other than the cops and military to own just about any kind of firearm; they don't like guns of any type.  They know that trying to take away uncle Joe’s deer rifle ain’t gonna fly in this country, at least not as an opening gambit.  But they figure that if they can get the assault rifles first because everyone hates them, then it will be easier to go after the handguns next, and then the semi-auto rifles, then all rifles and shotguns. 

Paranoid thinking on my part?  Maybe.  But still, a possibility.  One of the related concerns here is that earlier definitions of “assault rifles” described features that were also found on a great many legitimate hunting rifles.  That’s one of the reasons rational gun owners opposed those earlier assault rifle bans.  And it would seem to be a slippery slope, from banning true assault rifles, to later banning rifles that have some of their features, to banning all rifles, and so on. 

So now let’s go back to the big question: Are those good enough reasons?  Mostly, I think not.  We can stop selling AR-15s and 30-round clips without really taking away a meaningful degree of anybody’s freedom or rights.  Any small damage to their 2nd Amendment rights are more than made up for by a likely gain in overall public safety.

But I don’t think we solve the problem that way, certainly not for many, many years.  We already have something like 300 million guns in the hands of private citizens, millions of which are “assault rifles” stored with millions of 20- and 30-round magazines and probably billions of rounds of ammunition.  How long will it take for those to wear out, break, be confiscated or otherwise be removed from the equation?  Decades.  It’s true that by stopping the sale and/or ownership of these items, we’ll at least be taking a first step in reversing the trend of horrible tragedies like Sandy Hook, but significant progress is unlikely to come quickly or easily.

Too many other factors are at play.  The treasured American traditions of fierce independence and widespread gun ownership, absent in so many other countries.  Our penchant for gratuitous violence, despite the experts telling us that hyper-violent movies and video games play “no role” in our society’s violent behavior.  Selfishness and narcissism, where it’s all about me and my 15 minutes of fame; screw everyone else!  Not to mention all the millions of Americans suffering from some form of mental illness, many of whom are unknown to us until something snaps inside them.   

Stricter gun control isn’t the answer, but I think it’s got to be part of the answer.  Maybe it can’t stop some sick young man in Connecticut from stealing his mom’s legally-acquired, safely-stored guns, but it might stop others.  In light of the excessive cost of being the world’s most heavily-armed country, I think we can live with no more AR-15s being sold.  No more rifle clips over 4 rounds (typically the max that’s legal for most hunting), no more pistol clips over the 7 rounds that was typical up until a couple of decades ago.  More stringent and consistent background checks.  And if these first steps lead to where some fear they might (attempts to take away all guns), then I guess we deal with that if and when it happens.

Meanwhile, pray for the little kids, their brothers and sisters, moms and dads, schoolmates and teachers.  And pray we have fewer idiots pulling this kind of crap, rather than more idiots being inspired by it. 

53 comments:

Sebastian Falcon said...

After this horrible tragedy I feel like we are finally going to do something about this gun issue America has had for many years. I agree that guns are a problem since I feel like anyone can go and buy a gun, there is not really a test they have to take or a course they take like hunter. Yet banning guns would not help as much as many people think. Banning guns can create other problems since the demand for guns will increase so it would create a bigger black market for the distribution of guns, also ammunition will cost more which if people use guns for recreational uses then it would become a more expensive hobby and people will consider other alternative things to do for fun. Unfortunately it took the U.S a horrible tragedy to be more aware of this issue we been having for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you when you say stricter gun control isn’t the answer, but limiting the types of guns sold and stricter and consistent background checks could be a good start to a long difficult process. It won’t stop all the gun shootings, but “we can live with no more AR-15s being sold”. Although it can’t stop all the criminals or mentally unstable citizens from getting a hold of guns, but it could stop guns getting into the possession of others. Defining our second amendment in a more modernized way could give people a better understanding of what true gun possession really means.

-Haley Davis

adam wright said...

