Gun control, the most important issue I fight for and the most polarized issue we face in this country. I was in one of my debates yesterday and the pro-gun folks had their usual talking points and myths and as I did in my latest book Debunking Common Pro Gun Myths I owned them with facts on this issue, they likely will disagree though. I believe strongly in my views on this issue and believe that if we don’t find a way to address this problem then lives will be lost, many more over the years. I lost someone to gun violence and then after Newtown I became more passionately involved in the fight. The countless mass shootings and other types of gun violence are sickening and as a human being I know that I cannot sit by as my fellow citizens are gunned down and their families are left to grieve their lives that were lost too soon. Guns serve no good and I will always fight to restrict them.
As Americans we sit and wait wondering when the next mass shooting will happen and this anxiety is a real and genuine fear that we have, it has become that common. These shootings tear lives apart and their families are left with an empty hole from the pain and anguish. There is no recovery or justice when you lose someone to senseless gun violence, you just learn to cope so you can carry on. Gun violence comes in many forms as we have seen in my previous posts on the issue as well as in my books the issue of mass shootings is something that is so random, you just never know when it will impact your life. Our country leads the world in this category and yet change in Washington on the issue of gun control is nonexistent. We have lost so many to these deadly shootings and it does not appear that the trend is slowing down anytime soon.
I hate to note this fact but the truth is that we had a mind-blowing 372 mass shootings in 2015 while having 277 the previous year. Here in the current year we have experienced 67 of these tragic events at the time of writing this, it will sure grow over the last several months of the year. The definition of a mass shooting is always changing and depending who you ask is different, the current standard for defining them is “four or more people shot/killed in a single incident at the same general time and location” according to the good people over at Gun Violence Archive who study the issue of gun violence in America. The other side says that we exaggerate these numbers but mass means multiple, as in mass murderer.
The FBI has had a similar definition, they used to define as the four or more killed at a single location but now we have federal guidelines that define mass killings regardless of weapons used as three or more killed. As we see, there are many ways used to define the event of a mass shooting but in the end it really comes down to the fact that we have a long list of these events each and every day in this country. The question remains, where do we go from here and how can we have some impact and influence on changing the current state of the nation in relation to guns and mass shootings? The solution seems simple enough, let’s just get rid of guns. I am all for it but we will get resistance, we have to work our way up to that slowly and we can do that little by little. Mass shootings have their own psychology to them and in order to understand why these events happen we must first analyze the shooter and the event from all angles, that is how we can get to the bottom of it!
I believe that these mass killings have three main elements to them and each one is equally important in our analysis of the crime. When we look at the three key components of the mass shootings that our nation experiences we have to make sure we are consistent in our research as we need to truly get to the bottom of this issue, if Congress will not act on this and end the ban on gun violence research then we the people must do our own research and find solutions. The three main factors in play in these mass shootings are –
– Access to high powered assault TYPE weapons
-Access to high capacity magazines
– No value for life
Notice that two of the three factors are related to access, when you have someone with anger issues, no value for life, and access to firearms and massive amounts of ammunition then bad things are bound to happen. That is the situation with mass shootings and gun violence as a whole access to guns and anger/violence and even though the pro-gun crowd denies it, access to guns is the main problem here. When we restrict guns then lives are saved and this is proven time and time again. In places that do not have a lax gun place close by where people can buy the guns and bring back lives are saved. Look at places like Hawaii, Europe, and Australia. They have proven that gun control works and then we look at states with strong gun laws but are next to a state with weak gun laws, it doesn’t work. Speaking of those high powered semi auto weapons, the pro-gun crowd loves to defend them but the evidence is on our side with how dangerous these weapons are.
We know that the pro-gun people say that the AR and those other high powered rifles are not assault weapons but they clearly are, in fact I believe that any full or semi auto gun is an assault weapon as its purpose is to inflict harm on a massive scale to people. The point is that if you ban high capacity mags and limit the amount of ammo and type of guns one can purchase then you most definitely will save lives and reduce fatalities. Nobody needs a 30 round mag or an AR-15, having a simple revolver or shotgun is enough for hunting and self-defense. Had these mass shooters not had the weapons and amount of ammo they did then these mass shootings we have seen in our history would
have been far less deadly.
Take for example, in the 2007 Virginia Tech mass shooting that prior to Orlando was the deadliest mass shooting in our history, the shooter used handguns but those handguns contained high capacity magazines. We know for a fact that with the chaos of the people running to escape his deadly rampage that lives would have been saved if he had magazines limited to 10 rounds or less. This is a fact; these high capacity magazines allow people to kill a lot of people in a very short period of time. Even when they have multiple magazines available to them people can get away before they can reload, banning these magazines as well as the many dangerous semi-auto weapons would have a lifesaving impact no doubt.
We must do something, we cannot sit by as another Newtown, Aurora, Columbine, or any one of the other tragedies happens. We have an obligation as citizens to speak out about this issue and advocate for more laws to save these precious lives taken by guns. There are so many things we can do and they must be done for change to happen. Trump wants to arm the mentally ill and have less gun control including allowing them at schools and airports and we simply cannot allow this to happen. We have worked to hard to pass strict laws that work and reduce gun violence and must continue the fight to save these lives, it is up to us as gunsense activists to fight for the voiceless and pass gun control in this country.
I know that the gun lovers hate me and do not want me to speak out about this issue but I won’t be silent, I know that too much is at stake and for us to say “The existing laws are enough” and sit by and wait until the next tragedy is what is Un_American, not fighting for gun control like they say to me. I say, NOT ONE MORE! We have had enough senseless gun violence in this nation and it is time that we act and fight for the victims, they say don’t blame guns but I say, don’t defend guns over our fellow Americans! Gun control isn’t popular with those on the extreme right but the fact is that the majority of non extremists support common sense gun measures, I favor drastic measures like a ban because life must come before guns but at the same time am always willing to compromise, it is just a shame that there side isn’t and is okay with mass shootings being our legacy.