by Cutter Kilgore
My mother, Kelly, shot herself in the head on a balmy June Sunday when I was 12 years old. She bought a handgun easily and died young.
I don’t blame gun laws for human decisions, but the problem with guns, aside from being too readily accessible, is that they’re only designed for one purpose: to kill.
Let’s not kid ourselves. Guns don’t contribute to society. They don’t staple together papers or loft our shots onto the green. What they do is make killing easy, and nobody needs killing to be easy.
The solution to gun violence is not to provide Americans with easy-access to firearms in order to fend off gun-toting criminals. That experiment has failed.
Citizens need guns? Why? Do good decisions arise out of perpetual fear?
Regardless of whether you feel safer with a gun nearby, statistics continually show a direct and blatant correlation between gun availability and gun death rates.
Often ignored by pro-gunners is another, even sadder side of this dreary issue. Suicides and accidental gun death account for more than half of the total annual gun-related fatalities in this country. So what, it doesn’t matter if people only shoot themselves? What an appalling and shockingly callous sentiment.
A prevalent notion amongst pro-gun advocates is one of self-defense and vigilante justice spawned from action movie clichés: Guns make heroes who shoot bad guys and prevent robberies and murders!
Rather, they make it effortless for honest citizens to become murderers. Right, George Zimmerman?
Humans aren’t so neatly segregated as victim or criminal, good and bad. Life is never so monochrome, so let’s not take the law into our own untrained hands.
How can more guns be the answer to halting firearm death rates? It’s counterintuitive.
How many Trayvon Martin tragedies are too many? How many Virginia Tech massacres? Haven’t we had enough?
The Second Amendment states that an armed militia is necessary to maintain a free state. But this isn’t 1791 anymore, and that just isn’t true today.
My mother’s ashes are scattered on an island that can be reached only by boat. She’s nestled under a tree in a place that smells, to me, like summer.
But let me be clear: I don’t blame gun laws for human decisions, only for providing such attainable means.
by Katy Kappele
The problem with making guns illegal is that the criminals don’t care — they’re criminals. Gun control makes guns illegal, which takes weapons out of the hands of victims, who could really use them, and leaves them in the hands of the people who intend to do harm with them. Killing people is already illegal! Why does it matter if it’s a gun, a knife, or a pencil that does the job?
Crime statistics show that less than 1 percent of the time is a gun actually fired in self-defense, because most of the time just showing a criminal you have a gun will dissuade him from his criminal intent. And if you are presented with a situation where a gun would save your life, I damn well hope you have one.
Another concern is that someone could shoot himself or a friend by accident, while playing with a gun. We teach children not to play with matches, knives, and hydrochloric acid, so that no one gets hurt during play. Guns are no different.
And if you can shoot yourself while cleaning a gun, with the gun pulled apart to expose the chamber, a cleaning rod in the barrel, and no finger on the trigger? I’d say you deserve your Darwin Award.
Suicide is an intensely sad phenomenon, but taking guns away will not fix the problem. The fact of the matter is that by taking away guns you are treating symptoms, not the disease. People who are sad enough to commit suicide are going to do it, one way or another. More women attempt suicide, but more men actually commit suicide, as men are more likely to use guns. However, pills are a common household item and are also often used for suicide. Are we going to ban aspirin?
The Second Amendment does not state that you should own a gun. It makes no judgments about people who do or do not own guns, or about those who use them. All the Second Amendment does is protect our right to keep and bear arms, and therefore every other amendment. Make no mistake: without the second amendment, all the others would be worthless. How would we defend them?
When you hear arguments for anything, especially anything that involves the removal or compromise of the basic rights provided and protected in the Constitution, think, please! Do not believe everything you hear! Your right to freedom of speech and religion comes next.
As Adolf Hitler put it: “What good fortune it is for governments that the people do not think.”