I agree that gun control is not the answer. however banning assault rifles (AR-15) would be a wise and easy solution to some problems. practically no one in America needs an assault rifle because any other rifle - hunting, handguns, or smaller rifles - will be just as much "fun" and still as effective for hunting and protecting ones self from anything from a robber to a bear to a foreign nation invading our country. I believe that the answer lays within our healthcare system for the mentally ill. Most care stops once they become adults (which is when most mentally ill persons have been know to "snap") and they have no support with which to lean on. A better system for treating adults with mental illness seems to be the key helping stop these shootings.
-Adam Wright

THE HISTORIAN said...

I agree with that gun control is not the answer. I also agree with the fact that AR-15s can be banned without really infringing on people's 2nd Amendmant rights. In terms of home defense, a shotgun is going to be better than a AR-15 due to the tight spaces and room. Better mental health care can also turn the tide against these mass shootings due to the majority of the shooters being mentally ill. Modest gun bans and better mental health care is better than banning most guns or being extremist like the NRA. One more point. In case of a need for rebellion, rifles and shotguns are going to better than AR-15s due to the fact that rifles have longer range than ARs(I think) and shotguns because they are more devastating up close.

Anonymous said...

Gun control often goes hand in hand with other top controversial issues such as abortion and many have argued whether the incident at Sandy Hook will be the catalyst that can really change the way America views assault rifles. I believe that although this tragedy may have shocked the country as to the effect of high-capacity magazines in rifles, gun use will be at an all time high. The motivation for Congress to pass stricter gun laws needs to come from a real threat to American security and unfortunately the events that have taken place don't seem to be enough to make a dent in the issue.
Guns can't be the only issue, although they are the biggest player by far. Mental illnesses play a large part, but smaller than most people care to admit. Most Americans don't feel safe without some sort of weapon in their house, but knowing that a senseless shooting could happen at any time really motivates people to... buy more guns.
--Franny Suarez

Alejandro Hueso said...

I think that or right to bare arms should not be taken away. Why? Of course like mostly almost every other person say's to protect yourself. An example of Guns to use to protect yourself is for Example in The Norwegian "Madman" were he massacred about 80 people who attended the camp if any one of the staff member's of the camp was armed with a gun or at least had a a gun to use weer they can access in case of an emergency just like you would with a fire extinguisher the staff probably could have protected themselves from the shooter and prevented him from doing more hurt/killings.Now not only should they put stricter gun laws but if you want to have the responsibility of owning a a gun they should make it expensive to own one and regulate the gun control so that if you wanna own a gun there are strict gun laws and regulate and monitor these gun owners and should be aware of the responsibility and expenses that come with owning a gun. Its understandable why Obama , or congress or the government are having a hard time making a decision or making an imediate response because they don't want to change the bill of rights were it includes the right to bare arms because its been that way for about 200 years or so and its like lets say the Ten Commandments there of course ten commandments duh? And all of a sudden the pope decides to take one of the commandments out while for about 3,000 years it has always been the ten commandments.

Ismaeel said...

After the recent school shooting the issue of gun control has risen and now appears to be the dominating topic in media. Two different sides seem to be having trouble in reaching a resolution as a result of the ideological differences. On one hand people who want stricter gun control, as to limit the amount of guns out there. On the other, those who believe that guns are not the problem, and should not be taken away. I believe that the statement you made about how we can stop selling AR-15s and 30 round clips without taking away a meaningful degree of anybody's rights or freedom is the best solution. This satisfies both parties, as there is less large ammunition clips and assault riffles, while not taking away guns entirely.

Alex Tam said...

From the freakonomics video, staticians shown that gun control is not the leading factor of the reduction of crime, despite what the media says. The main cause of the reduction was stricter police control, though the media disagrees with that. Because there are a lot of shootings, there should've been a rise of demand for stricter security, but mostly gun control is discussed as the main solution. Although gun control is claimed to be the main solution to reduce shootings, it will strip citizens about their ownership. Like what the article said, what will happen if gun ownership was stripped? Gun ownership is not enough, there should be a consideration of stricter security.

