Today I saw these memes:
I own guns and I believe that some amount of gun control is needed because they can be dangerous and people are stupid but I would definitely refuse give them up despite that I am a law abiding citizen. However, I can’t seem to find anything (other than memes and pundits with red faces) that actually states that I would have to hand over my weapons with any of the legislation happening right now. All I can find is legislation that could limit the amount in the clips I can purchase (in the future) as well as prevent me from purchasing assault weapons (in the future) and also additions to the background checks required to purchase a gun. But the guns (large clips and assault weapons and all) that I may already own would still be very much mine (and because I live in Texas, unregistered). I am definitely open to discussion about gun control, the good and the bad of it, but I feel that simply stating that it doesn’t work no matter what is ridiculous.
Some forms of gun control do work; the GCA in 1968 was passed with the intention of reducing the amount of machine guns on the streets which (over time) it did just that. I am confused every time I see these posts were people are so crazy pissed because the government is going to take the guns they already own. As though I should be expecting a knock on my door sometime in the next year asking me to hand over my weapons and as far as I can tell that is not what is happening at all. It seems to me that people who support some amount of gun control are being inaccurately labeled as hippie liberals who hate guns and would never own one and also that gun control actually means a complete gun ban and the disarmament of all citizens, which is just not true.
When I mentioned to the person who posted the memes that this was quite the leap for the legislation being presented he jumped into how none of the laws being proposed would have stopped the mass killing at Sandyhook elementary school and pointed out that the shooter had tried to purchase guns legally on his own and failed. He made the argument that we should just enforce the multitude of gun laws that already exist and that making new ones wouldn’t change anything and certainly wouldn’t have stopped the Sandyhook tragedy.
I understand why people claim to be pissed about current gun legislation being presented to congress, however gun control is not just about Sandyhook. He is correct though Lanza was not able to purchase a gun on his own legally, his mother was – the irony here is that she had guns for self-defense and then was killed with one of them.
That aside the majority of the gun laws in place today are enforced, the bigger issues are actually with amendments that have been made to those laws like that gun retailers are not required to take inventory and that their license to sell firearms cannot be threatened even when multiple guns used in multiple crimes were purchased from the same shop who didn’t adhere to those gun laws all due to the Tiahrt Amendments (http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/html/federal/tiahrt.shtml). I realize that what is being said now and the legislation on the table is not actually addressing these specific problems with gun retailers but the conversation has to start somewhere. And rather than equating an Assault Weapons Ban to Nazi Germany or the Battle of Concord it seems like it would be more responsible and reasonable to come up with a better solution rather than just yelling about the one being presented. Not to mention that no one is presenting legislation that would actually take our guns away. What is being presented now is an attempt to prevent the future sale and purchase of guns like an AR-15, limit the amount of rounds in each clip and expand back ground checks to include possible mental health concerns. Simply making a cultural effort to express that guns are dangerous in the wrong hands and to stop kidding each other into believing that AR-15’s are used for personal protection by the average citizen on a regular basis might be a good place to start that conversation.