I have watched and read reactions to school shootings, and the sad thread I always see is willful misunderstanding of each other’s views, vilification and a lack of common decency rather than debate and discussion. The NRA’s battle cry is that sensible gun control legislation is certain to lead to all gun ownership being illegal. On the opposite side are those who think all gun owners are a bunch of idiots who would sacrifice others in support of their right to bear any and all arms.
We need to get out of our silos and be willing to look at facts, not alternative facts that fit our narrative. It is a fact that the high incidence of school shootings is a uniquely American problem. Other countries all deal with the same societal and mental health problems as the U.S. without these constant deadly shootings. The lack of intellectual curiosity to ask ourselves why this is so astounds me. My purpose is not to rant but to provoke us to reexamine ourselves and what we assume to be true.
There have always been weapons used for marksmanship. I can imagine the further thrill of firing an assault style weapon and huge magazines that let you fire repeatedly. It’s exhilarating, it’s challenging, and heck, downright fun.
There is nothing wrong with being a thrill seeker, but this weapon was not designed for target shooting. It was designed for killing people brutally and quickly.
Sometimes common sense and the good of society need to prevail over our individual wants to be able to exercise our individual freedom. I would argue that an assault weapons bans is one of those times where to give up something that might be perfectly safe in your hands for the good of all is warranted.
Those other countries? One thing we know for sure is they do not allow citizens to own assault style weapons. It is not the only piece of the puzzle but it is a big, obvious piece. Would it stop everyone from acquiring a gun illegally or using other guns or weapons? No. It may be imperfect in search of the good, but if it saved a deadly shooting from being a mass shooting, I think denying us the pleasure of owning such weapons and some inconvenience when buying others is a small price to pay.