Gun Control Growing up on a ranch with a family who loves to hunt, can be challenging when talking about increasing gun control restrictions. My brother and father's use for guns is shooting animals to provide food and protection for wildlife, which I respect and appreciate. Other than hunting though, I feel like guns should not be an important factor in our society. Guns cause violence, and our country has grown off of it. The second amendment was created more than two-hundred years ago, which I feel that our country has abused this right. I know people love following traditions, but I think we need new conversations and more regulations on gun control. With today's laws, there's a loose federal background check and restrictions on automatic guns, but not semiautomatics. With these rules, there is still a rapid amount of school and mass shootings. We need a stricter follow up on people buying guns, because with the regulations now, it is not that hard for the wrong person to own a gun. I think the only reason a person should own a gun is for hunting purposes or shooting sports. If people buy guns for other intentions, innocent lives can be taken by personal conflict, racial profiling, and sick people's amusement. For instance, a majority of the recent mass shootings have been caused by co-workers targeting other co-workers. Overall there is a lot of sick people living in our society, that have the ability to buy a gun and go out in public and shoot people for unknown reasons. Yet, we're not doing anything with gun regulations to decrease these incidents. There's the argument that increasing gun control would not affect a number of mass shootings, because of the black market. You have to realize though that the black market is a lot harder of getting a hold of a gun than a legal gun shop is. The more challenging it is to purchase a gun, the fewer people will try to get one. Also, if we eventually, all together demolish the right of guns to citizens, except for the right to hunt, officials could track down black marketers. This process occurred in Australia and they have a major decrease in the amounts of mass shootings compared to the United States. Even though there's still massacres taking place, they're from other resources such as knives, vehicles and arson attacks. Not only are people killing other people, but people are killing themselves. Especially with teenagers, when they're suffering from depression, or drama, everything seems like a huge deal at that age. When their parents, have a gun for protection rights or whatever, this gives the child an easy access to kill themselves if they are thinking about it. This is coming from personal experiences too. We have had several young people in our community that have committed suicide or have attempted with a gun. I just cannot express how horrific it is for a person at such a young age, just discovering who they are, to kill themselves. I know at this age, life is hard, it's stressful, it's cruel, but it's also the beginning of your life. I know it feels easier to kill yourself, but life goes on, and you'll realize it's not always like that. It's challenging for someone to realize that though, and when they have the opportunity it's more likely they are going to try. I recognize that the reason why many Americans do not want to change gun control regulations is because of the 2nd Amendment. The 2nd Amendment though was made for the people to protect themselves from a corrupt government. Which nowadays, the people do not have a chance compared to our military now. Not even that, but our society is a democracy, where the citizens have partial control over the government. We make the changes. In reality, the 2nd Amendment is an excuse for Americans to not increase gun control restrictions because it's against the constitution. Americans use the 2nd Amendment for protection rights when really they just like guns and don't want them being taken away from them. Maybe we should find new hobbies for the greater good of our country. In conclusion, I believe Americans should not be allowed guns unless the use of a gun goes towards hunting, protection from wildlife, or sports involving guns. This is the problem in Australia, now that the citizens don't own guns, people are getting eaten and hurt by dangerous animals, such as snakes, sharks, and more. For example, I live on a ranch with mountain lions, bears, and other animals that are threatening to my existence, so my family owns guns. Overall, we should not face violence with more violence, because that it is just one big contradiction.
Gun Control - People Control? Sadie Vance
“It’s not a gun control problem; it’s a cultural control problem.” -Bob Barr
In the U.S. in 2015, there were 372 mass shootings, 64 of those were school shootings. Massacres are a daily issue that our country faces. Whether it’s personal conflict, racial prejudice, or just for sick people's amusement. Everyone is concerned with the amount of violence, but the question is how are we going to approach it?
Everyone wants to live in a safe community and feel secure that there’s not going to be a random shooting as your dancing at a concert, or when your kids are playing in the street, or when you’re out for ice cream at the mall. That’s why we need a change in our country, whether it’s more gun regulations, or focusing more on the people.
Those who oppose more gun regulations think that the mass shootings occurring are because of the people who hold the gun, not the gun itself. Every conservative I have gathered information from has claimed, “Guns are not the problem, the people are the the problem.” The people who cause these incidents, are often mentally ill, and the law-abiding citizens should not be punished for their consequences.
Gun rights advocates, strongly support the 2nd Amendment, and increasing gun restrictions would challenge one of our constitutional rights. “We use the 2nd Amendment for hunting, gun sports, protection, and to assure we don’t live under a corrupt government,” says Jim Cornell. The constitution guarantees certain basic rights for its citizens and it defines the principles upon which the state is based. These traditions are what makeup America, and changing it will lead to chaos.
The conservative view believes that raising gun regulations, would not change the number of massacres, being that there are other sources, such as cars and knives that cause just as much damage. “Guns are not needed for mass murders,” Trump says. Driving a car into a crowd of people produces the same amount of harm as a gun would. Yet, we’re not going to ban cars as we’re trying to with guns.
However, currently, compared to other advanced countries, the U.S. is the highest for the number of murders involved using firearms. 60% of the deaths in the U.S. are caused by guns, while it’s 31% in Canada, 18.2% in Australia, and 10% in the UK. As Barack Obama said in one of his speeches, “At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this kind of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It is in our power to do something about it."
There are other countries, like America that had similar gun laws, but then changed their laws in order to prevent massacres, such as Australia. In April 1996, Australia experienced a massacre from a sick individual killing 35 people at a tourist site. After this incident, the government passed the National Firearms Agreement, outlawing all civilian access to semiautomatic rifles and pump-action shotguns. You are now only allowed to purchase a gun that affiliates with a sports shooting club or for landowners to hunt. Self-defense is an unacceptable reason. Between 1979 and 1996, Australia suffered from 13 mass shootings, but since 1996 to now, there has been none.
