“A [weapon] is never a killer; it is a tool in the killer’s hands.”
In the wake of the tragic massacre that occurred last weekend, voices in the liberal community are once again pushing hard for stricter gun control laws. This also happened after the Sandy Hook shooting, the Colorado Movie Theater shooting, and a number of other instances involving troubled individuals carrying assault weapons. Each time, I have voiced my opinion against banning assault weapons, and I freely admit my views have not changed.
You cannot blame an inanimate object for the actions of a sentient being. Objects do not have the capacity to do anything on their own; even automated equipment needs to be constructed and started by the hands of a living, sentient being. My point is that we have to look at WHY the shootings happened, not HOW. Most of the earlier mass shootings occurred because a mentally unstable individual got their hands on an assault weapon; in response to those cases, I say enforce background checks to make sure such individuals, as well as those with prior legal charges, do not get their hands on such weapons. In addition, I am an advocate of smart guns, and I believe there should be (potentially) subsidized programs where for a nominal, if any fee, gun owners can send their weapons to manufacturers to have them converted.
This recent shooting was an act of Islamic Terrorism. You may think that makes me want to ban Muslims from owning firearms; if so, you are wrong. A major problem with this country, as well as many in Europe, is that we isolate Muslims from our communities, and terrorist regimes such as ISIS prey on the anger that ensues. I believe we have to integrate innocent Muslims and teach them to be better citizens.
The gunman was actually on the terrorism watch list, but the FBI found insufficient proof to indict him. What the FBI did know was that he frequently spouted inflammatory rhetoric and was known to have extremist views. I believe people like him are a danger to society and need to be detained and reeducated before they can act on their ideas. Unfortunately, the current legal interpretation of the First Amendment forbids such actions from being taken. My personal belief is that many the freedoms granted by the Constitution are good in moderation, but they should not be taken to such an extreme that we end up tolerating extreme intolerance.
Another argument made by liberals for banning assault weapons is that they are unneeded for anything other than killing. That is simply not true. Some people like to take them to firing ranges for fun. Some like to think of guns as potential collectibles. Some just feel safer having them instead of simple pistols and hunting rifles in case of an attempted armed robbery.
Others, when arguing for disregarding the second amendment, say the Founding Fathers could not possibly predict guns would be as powerful as they are today. Well, three hundred years ago, muskets were deemed extremely dangerous military-grade weapons, and three hundred years before that (when gunpowder was first weaponized), people fled from anyone who carried what were then called hand cannons. I believe people in the future will think the automatic assault weapons of today are obsolete and largely non-threatening. The point is, power is subjective, and just because something is deemed dangerous today doesn’t mean it will always be considered dangerous. I would venture to say at least a few of the Founding Fathers realized this when they wrote the constitution.
I will say that I have a rather uncommon view of the second amendment; I may touch on that in a later post.
If anyone would like to debate me on this, feel free to leave a comment.