Stephany Lucatero said...

Stricter gun control wont really help with stopping killers. if a killer has "plotted" a murder, he will find a way to get a hold of a gun or any other weapon. so changing the rules isn't going to stop people from killing others. for example, the guy in Connecticut didn't even own the guns he used to kill all of those innocent children, they were his mother's. making gun control stricter is only wasting time, because not all of the killers will follow the rules.

Anonymous said...

Just because there is a stricter gun control it does not mean that a killer wont find a way to kill someone if they really wanted to. I am not saying that though ghat all people that own guns kill people for there are many types of uses for guns in the USA, for example hunting, gun collection, because people feel safe, and so on. Also a person who has a gun or wants one will find a way of keeping it or finding one if they really wanted to have one, for just because you make something illegal it does not mean everyone is going to follow the law and not own guns or a specific type of guns.

-Alma Casillas

Zachary Zisser said...

I feel that while taking guns away from the people will never work, causing stricker background checks on the entire family, and or limiting the parts for the guns may help the problem. but we can never crush the true american stand point that guns=protection. no matter what you tell people in this country people will always refer to the officers with guns and then also the many polices officers with guns. while guns will never leave this counrty they sure have a good time entertaining the masses.

Anonymous said...

After the Sandy Hook tragedy, many Americans were quick to blame the lack of gun control. However, America, some states in particular, has relatively strict gun control laws. I agree that stricter gun control is not the only thing that should be done. I understand that people are afraid that more gun control laws being placed would eventually lead to, basically, the voiding of our 2nd amendment all together. Which could then lead to other violations to our rights. However, I don't think real harm will be done if we enforce more gun control laws. As stated in this essay, we can all live without assault rifles being sold. All that being said, I don't think a lack of gun control is the main issue. I believe that our lack of support and options for the mentally ill is the problem. I read an article about a lady that had a son who was bipolar and had on multiple occasions tried to harm her or others. She goes on to explain that when she searched for help, the only option the police gave her was to press charges and place him in jail. I would think that, logically, if mental illness is becoming more and more apparent in the youth of our society, then we should take steps to start some kind of support system for those people. I agree that many issues are to blame, and a lot needs to be done in order to stop tragedies like this; gun control is not the only issue to blame.
-Chelsea Arias

Anonymous said...

The influence of the shooting in Connecticut was of great importance and was necessary for action to be taken to avoid future shootouts like this. I think it is sort of sad that it took 20 kids to die to realize action needed to be taken. I agree with this post overall and with being on both sides. Getting rid of guns completely does seem logical in more ways than one, but would be a long and difficult process, like you said "We already have something like 300 million guns in the hands of private citizens..." I agree with this statement and I can understand how it would not really be effective by banning guns completely because it would literally take "decades" to remove all of the already-in-possession guns. Reasons 3 and 4 seem plausible but, like you said, are not reasonable and I feel like society uses those two reasons as excuses to keep guns in their possesion, even though in reality, they are not reaosnable at all, like you explained with hunter magazines: "in an attempt to burnish their image – “see, hunters DO use these!” and the unlikiely chance of an uprising from the Chinese and them bringing down our Internet and electrical grid.
- Trystan Colburn

Anonymous said...

Guns have brought up many controversial problems. Putting a strict use or banning guns is not the solution. this act leave the innocent (the people who actually want to protect themselves) even more venerable to the shootings. Guns have been shown to society, so there is nothing we can do to eliminate guns. I feel that now after these recent shooting small measures will be done to try to prevent shootings. But in the end we can only pray more shooting wont occur. (And hire extra security all over the place)
-Dustin Bush

Anonymous said...

Overall I believe that the government and the people of the United States do have the right to be occupied by this topic and event. The catalyst for the awareness of this issue is due to these mass murders by assault rifles and this blog entry would not have occurred without it. I’m not saying that it was good for there to be a mass shooting, instead I think that now as a nation we have become more aware of our defects. We should solve this issue and the best way to do that is to regulate ammo of a weapon instead of the gun(topic #6) because a murderer will find a way, what we can do is just make that process harder and his strategy less effective.
-Josh Hallmark

Darian Spencer said...

