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“Gun control entails laws whose aim is to ensure a limitation in firearms possession. Gun control or gun rights are a very public subject. I’m not a weapons expert; I don’t even own a gun. I have fired a few at a couple at ranges, but just for fun. I would not consider myself proficient with any weapon. I don’t hunt. I do love the outdoors and have seen wildlife up close, but I’ve never had the need to shoot an animal for food or sport.
I have never been the victim or the perpetrator of a violent crime or gun related incident. I am a conservative politically and a Constitutionalist. I have read the Second Amendment and I firmly believe the right to self-defense should never be denied. Most importantly, I have tremendous empathy for those that have been the victims (both directly and indirectly) of gun violence. I believe the above-mentioned qualifiers make me uniquely neutral on the subject.
Although the issue surrounding it are complex, I believe the public policy on Gun Control is situational and in recent years has been “weaponized” to manipulate specific agendas.The latest mass shootings horrify all of us. Whether it’s a school, a club or a public event, the hopeless circumstances surrounding the situation terrify us. They are our nightmare. This is happening, and I am powerless; I can neither flee nor fight. I have no control over the situation.
Just as frightening is the random and unpredictable nature of these events.
Sandy Hook, a private/elite elementary school in an upscale suburb of a quiet town in Connecticut; 28 dead. The Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks, California; a suburban LA college bar; 12 dead. Fort Hood Military Hospital, a secure facility on a well-guarded military base in Texas; 13 dead. An outdoor concert, on the Strip in Las Vegas, with metal detectors, security screenings, and dozens of armed police officers; 59 dead! A guy walks up to a bunch of Congressman practicing softball for a charity benefit game (in Washington DC) with armed Capitol Police watching. The arbitrary nature of these events demonstrates the complexity of this issue. In this immediate gratification world, we live in (smart phones, amazon overnight, inflight wifi etc.) we demand answers and wanted quick decisive solutions by an expert on what I have to do to solve this and move on. There are people on all the news shows telling me that this is simple, they know the answer. And of course it starts with a catch phrase; “if we make guns illegal, only criminals will have guns!” or “they can take my gun… from my cold dead hands!” This triggers the first problem; emotion, emotion complicates everything. We can all agree that gun violence is bad. A kid walking into school and killing other innocent kids is horrible. Right, Left, Conservative, Liberal there is complete agreement that these acts are evil. It’s all over the news, parents screaming in anguish, fellow innocents crying and holding candle light vigils with flowers and stuffed animals.
The scene is heartbreaking. These images create three emotions in rapid succession; sorrow, grief and then anger. It’s a new found by product of this immediate gratification technology; Emotion manipulation. It’s why we have become so dependent on the 24 hour news. It manipulates our emotions. It gives us highs and lows. What evokes more emotion than the tragic shooting of innocents. These shootings become a media circus. It sells. Reporters covering these events become celebrities. They move from local to national exposure. There are media experts and analysts that move in, they create excitement and insight into mindset and actions. They create biographies of the tragic victims and they sensationalize the perpetrator. According to the recent studies, there exists evidence shortage regarding the effect of most laws on gun control. However, a study conducted by RAND Corporation (2018) revealed that there exist numerous effects brought about by gun policies.
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