I sometimes wonder what the world has come to. It seems like every time we turn around there is a horrific shooting or other crime committed were many innocent people die and lives are changed forever. My heart always goes out to the victims.

In light of the most recent tragedy, the gun debate has come back in full force, with bills on gun control already presented to Congress.

I hate guns. The idea of everyone walking around with a gun strapped to themselves is somewhat revolting in my opinion, and I can not imagine ever pulling the trigger of a gun at a person or animal. Sure, the occasional recreational skeet shooting is fine (if it is done in a safe, controlled environment), but pretty much other than that, I hate guns. Well, I guess rather, I hate the way people use guns. I hate how they use them to threaten people, I hate how they are used to intimidate people, but most of all, I hate how people use guns to harm other people.

As for gun control, I am torn. Part of me totally believes that the second

http://www.fotopedia.com/items/flickr-2200500024

I am undecided on gun control.
Photo source: Colin_K on Flickr

amendment should be upheld with the right to “keep and bear arms.” On the other hand, as I said before, I hate what people often use guns for and think it is possible that gun control could prevent some of it.

Larry Correia gives his opinion on gun control in his blog in the recent article “An opinion on gun control”. He begins the article with about six paragraphs on how he is “qualified” to discuss gun control. Although he is now a professional novelist, he claims he is an authority on the subject of guns because he used to own a Title 7 SOT gun store, he was a Utah Concealed Weapons instructor, a firearms instructor, a competitive shooter and basically an all around expert (okay so he does not say this last one exactly). He sums up his so called qualifications with “Basically,for most of my adult life, I have been up to my eyeballs in guns, self-defense instruction, and the law relating to those things.” If all of these things are true, I guess he could be considered an “expert” of some kind but the way he laid it out seemed like bragging to me (if you can brag about that sort of thing). I guess I will go with the benefit of the doubt; he is well qualified and was just showing the reader how qualified he was.

Correia’s main argument is that gun control is a horrible idea and will not work. He writes that having civilians (and teachers if they choose to) who can carry guns reduces crime and allows for self-defense. He also writes that “no gun zones” actually lead to more casualties because the people can not defend themselves. Basically he seems to believe that gun control will do more harm and hardly any good.

On the surface, many of his arguments seem well structured, and some hold up against a more critical eye. As I read through the post however, I began to notice that many statistics or facts he was using were not backed up by sources which caused suspicion. One example of this was when he wrote, “The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by law enforcement: 14. The average number of people shot in a mass shooting event when the shooter is stopped by civilians: 2.5.” This statistic could be true, but it could also be false. I did a quick Google search and nothing came up. I realize that does not mean its not true, I’m just saying it is a little suspicious and it would have been good if he had cited this statistic. Looking closer, I realized that many of his claims were also vague such as when he discusses “violent crime” in England in Australia. Earlier in the post, he makes an argument for defining what qualifies an assault rifle, but then he discusses “violent crime” in England and Australia without defining “violent crime.” Overall, he provides sources for five points… three of them are to things he wrote in the past.

That being said, some of his arguments are clear and supported. He makes a point of previous ban on assault rifles by mentioning a law passed in 1934 he writes, “The National Firearms Act of 1934 made it so that you had to pay a $200 tax on a machine gun and register it with the government. In 1986 that registry was closed and there have been no new legal machine guns for civilians to own since then.” This is a true and valid point about the idea that true assault weapons have already been banned.

In general, I felt the majority of his arguments were based on his opinion (although the title claims the post would be an opinion so you can not fault him for that) and not based as much on fact. Although when it comes down to it, the issue of gun control is mostly about opinion and personal beliefs rather than facts and statistics.

It is my own belief that “gun control” is not the solution. We need to find better ways of seeing the warning signs of the people who go on these horrific rampages. I believe better medicine and programs need to be implemented that would help and intercept the would be shooter long before they ever go too far.

As so many, including Correia, have pointed out, banning guns will not stop people from having guns, much like prohibition did not stop people from drinking. If banning guns or not banning guns was the solution to these horrific rampages, I would be all for either one. But neither is. They are both just band-aids for a bigger problem. Sadly, it is almost inevitable that tragedy will strike again, hopefully later rather than sooner. Alas, what has the world come to?

Mary