To those who see that list of reasons as justification to owning a military grade assault rifle, let me ask you a couple of questions: Does your “fun” and ability to do “certain types of hunting” take priority over the lives of 20 first graders, and the countless other poor souls who’ll be slaughtered in the future if we don’t ban these killing machines (they are, after all, mechanical items designed to efficiently instigate death)? What is more likely to happen in the next half century: A dictator seizing control of the United States, or several more mass shootings such as the one at Sandy Hook Elementary? Furthermore, if a dictator seized control of the US and it’s recourses, including the largest and most advanced military in the world, we’d all be screwed whether a few people have assault rifles or not. And for the rest of the 99.9999% of instances when the US military is on our side, we should probably just let them to take care of it.

Haley Sweet said...

One of the things for this essay that really resonated with me was that stricter gun laws aren't the solution but they would help. Because it's true, it won't stop every crime. Like stated in the essay there are to many factors at play to make gun control the main and only issue. I personally believe that one of the pieces is mental health. That if there were more programs available for people who needed help it would slow the rise in these shootings. The truth is, just because you ban guns doesn't mean that people won't be capable of getting their hands on them, and for me it all boils down to the point that guns don't kill people, people kill people, but this is much more difficult issue for most people to address.

Anonymous said...

Every time there is a tragedy in America, the people come together to try to fix whatever they think the problem is. Now after Sandy Hook Elementary the government and the people want to try to fix the problem by banding Assault Rifles. The six reasons for having these guns are pretty legitament for this situation. Yet we see that most of the major shootings were done with hand guns and only a few are done with high capacity assault rifles. Everyone now wants to compromise and look towards better background checks and more help for those with mental health instead of stricter gun control.
-Jeffrey

Leslie Simoni, 3A said...

Like many of these contibutors I belive that banning the sale of assault rifles and placing limitations on the sale of clips, etc will improve the situation. However, it not solve the problem. The problem is not necessarily the guns but the people who own them. Placing strict bacjground checks and mental evaluations would be the most benefical change toward a safer socity. "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Anonymous said...

In my opinion there’s simply too much hype about assault rifles or rifles/guns that are similar, for the reason that there are many more shootings which are done with any kind of firearm other than an assault rifle. Furthermore, it seems like it's too easy to buy a gun nowadays - the regulations should be stricter, such as maybe a mental health test, as well as perhaps a "gun-owners license" or something of the sort, where the people with guns are well trained and all - it certainly won't stop the insane people who steal the guns from their parents, but at least it will be a start.

BL

Anonymous said...

I believe there should be stricter gun control laws but that it is not the entire answer the this problem. Having gun control wont stop the people that are mentally ill from attacking innocent human beings. There should be more support for those who are mentally ill and families should be more supportive as well. Unfortunately, we cannot change the way families look at or treat one another, but they should be concerned. When they are looking for help, that help should be available to them. If we had stricter gun control laws, and more support for the mentally ill, there would be a decrease in the mass killings that we have experienced over the years.
-Meghan Davis

Christina Schweighardt said...

It is true that stricter gun control laws wont completely stop people from killing anyone, but it is a start. Although I do not have a strong opinion on whether we should completely make the purchase of guns illegal, at least doing something is better than nothing. What has happened recently in the schools, malls, and movie theaters should not be taken lightly. Banning guns may not completely stop the crime rate from increasing and cant stop the minds of those planning on killing with or without a gun. However, stricter gun control can make it harder for those planning to kill to kill.

Leslie Briceno said...

