Gun control debate

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!  

Please.

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.

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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.”


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5 thoughts on “Gun control debate”

  1. I don’t understand how Katie Kapple can actually rationalize comparing a gun with let’s see: knives, pencils, matches, and ASPIRIN! Are you kidding me?

    She must be high on hydrochloric acid.

    Did she really just quote Adolf Hitler?

    Really? All other amendments would be worthless without the Second Amendment? How is a gun going to help anyone protect their freedom of speech? Or their freedom of religion? How is a gun going to help anyone at all? It’ll help them blow someone’s brains out, but taking away guns will not fix the problem. It won’t even help a little bit! If we did it would just treat the symptoms of the disease, not the disease itself! Duh!

    Let’s be clear here, I don’t care either way. I don’t exercise my right to bear arms, because to me, guns are useless. I don’t live in fear. I think the world would be a better place without them. But the fact is guns exist, and always will exist until the extinction of mankind. So illegal or not, we’e always going to have suicides, Trayvon Martins tragedies, and Virginia Tech massacres. We are just hoping that with guns illegal, there might be fewer.

    That is all.

  2. It was a dark night, the isolated Saskatchewan road unlit by anything but the two headlights of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police car. For the officer inside, coming to the end of his shift, the day had been uneventful, just one more lonely day patrolling the Canadian prairie.
    Suddenly, as things do in the dark, a car became clear alongside the road. A man was struggling with something in the trunk. The mountie’s heart went out to the stranded motorist, and he pulled over to help the man change his tire. Flashlight in his hand, the mountie got out of his car and walked up to the stranded motorist, intending to help with what he thought was a flat tire.
    It was then he saw the corpse in the trunk.
    By this point, it was too late for the mountie. The large and heavy motorist was on top of him, shoving his head beneath the water in the large, muddy Saskatchewan ditch that paralleled the remote country road. The mountie, the air in his lungs contracting, his muscles screaming, his heart pounding in his ears as the motorist he’d been trying to help tried to kill him. The mountie reached down and grabbed the pen out of his shirt pocket, reached back up, and shoved the pen through his assailant’s eye, killing the man instantly.
    This is a true story. The mountie is one of Bellingham police officer and SWAT captain Don Almer’s best friends. Almer teaches Patrol Procedures at Whatcom Community College in the spring.
    Knives are used in 13.38 percent of violent crimes. Guns are used in 67.08 percent. Although statistically less dangerous than guns, knives are pretty dangerous.
    Matches set fires, which, according to the US FIre Administration, kill and injure thousands per year in the United States.
    Aspririn, derived from acetylsalicylic acid, can cause severe stomach bleeding, aggravate hemophilia, and can cause death in the case of an overdose.
    And if you wish to imply that I am using the schedule I illegal drug lysergic acid, the use of which is classified under RCW 69.50.204 (c)(21) as a class C felony? Please. Hydrochloric acid is what helps you digest your food. You’re saying I have heartburn.
    The Hitler quote is intended to encourage thought. Hitler was saying that he is glad the German people didn’t think about the prejudicial speeches he was giving, didn’t think about how death is not an economically sound policy, and didn’t think about what would happen when Hitler’s bloodthirsty government was done with the Jews, Catholics, communists, homosexual men, gypsies, and others he hated so much he was willing to murder them. So Hitler’s government was indeed glad the people didn’t think, because things might have turned out quite differently for Hitler if they had.
    The truth of the matter is that one can lead a man to knowledge, but one cannot make him think.
    In order of importance, the Second Amendment comes first, because without it, the rest of the Constitution is worthless. Here’s how it goes: say I own a home, a television, a few chairs, a refrigerator.
    One night, a man breaks into my home and steals my television. I hide in my closet and let him take the television. Perhaps I call the police, and they come out and dust for fingerprints, but the truth of the matter is that unless the burglar left his wallet behind, there isn’t much evidence for the police and the prosecutor to do anything with.
    Next, the man comes in and rapes me. I don’t do anything to fight him; I just let him finish and when he leaves, I call the police. They come out and collect evidence and maybe they convict him and put him prison, or maybe a jury acquits him. Either way, I have been violated. Nothing can take that memory away. I may never feel safe again.
    Next, the man breaks into my house and kills me.
    I’m not saying I would shoot anyone or a television set. I wouldn’t. A life is not worth a television. But my life, my safety, my body? I would shoot someone in self defence or the defence of another in a second.
    The Constitution provides me with innumerable rights, the one of which is the right to free speech, another to vote, another the right freedom of religion. Without a gun, what happens when someone doesn’t like me speaking my opinion because he doesn’t agree? I shut up. What happens when I try to practice a non-Christian religion in a Christian country? Pretty soon, I’ll be professing to be a Christian. What happens when an election comes around and someone doesn’t want me to have my ballet? I guess I just don’t vote.
    My rights to life, liberty, and happiness are ensured by the gun by my bed. When I can fight for my rights, I can exercise them. Freedom isn’t free, but it is well worth fighting for.
    You have the right to give up your rights. What you don’t have is the right to take away my rights.
    I don’t live in fear, and I’m glad that you don’t either. No one should have to. I walk down Railroad at night alone sometimes, although I have studied law enforcement and crime statistics. I don’t live in fear, I live prepared. I’m pretty tiny, compared to a lot of people; 5’6”, a 115 pounds, female. A gun levels the playing field for me. I never intend to shoot anyone, and I don’t want to. I just want to prevent myself from being a victim. When someone points a gun at me for no reason, I don’t want to be a martyr, I don’t want to be Trayvon Martin, I want to be alive.
    It’s better, they say, to stand before a jury of twelve than to be carried in a casket by six.

