I’ve chosen to write about this subject not out of desire but more so to voice concern because the problem we face today with finding an answer to gun control and violence simply affects us all and can’t be ignored. Call me paranoid if you’d like, but I have a tendency to scan my surroundings these days a lot more closely than I use to because of being haunted by all of the stories of gun violence that have taken up residence around us and our families.
I actually prefer to camp out at home or make a simple trip to a friend or relative’s house on any given evening rather than spending it at an over crowded mall or outdoor venue. I prefer it because I know the crowd, and I don’t have to be concerned that a fight or shooting is going to break out over spilled nachos or stepped on toes! The move toward stricter gun control regulations has been in the rear view mirror for quite some time. But, what really concerns me is, “Do the people who are making and pushing for new gun control laws to be passed really know anything about how guns are purchased in the first place, not by the common law citizen, but by the criminal minded individuals who have brought us to where we are today?”
One article by Stephanie Pappas made a very good point that new gun control regulations can do little to nothing about the whopping 300 million guns that are already in circulation within the United States. Yes, this is a very scary thought, and not one to take lightly. What we certainly don’t want to see is the law-abiding citizens unable to purchase a gun while those with intent to harm can continue getting weapons by the dozens. In the study done by Dr. Eric Fleegler on dissecting whether or not gun laws really prevent deaths. He compared the number of gun deaths with the number of gun safety laws in each state. The laws were divided into five categories and each state could score from a 0 to 28 depending on the number of laws enforced. The state that scored the lowest for gun control regulations was Utah which had a zero, while Massachusetts came in at 24, which was the highest. Although more thorough research needs to be done, it is worth while to report that states within the top 25% of gun legislation had a 42% reduction in gun deaths compared with states who were at the lower 25 % and had a 70% increase in gun violence. Fleeger points out that he can’t prove that the gun laws are the cause of the lower rates of gun violence, but the findings are definitely worth further investing.
The rapper, Snoop Dog, has even joined the move for more gun control by releasing a new song called , “No Guns Allowed,” in response to the Sandy Hook school shootings. He hopes that his lyrics, if heard by someone thinking about taking a gun to school, will cause them to stop and “think about what he was doing.” He went on to say how easy it is for a person to get their hands on a gun including himself, and “it shouldn’t be that easy.” The truth is that young people, guns and gang violence have been going on for years, but suddenly now, it’s been decided to crack down on an issue that has taken its toll and has taken the lives of far too many innocent victims.
During the recent large-scale victory of the democratic gun bills in Colorado, the state where at least two mass shootings occurred including the Aurora movie theater shooting 8 months ago, and in 1999, Columbine High School, there were many sighs of relief. Governor John Hickenlooper just days ago signed the bills that will take effect July 1, 2013 for universal background checks to include gun purchases between private parties and sales that occur online. A fee will also be required for these background checks. There is also now a limit on ammunition magazines to 15 rounds. One thing is clear, it’s a desperate time, and it has caused us to turn to desperate measures to prevent anymore heart wrenching tragedies like the ones that have occurred over that past 15 years. Ivan Moreno writes, “Colorado lawmakers succeeded while members of their party stumbled in other states.”
Many of these new bills are a shot in the dark to try to stop guns from getting into the wrong hands. However, at least, efforts are being made. Gun shop owners and advocates need to understand that when human lives are at stake, these types of compromises don’t kill anyone. Guns, however, do when placed in the wrong hands. These laws are a step in the right direction, and until we see an end to the random acts of violence that continue to spread throughout cities and communities both big and small, both rural and urban, we all must take notice, we all must take precautions, and we all must take more time to care about what is going on beyond our own backyard because as we have witnessed, no one is immune from being a victim of gun violence. Let us arm ourselves in good sense and prayer that together, we can take back our communities and make them more safer now than ever before!