I agree with reason #6, that stricter gun control won’t change much but by making it harder for others to get guns is a good head start. Although banning guns isn’t coming any time soon, I am glad others are trying to make a difference, especially after what happened to the children in Connecticut. Although there have been many other cases dealing with guns in other places like Los Angeles, Chicago, etc. Starting off small and not giving up will eventually, someday ban guns in the United States.
Guns are what represent our country and the people there should have a way to protect themselves, but not by everyone owning a gun. Reason #5 has some value to it; you never know when someone or some place will try to take over. Just like the terrorists in Mali that captured hostages along with some Americans. But that also doesn’t necessary mean that anyone could own an AR-15. I do agree that other types of guns are more efficient to use even if they don’t look that “cool” but they are still capable of causing some damage. There really is no point in allowing citizens to own guns like that, didn’t the people that sold it to them ever wonder why they would need a gun like that? Plus, they should have made an even more intense background check, test, or anything else to try and make it difficult for someone to have those types of guns. Guns just cannot be permanently gone until some more changes are made to make it true.

Anonymous said...

Like many of the commenters I believe that stopping the sale of assault rifles won't end the problem. Ceasing distribution of assault rifles will ultimately just serve as a security blanket for people even though it will not nip the problem in the bud. An effective solution toward a safer society would be limiting the sale of things like clips and most importantly analyzing the customer. Strict background checks and mental analyses should take place because at the end of the day "guns don't kill people, people kill people". -Leslie S.

Jared Creamer P1B said...

I think that whatever we ban, psychopaths will always find ways to go on killing sprees one way or another. The reason why people are trying to ban certain guns and other things is to feel good inside as a human being that we are doing something to prevent this from happening again. I think that this essay made some good points and it is clear that you are experienced with this sort of topic and you have much knowledge about it also.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the fact that guns are definitely not the whole problem. I think banning assault rifles and larger clips would maybe help the problem but definitely not get rid of the problem. The fact is, ultimately, people are the ones who shoot the gun and our main goal should be to improve mental healthcare. We need to start at the root of the problem and treat mentally unstable people before they can do harm to our society.
-Isabel Roe

Shay Urrea said...

Gun control in America is just a small answer to the problems our country has to face. I think America is just once again letting our emotions lead us, kind of similar to the emotions that lead us in the tragedy during 9/11. Personally, I think America needs to fully realize what's at stake when they say we must stricken gun control. We can't just sit back and give away our rights; instead we must approach this problem in other areas stronger, such as mental awareness and thorough background checks! If America can approach the problem with that mindset, I believe that we can come up with a much logical solution.
-Shay Urrea (Period 1a)

Garret Pina said...

I agree that gun control is not the answer and i also agree it can't hurt anyone to have more background checks. However i do beleive baning assault riffles is a slipery slope because although americans do not need them but it is a proven fact that only 3% of all gun related deaths are caused by assault riffles while the rest is by pistols and other weapons. Also when i think of do americans need assault weapon i think of all the other things that americans need for example people do not need a car until their in a situation where it is needed same idea applies to guns, people dont need guns until there in a situation where they need them.Overall i thought your article was very informative and seemed relativly unbiased.

Anonymous said...

To say that the Sandyhook school shooting was not a tragedy would be wrong. to say that it was the guns fault would be another thing entirely. Getting Assault rifles banned is a step in the right direction, but it is not solving the problems. Giving the NRA less power over politicians, would also improve the gun situation. The increase of potent nonlethal weapons would decrease people’s desire to own guns. The only real way to lower the amount of gun related tragedy’s significantly is, to increase the evaluation of the people using the guns. One way to do that is to have full psychological analysis and background check. But, in the United States that would be entirely impossible.

Anonymous said...

This tragedy left us all in awe, but I agree with the essay that the solution is not found in banning all guns. It is an issue that has been pressing us for years, but outlawing all guns might bring different, maybe even harder, problems. I agree that a lot of gun use is recreational, and with precaution, they should be able to be used this way. Also, some people have a sentimental connection to their guns, like that it was passed down in their family, and it would take a lot of time, money, and effort for the government to finally take away all use of guns.
-Kimberly Molin

Anonymous said...