Not only are people killing other people, but people are killing themselves. The prevalence of suicide is 5 times higher in homes having guns. According to Madeline Drexler, Editor, Harvard Public Health, “In 2010 in the U.S., 19,392 people committed suicide with guns, compared with 11,078 who were killed by others.” When it comes to suicide, you have solutions, such as hanging, overdosing, cutting, and shooting yourself. Out of all of them, shooting is the worse, because it’s an irreversible solution. With hanging, overdosing, and cutting, you have time to reconsider or recover from it. Overall, owning a gun, there is a 43 times higher likelihood of killing a family member, friend, or neighbor than an intruder.
Although we have federal background checks to try and prevent people associated with crime and a mental illness history, there is still a rapid amount of massacres. For instance, the Las Vegas shooter had no record of violent or mental illness history, he was considered a law-abiding citizen, yet here we are with the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.
Even if you’re not a law-abiding citizen, it is not that hard to access a gun. For example, Dylann Roof, a white male, killing nine African Americans at a church in Charleston, South Carolina purchased a .45-caliber Glock at a gun store. Where he would have been required to pass a background check, yet he passed with having being arrested earlier that year for trespassing and drug possession. “Out of the 100 million background checks in the last decade, only 700,000 were denied,” FBI says.
In an attempt for change in the number of massacres, suicides, and overall killings in the U.S. involving guns, the government should create a law that allows citizens to only purchase a gun if they have a permit for hunting or if they are part of a sports shooting club. I don’t think we should be able to purchase a gun for self-defense. If everyone wants to live in a safe community, how can we if everyone owns a gun for “protection”. I realize that this is a people problem, but how will we determine who the wrong person is owning a gun. I know this is a request that half of this country would disagree with, but I just feel like this is the only way to reduce the number of deaths in this country contributed to guns.
Shootings are such a regular thing in our society, that we’re not even phased by shootings of five people. Do we really want to live in a country that represents this kind of violence?
My art peice depicts fourteen pictures demonstrating both spectrums on the topic of gun control. There are seven circles, but there is a picture on both sides that relates to each other. For example, on the Austrailian flag, the other side shows an anti gun picture, while the American flag has a gun on the otherside. Each picture relates to the liberal side of increasing gun control, and the conservative side displays their reasoning of not increasing gun control. The liberal reasoning, is the amount of massacres, suicide, and overall violence in our country. For consevatives, they want to protect the 2nd Amendment right, and have protection. I chose a mobile to combine both sides.
As a class, each student picked a political topic and incorporated both spectrums, including your own personal belief into an op-ed, an open letter, or an essay. After writing one of those options, we included an art piece that represents our subject. Once those requirements were completed, we exhibited our project and our knowledge at the Fort Lewis College and spilt our class into two sections. The first hour of the exhibition, half of our class was seminaring, while the other half was displaying their project to students, parents, and strangers. Then we switched for the other hour. The seminar involved not only students, but adults with both spectrums and the point was not to debate but to find a common ground and talk about political issues respectfully.
After diving into both sides more deeply, I have questioned my own beliefs and have made myself more willing to be disturbed. I have gained more insight on specific topics and how liberals and conservatives feel about it. I feel like the liberals follow the moral of treat people the way you want to be treated, while conservatives appreciate hard work over anything. For instance, the liberals want to have a higher tax for wealthier people for programs that could help people struggling. While the conservatives believe that it’s their own problem and that they should change it on their own because otherwise, those people will always depend on other people for help. Which this is one of the topics I fall in the middle of, because I feel like the liberals want to help people struggling, because some people don’t always have the same opportunities in life as others, but I also think the conservatives make a good point that you should be self-sufficient.
Not only did I learn more about my own values, but I now comprehend the other side’s values a lot more than I did before. My perception of a conservative is not the redneck, gun loving, human I thought of previously. I recognize that they respect the law, even if they disagree with it, that they like following tradition, and overall they make me feel appreciative of being an American. Not all of these concepts are true for every conservative. It can range from the redneck hillbilly I once thought of, to being in the middle of both spectrums, to even changing to the other side.
Listening to both spectrums in this democracy, I have learned that neither of the sides are happy with having only two options on where you are categorized for your political beliefs. They think it’s an issue with our society because it’s choosing one side or the other, and then having a constant battle between the people in our country. They don’t like that people are being labeled from their stance on politics before you even get to know a person. All of these assumptions make it hard to listen to one another. Also, people are upset with how much our country changes every time we have a new president. Every time we have a conservative president, he’ll try to change the country to his way and then we’ll elect a liberal president and everything will change. Citizens do not think this is an effective way to progress in our country since half of our country has such diverse views from the other half.
My position on the spectrum is changing continuously, being that both sides are giving valid points most of the time making me fall in the middle. Yet, each of their points is going to be supporting their argument, no matter where they got their information from. One person could say something that they interpreted, while another person could have got a completely different meaning of what they understood. This is why we need to stop listening to so many news channels, and believing every word they say because it’s all based on their ideologies. As a result of this project, my political views are still changing every time I have an intellectual conversation, with someone who holds opposing views.
Having a society that follows Rogerian rhetoric and the role of “willingness to be disturbed” could be very beneficial to our democracy. This will allow everyone to stop being so right all the time and will actually listen. Everyone wants to have the right answer, but there could be multiple solutions. Plus, we have always been rewarded for being right, which makes us happy. Yet, what’s the point of being right anyway, once we find the answer that’s it. We should be rewarded more for being lost because that’s the excitement in life. Listening to others will expand our perspectives and will be able to understand each other more.
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