Ah, gun control. A polarizing issue that people have strong opinions about…even if they don’t really know what it’s all about. The internet is abuzz with silly memes, forums and boards are inundated with everyone’s two cents. The counter at the local sporting goods store is a sea of people scrambling to get what they can before they’re rights are taken away. So far as I can tell here’s the issue on the table: the government is going to renew an assault weapon ban that lasted for 10 years and expired in 2004. No one seemed to be thinking much of it until the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary (in which contrary to popular belief an assault weapon was not used). The new ban would exclude the sunset provision (meaning the ban would not have an expiration date) essentially banning them for good which would violate the 2nd Amendment. Now, I don’t think an assault weapon is good for anything. I’ve heard the reasoning “Because I can; the same reason I want the Ferrari or the 50″ TV.” A bigger is better kind of mentality. Let’s look at that for a minute…you want the Ferrari because it goes faster, the 50″ TV to see more…the military grade weapon so you can_____ more. See, it seems kinda silly once you draw it out. This weapon kills more, so I have to have it. People who may have a valid point about rights and freedoms lose when they’re in a panic collecting everything they can before they’re all gone. Things you have no business with anyway. You’re not shooting deer with that thing and if you are well it’s not very sporting.
The assault weapons ban does appear to be the government attacking a strawman. The National Research Council noted academic studies on the assault weapons ban “did not reveal any clear impacts on gun violence due to the relative rarity with which the banned guns were used to commit crimes before the ban…the maximum potential effect of the ban on gun violence outcomes would be very small”. A 2004 report the Dept. of Justice stated that assault rifles are rarely used in gun crimes. In 2011, 323 homicides were committed with rifles. Of the 311 million people in the US the odds of being killed by a rifle are 1 per million. Less than the odds of being murdered by a blunt object. So why bother banning something so insignificant? We’ve all heard about the frog in boiling water. Drop him in the boiling water and he’ll jump out, set him in and let it warm to a boil around him…frog legs. People look at everyone crying foul over this like they’re nuts (and it doesn’t help that so many of them are in camouflage and wielding guns) but maybe they’re sensing the heat.
Essentially it all comes down to a fear of change, and with good reason. Gun owners were not in a frenzy to purchase guns when the ban began in 1994. But things were different then. Since then we’ve seen 9/11; after which people were willing to give up basic liberties like privacy in the name of safety. We’ve had a war. We’ve had a lot of hope and change and charismatic “Yes We Can” that has begun a class war, an entitled lower class looking for someone to blame. A mandate that affects people’s freedoms to live out their religious beliefs. As Thomas Jefferson said “Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” We’re paving the road in the opposite direction of our founding fathers every time we give up one of these seemingly little things. No one is asking what they can do for their country anymore but what their country can do for them, and it comes at a price.
Remember as you run to the Big Brother to comfort, support and protect you; they also give the worst wedgies.