Gun control is not going to be impacted by restricting laws because there are numerous guns in people’s hands at this point. Although, in the long run there would be a much better regulation on guns if the government would sell less amount of gun rounds. And also, there is not much control over video game violence which allows children to start getting ideas with guns at such a young age.

-Karla Zuniga

James Howell said...

In “Too Many Senseless Shootings,” Mr. Strebler highlights the common points used in arguments for and against more gun control. I think imposing gun control these days is a wasteful effort, due to emerging technologies and pre-existing black markets that will always be able to supply guns to willing people. The consequences of banning guns are greater than the occasional mass shootings (which can continue to happen regardless of how easy it is to obtain a gun), as law-abiding citizens will have a disadvantage over criminals and possible tyranny. I think the best option from here on out is to educate the public how to protect themselves responsibly, as chaos will continue in our society. I don’t think people should be willing to give up freedom so they can feel like they have more “security.”

Gabriela Peralta said...

I agree that gun restriction should be part of the solution to combat these senseless shootings. Another part should be background checks, and supervision of gun usage. I think that people want guns to feel protected and for recreational purposes, but I disagree with the fact that they need a assault rifle in order to do that.
Gun control of course, will still be an issue for this country, but I believe that I think that the whole banning guns is not the answer because it will just contribute to more violence and it will create a black market. Overall, I think that the government should look for a more convenient and reliable answer to these shootings and crimes that have been going on recently.

Lorenzo Wida said...

America has been truly holding off for too long while crazy stupid people continue to be able to buy guns across America. Maybe on the next go to heighten gun control something will get done. The presentation of this speech was excellent as it really showed how there are NRA (or past NRA) members who wont put up with the crap that the NRA is giving out. Enough is enough and its time we do away with assault rifles in cities once and for all.

Raley Slaymaker said...

After this tragedy at Sandy Hook, i'm glad that more people are thinking about gun issues. I agree that we should work on gun control, but that is not the most important thing. We should also limit the types of guns sold and have stricter background checks. I think that we should only have hand guns and only for self defense purposes.

Karen Takemura said...

I mentioned the Brady Act in my critique and it hasn't made much of an impact on our country, but hopefully these little changes lead up to a big one. Unless many people, I think gun control may be a great part of the problem. The reason for that is because, I compared Japan and America. I know what works for Japan may not work for America because of the size/population difference of the two countries. However, in Japan it is against the law to own a gun and you can be arrested for it. In Japan, not many people own a gun and are they having problems? I don't think Japan has as many issues with shooting like America does. Gun control may not be the entire reason, but I still think it's at least part of the reason.

Anonymous said...

Ryan Johnson-
It is very true that not every citizen should be walking around with military grade weapons, but i dont believe that banning them from our society is the answer. I believe that more safety precautions should be put into place so that it is harder for people with criminal backgrounds and mental disorders to get there hands on guns.

Nieko Roberts said...

I don't feel as though stricter gun control is the the answer, however i think that it would be a wise choice to have more consistent background checks. I also think that it would be more effective if we not pay so much attention to gun control as we are instead i think that it would be wise to help the mentally ill. After all they are the ones that are getting pushed to the brink of snapping then commit a horrible crime such as this.

Briana Foster said...

I agree that people need to be restricted more on gun use and America has been lenient with gun use and the possessions of guns. There should be a harder process in order to be able to legally have a gun. It has been to easy for the people to get guns. The sandy hook incident should be a wake up call to the government to make it harder to posses guns or even limit the amount of people who buy guns.

Mishael Berrios said...

Gun control is not the answer to solve all the problems with murders because then, people will kill with other tools like knives or even hammers. Taking away guns from murderers will be like taking away a tool from them; they'll be able to continue their killings simply with other equipment. If we ban Any type of gun, people will revolt and there might even be more deaths. It is a fact that the top three states with the strictest gun control laws are the states with the most murders which proves stricter gun control won't solve anything. The only things we can do is stricter background checks and better security and we can only hope it works

Ethan Crick said...

