One more time for everyone in the back row, “NO ONE IS GOING TO TAKE YOUR GUNS!”
A couple of weeks ago the NRA started running what they called a “chilling” ad in which someone at home was left with no gun, and only a phone to defend themselves. The organization wants people to believe that a Hillary Clinton Supreme Court justice would help in restricting the 2nd Amendment and leaving people defenseless. All over social media people shared the video and proudly declared they wouldn’t let Hillary take their guns away.
It is ridiculous that the same tactics used to slander Obama 8 years ago work with Clinton today. President Obama, the evil Muslim communist from Kenya, couldn’t even get universal background checks. Despite this, and repeated assurances he is more concerned with the slaughter of thousands each year as a result of gun violence than seizing weapons and oppressing America, people think that Obama, Hillary, and the rest of the democrats are out to get them.
At times this resistance to gun reform is almost incomprehensible. In June the country bore witness to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, as 49 were slaughtered at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando. Nothing but thoughts and prayers for the American people. Our Congress didn’t even take action after 20 children were gunned down at Sandy Hook. If that could not move them to even approve background checks than what will?
The resistance to even having a vote on gun reform legislation is unnecessarily vehement. One proposition has been to ban people on the no-fly list from purchasing a gun, but even that wasn’t passed. If we wouldn’t let someone get on an airplane than of course they shouldn’t be able to purchase a gun.
There is no reason that when these bills are being considered people should be flooding their representatives with petitions imploring them to stop the “gun-grabbers”. No legislation that has been proposed imposes on the rights of an ordinary, law-abiding citizen. Gun control laws are aimed at preventing the people who shouldn’t have guns from getting their hands on them, not the other way around. We need to stop being so concerned with a mythical dystopian government where we have no guns that we neglect to do anything to help save some of the thousands of people a year who are actually killed with guns.
If you ask me why a gun-grabbing government that tramples on the rights of its individuals will not come about because of gun control laws I will kindly refer you to the numerous examples of other countries with gun control laws that would give the NRA a heart attack. Do you weep for the poor people of Britain, where most guns are single shot (shotguns and rifles), handguns are effectively banned, and there is one of the lowest rates of gun homicide in the world? Or Australia, where strict gun control laws were enacted after a mass shooting that might have had something to do with the zero mass shootings occurring since?
In the past some progress has been made, but the fact that universal background checks do not exist and that those on the no fly list can buy guns shows that there is a long way to go. No one is saying ban guns altogether. But there are commonsense actions we can take to prevent the likelihood of mass shootings and lowers the lives lost in these events. Background checks don’t violate the 2nd Amendment. Magazine size limits can save lives without impeding on one’s ability to defend themselves. And the CDC, which receives almost no funding to research gun violence (courtesy of the NRA) should probably be given more resources so they can hopefully learn how to solve a problem that has cost far too many innocent lives.
Jacob Kowalski is a weekly columnist to The Daily Campus opinion section. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.