What is the answer to gun control?

What is the answer to gun control?

Most people take one side or another on a particular issue or political ideology, and out of fear of being labeled confused, refuse to divert from the line. Holding fast lends credibility. However, the truth is that most people, if not all, have a little bit  of each side within them.  I mention this because I have a conflicting viewpoint on Derek Anderson’s recent opinion piece titled, “If we can’t have gun control, can we at least have ammunition control?”

I am sure many students do, too, but here is the catch:  I am a liberal.  There is always more than one way to observe a situation, and interestingly, if you stepped back — say view the planet from some point in space — they all would be valid.  In his article, Anderson states that guns do not kill people, bullets do; and that if we cannot have gun control, then ammunition control should be a logical resolution.

My personal belief is that everyone should have a gun.  The 31 states that allow conceal-and-carry have on average 24 percent lower violent crime rates and a 39 percent lower incidents of robbery.  The man who mugged the woman half a block from my house might have thought twice about the situation if he thought she might be carrying.

Such scenarios are often cited by Libertarians et. al. as a prime reason to allow citizens to carry guns.  While I disagree with Conservatives on most counts, this is one where I find myself concurring with their premise.

I grew up in the state that more than likely contains the most stringent gun laws: California.  The majority of these laws are aimed at curbing gang violence, which is not a bad thing. However, these laws apply to everyone, and for the most part, have not lent their hand in stalling violent crimes where guns played a role.  The one law designed to top them all states that any crime committed with a firearm, whether it was loaded or not, whether a projectile was discharged or not, carries with it an automatic 25-year prison sentence.

Has this law slowed crimes committed with guns?  No. I know of two incidents in California in which the law was outright ignored. One man shot his sister’s boyfriend, which was treated as a domestic dispute and not a “criminal act,” so he got seven years instead of 25.  The other, well, the incident was not premeditated.  Nor was it in self-defense.

Our perspective on the world is based on our own individual realities.  Aside from having grown up in California and being exposed to the above events, my dad was a card-carrying member of the NRA, and I was too when I was younger. I find the NRA to be largely composed of nut-jobs who seem to have bent the 2nd Amendment to fit their own ideals, but one thing I learned from them was to respect firearms.  While many members hold a John Wayne-style machismo, there is an understanding that guns are simply a tool, not an end themselves.

Now before it seems as if I am deviating from topic, guns themselves require two items: a person to handle the gun, and ammunition. Anderson was correct in that guns can be easily obtained, and not only by criminals either. Anyone can illegally purchase a throwaway gun (a gun that was already used in a crime) for around $20. It would seem a logical step to offer stricter regulation geared toward the one thing that makes guns even more useless than a person who cannot properly aim — ammunition. But I must ask: If all the laws and regulations in place regarding gun control cannot make a dent in crimes committed with guns already, how would regulating ammunition be any different?

Eric Harris and Dylan Kiebold violated 20 firearms laws when the gathered their cache of guns (not to mention violating other laws, such as murder) before they unloaded upon Columbine.  Even if tougher laws regulated ammunition, those laws would have been violated, too.

I am all for a peaceful society, and for one in which guns and other weapons are not a necessity.  Not to offer a conflicting message, but I also feel that such items have their place as well.  Instead of more regulations that will be ignored, or tougher laws and penalties that will not detour, how about uplifting the ignorance surrounding this topic from both sides and offer education and respect into the proper usage of implements instead?