While I agree with some of the arguments presented for allowing ownership of assault rifles, I think we should get rid of the assault rifles or at least limit the ammo in the cartridge. I don’t think America can stand another school shooting or gun mishap and we need to take action and get rid of these killing machines. Guns should be used for recreation and self defense only and not to kill innocent people. You don’t need an assault rifle for recreation or self defense. If assault rifles are around then there is always a chance that an irresponsible crazy person will get one and kill many people, just like we’ve seen lately. Therefore we must get rid of the assault rifles.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the majority of the essay. I too, believe that stricter gun control is a partial answer to the problem we are facing in America. My reason being that gun control has been successful in other nations. Australia has had an enacted gun control reform since 1996 and is still working today.
-Marleigh

Anonymous said...

I do agree with the fact that there should be stricter gun control because there is nonsense shooting situations that put peoples life in danger. There comes the idea of limiting the types of guns sold should be stricter and also background checks of the person buying the gun. Having them to wait a day or so to look at their background information instead of doing it the same day they purchase the gun. Lastly our second amendment , that would be violating our rights but people should really look at what that second amendment really means.

- Georgina Zavala
1B

Anonymous said...

The gun issue itself is a very complicated problem in the United States. In some areas where crime is high it is almost a necessity to own a gun, but high powered rifles are not always a necessity. Even shotguns can be very dangerous like we saw on the news about the 12 year old boy shooting two kids with a shotgun. But what I believe is a even more complicated issue is that of how to control all these guns in the US of A. Banning all guns is not a answer because people would still be able to get their hands on them and it would also cause a uproar by many Americans. However banning high powered guns for civilians, I believe, is the right decision and is a stepping stone for better gun laws. Over all it is a very complicated issue.

-Dante Witte 2A

Daniel Van Orden Period 4B said...

Criminals will always be able to get illegal weapons. If you ban the law abiding sensible people from having guns, what is going to make the people who do not care about being arrested turn in their guns. I think that in banning guns it will lead to more shootings because the common people will not be able to protect themselves from the criminals who will get the guns anyway possible, such as the black market.
Daniel Van Orden 4B

Sherwin Gervacio said...

Throughout the history America, it has become known for its senseless shootings. Though there are not a perfect solution to gun control, but the government can at least try to lessen these problems. I agree with what this article says about more background checks but I think that it is a small part in what the Government can do to prevent these shootings. The ammunition would be a reasonable idea so that people can not own a lot of ammunition so that someone can have easy access to their weaponry. Though it is hard finding a perfect solution to gun control, we can at least start so these shootings can be prevented.

-Sherwin Gervacio

Meredith Anderson said...

It often seems as though tightening up on gun control will solve all of our problems when there are so many senseless shootings happening nowadays. However, there are pros and cons to the idea of stricter gun control or completely making guns illegal. Firstly, if guns were made illegal than only criminals would have guns, making it more dangerous to be a civilian. Also, guns can be useful. They provide a sense of comfort to some people and can be used to hunt for food when families cannot afford it. Finally, many people are responsible with their guns and don't deserve to be punished. On the other hand, if gun control was stricter it would help keep guns out of the hand of people who will only cause trouble with them. Also, it could help prevent accidents such as the ones that occur when a child finds their parents' gun at home. Overall, harsher gun control may stop some of the horrible things that seem to constantly be happening but it will also cause problems for the people who are responsible with their guns.

Chantel Heard said...