  3. I believe that guns are dangerous but so are many other things. Sadly, too many accidents happen with guns. Children do accidently shoot themselves or a gun goes off in someone’s backpack or in the car. I think that guns are needed in war because we aren’t fighting with knives, or swords anymore. I feel this subject tears me into two different directions. I hate seeing when children are shot because they were curious. On the other hand, I saw on a news story that a woman had shot her husband because he raped her over and over and had her dress to his likings. She didn’t know how to get out of the marriage. I believe he was highly respectable in the community. When she was accused, she got a short sentencing. I hate guns but I think guns are useful in war and in special incidents. I’m not afraid and don’t have a gun but if I had to use one, I probably would. The Lord is sending me off to other parts in the world, so I don’t know if I would need a gun, maybe the gun of truth would take them (traffickers) out.

  4. If one looks at countries where guns are controlled, one notices tht they hardly ever have headlines like ” Shhot out claims 4 lives and injures 6. Knives are dangerous, but very few knife accidents cause death, they only cause cuts. With a knife one can only kill one person at a time and it has to be close combat. With a gun, one can kill 100 people from half a mile away. I don’t know about the constitution, but it sure is not helping protect the people it claims to protect. Guns are more dangerous and should be done away with. They are an easy way out to murder, suicide, gangs, robberies etc.

  5. I’m torn on this isse. My dad shot himself nearly 6 years ago. I hated guns for that reason. Part of me believes that guns should be banned; I don’t want to live in a world that NEEDS them. But then again, there are those people in the world who ruin it for the rest of us. The ones who take a gun into a movie theater and kill/injure innocent people for no apparent reason. Who would think that you’d need a gun in a movie theater?! That’s the world today, sadly. So I appreciate the fact that we are allowed to carry a weapon to protect ourselves as long as we know how to take care of that weapon and obviously use it only for self defense. Did you know that if someone breaks into your house, rapes you or a member of your family, and you shoot them and they live and sue you, that they can win? That’s not fair, is it? No. I believe that in that circumstance, shooting to kill is fair.
    The memory of my father will never leave me. The way he died will never leave me either. But I can’t live not liking something just because someone I love used it as a way to take their life…

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