Gun control has long been a contentious issue in the United States, but in more recent decades, it’s a topic that seems to gather the most attention in the aftermath of mass shootings. Unfortunately, 2012 featured two very notable such incidents, with Sandy Hook being the second-most deadly in American history. Add in the fact that 20 of these victims were elementary school aged children, and it’s no surprise that the push for reformed gun legislation seems stronger than ever. There’s an enormous amount of debate being had within our society, and it’s virtually impossible to turn on the TV or go online without being exposed to the ideas and opinions of government officials, national organizations, or citizens regarding gun laws. No matter where they stand on the issue, too many people participating in the debate are spitting out “facts” that simply are not true. And the continued spread of this false information is not helping the country get any closer to the ultimate goal of less senseless acts of violence. * The events seen in the past year were simply horrendous, and thinking about the horror that the victims faced literally makes me ill. Like everyone else, I was shocked and in distress after hearing about the atrocities that took place in July and December of last year. I felt a whirlwind of emotions; there was sadness for the loss of innocent life, anger towards the cowards at fault, confusion as why it took place, and worry that something similar could happen again. Mass shootings are such heinous and devastating events, and to make things worse, it often has a way of dividing our society with political disputes. The question that so many Americans would ask someone with my stance is how can you possibly be in favor of laws that allow these catastrophes to continue? In my mind, there’s only one valid response: I’m in favor of any law that will put a stop to crimes of this nature. If there were a proposed law based on a method that was proven in its ability to prevent such acts, it would have my full support. What I am against, however, are laws that would surrender our liberty while simultaneously failing to resolve the problem. This is a very delicate issue that needs to be dealt with in a levelheaded, objective manner, and I can’t stress this enough. Far too many people lobbying for gun reform are acting on an emotional level because they were either directly affected by tragedies like Sandy Hook, are empathetic to the victims, or just simply fearful of something similar happening to them. The point is that as human beings, we tend to act out of sentiment, which clouds proper judgment and rational thinking, both of which are necessary when discussing legislation that will have a direct effect on the safety of Americans, the constitutional rights guaranteed to them, and the well being of this country (both now and in the future). It’s not a stretch to say that a good amount of anti-gun proponents are emotionally compromised. This is understandable, as obviously not all Americans have shared the same experiences, and thus our personalities and belief systems have been shaped by different circumstances. But something we all have in common is the desire for a more peaceful society and to prevent not only future massacres, but also senseless acts of violence in general. Most of the proposed methods put forth by those in favor of gun reform are unrealistic or so insignificant that it won’t lead to the end result we’re all hoping for. In fact, some may even lead to further violence. At the most simple level, many in favor of new legislation want to see further implementing of gun registration. But both sides of the debate need to realize that this component of the proposed legislation will have little effect on the big picture. The guns used in the Sandy Hook massacre were purchased legally with a permit and done so by someone who had been given a background check....
Cited: 1) Glassner, Barry. The Culture of Fear. New York: Basic, n.d. Print.
2) Follman, Mark, Gavin Aronsen, and Jaeah Lee. "More Than Half of Mass Shooters Used Assault Weapons and High-Capacity Magazines." Mother Jones. N.p., 27 Feb. 2013. Web. 27 Feb. 2013.
3) Plumer, Brad. "Everything You Need to Know about the Assault Weapons Ban, in One Post." Washington Post. N.p., 17 Dec. 2012. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.
4) Blanco, Harold. "The Assault Weapons Debate: Facts vs. Popular Belief." www.masslive.com. N.p., 1 Mar. 2013. Web. 1 Mar. 2013.
5) Wenzel, Robert. "Hey Australia, How 's That Gun Ban Working?" www.economicpolicyjournal.com. N.p., 31 Jan. 2013. Web. 25 Feb. 2013.
6) Nemerov, Howard. "AUSTRALIA: MORE VIOLENT CRIME DESPITE GUN BAN." www.ncpa.com. N.p., 13 Apr. 2009. Web. 26 Feb. 2013.
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