I agree with the overall essay. personally I wouldn't want. Gun in my home because.you can never trust what's going on in someones head. However I don't necessarily disagree with gun laws. As said in the essay, guns are great for protection for social, situations, hunting, and if China comes up with some plan to attack the US. You mentioned that AR-15 are not good hunting rifles, that is one reason for not owning one. For social situations like robbery, I assume that a shotgun or pistol would be good enough to frighten or injure the enemy (this is just from my grand theft auto experience, watching action films and watching the news). So why should everyday people and owners own an AR-15? I think that only military and police officers should be able to own these weapons, however I don't think that they should be able to take their weapons home due to a possible case PTSD. So yes, I agree stricter gun laws are only a partial solution. Frequent Background checks are a great idea, they may help lower gun related incidents, however, there will always be some gaps, not all people who are mentally unstable show signs... and in addition if they are planning to shoot up a school or movie theater they sure as hell will avoid getting caught. But this isn't always the case, we talked about guns in class and how sometimes people just snap, maybe weapons shouldn't be Carried in public. I suppose its not an easy discussion but at the rate that.violence is increasing In the U.S something needs to be done. All of this negative publicity doesn't look so good to other countries so action should be taken fast.
-Chantel Heard 1A

David Granda 4B said...

The latest school shooting currently involved a twelve year old boy injuring two classmates with a shotgun. This issue again brings up the issue of gun control stated in your article. It also reminds me of a quote in Alfred Hitchcock's "Phsyco" in which it is said "We all go a little crazy sometimes".The more we limit the people’s right to own guns, the more incidents will occur. As shown in studies, for each gun limit enforced, the death toll can go up from 15% to 54%. On the other hand, the toll goes lower up to 15% whenever a ban is lifted.

Ashley Wiggin said...

There are both pros and cons towards the idea of having a stricter gun control. First of all, a stricter gun control could provide a somewhat safer community from individuals who want to kill humans, Such as situations like the sandy hook elementary school shooting. Then again, the guns that these killers are using, isn't much of a problem for the fact that these humans can find anything to be able to kill another human. I suppose they figure a gun just gets the job done quicker? These killers will always have a 'killer' mindset. Creating a stricter gun use wouldn't make these humans decide to think otherwise. On the other hand, this stricter gun control isn't as fair to the individuals who are hunters, or families that just want a gun in their home for protection. Therefore, the stricter gun control, wouldn't make much of difference. There are always going to be killings in the world, with or without a gun.

Natalie Ashley-Hardy said...

Whether stricter gun control is enforced or guns are banned altogether, mad men who want to shoot up a public area will always be an issue. Just recently, UCSB was shot up by Elliot Rodger and he is another case of a mad man. He was upset that he couldn't find a woman and felt lonely. So, what was the solution? Shoot innocent people walking on campus who were women from a sorority or just people passing by. Many people missed the clues given by the man and it led to 7 people dying, including himself. How he was able to purchase a gun blows my mind. He was clearly mentally unstable and the fact that nobody caught this is insane. I agree with your idea that background checks should be enforced or maybe even conducting a few tests on the people wanting to purchase a gun. With these extra steps, mad men will not have the ability to buy a gun and shoot up innocent people for no valid reason. I also agree that enforcing stricter gun control will not be the answer, people will still find ways to buy guns and will have more of a tendency to rebel and create bigger issues in the U.S.

Jasmine West said...

Whether or not stricter gun laws are implemented, people will still continue to do some stupid and heartless acts. It can’t be helped that there will be stories every year like Sandy Hook or the UCSB shooting. In the future, if guns were prohibited, how likely is the possibility of people creating substitutes to guns? In this day and age, where anything you need can be found with the click of a button, there will still be unfortunate homicides and mass murder. Stronger background checks, official licenses, age requirements, and specialized areas for gun usage are the first set of provisions I would initiate in a gun control proposal. Also, I think teaching children about guns by parents should be changed as well. There are too many instances of children somehow getting their hands on guns and breaking their parent’s safes.

Lizzie Hall said...

Your 6 reasons supporting the ownership of assault rifles are somewhat true, but I feel like none of those reasons really shows that assault rifles are necessary. You said it yourself; there are other guns that can be used for hunting. Why are assault rifles necessary? It sounds to me like they aren’t. As for your second reason, that they are a good investment, I think that there are plenty of other products with equally good investment opportunities. In the case of an emergency, which is extremely unlikely, other weapons could be used. Assault rifles are extremely dangerous, and I agree with you that they should not be used for hunting.