The Gun Control Debate

Gun control in America is a tricky subject but it be must be discussed. Given the events of 2012: One in Aurora, Colorado, 12 dead and 70 others injured, and the second in Newtown, Connecticut where 27 people died, with several others injured. The shooters in each despicable crime used handguns and assault rifles as their weapons of choice. The victims never had a chance.

Despite these two incidents, the NRA is staunch in their beliefs that guns were not the problem, but movies, music and video games instead were to blame. It is their belief that the only way to prevent tragedies, such as the two shootings in 2012, the shooting at Virginia Tech and the Columbine murders, is to arm more people with guns. Arm more people with guns and give them reasons to shoot with very little rhyme. Why you ask? It is because the Second Amendment in the U.S. Constitution grants people the right to bear arms. Without any crisis management training under their belts, these people will become irrational thinkers. Moreover, irrational thinkers with guns in their hands, is a recipe for more chaos, more disaster, shootings that are more senseless. This is not the solution, it only muddies up the problem, perhaps creating more problems.

What a way to duck the real issue people.

I am all for the right to bear arms, if we are in war that is. The word militia is used in the Second Amendment, not vigilant justice. I am all for the right to have a gun for protection, for hunting, but not to mow down and army of imaginary people who dare threaten the way that we live today. Hypothetically speaking, if you live in the backwoods, who is coming to disturb you where you feel as though you need a bevy of assault rifles to protect yourselves? That was a serious question. Are you going to hunt down a bear, or shoot down a tank? What I am asking is what are you preparing yourself for, is it war?

While you are trying stumble on your words, looking to appease me with something that sounds nice, do me a favor. Please leave the Second Amendment out of your argument. I say this because Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Religion, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, is all Amendments as well, yet many of you want to silence others and tell them what, and or whom they should pray to. It is hypocritical people. It is also typical.

No one has said to give up your guns, please, by all means, keep them if you must. All you are doing is making it possible for guns to get into the wrong hands, or shall I say an irrational thinker. Just remember that tragedies like those that happened Newtown and Aurora are isolated incidents.

Do not get me wrong, these events are horrific, but so are the shootings in the Chicago metropolitan area. Unlike in Newtown and Aurora, shootings in Chicago, happens several times, daily. Many of the victims are the innocent, young and old, but in most cases, the shooter, oftentimes someone under the age of 30, never has a gun permit.

The gun control conversation goes ignored here in Chicago, and other places like Newark, Compton, Oakland Detroit and other great metropolitan cities. Our children are dying by the gun everywhere. We need to address gun control regarding keeping the illegal guns off of the inner-city streets and out of the hands of our youth.

There were 506 reported homicides in Chicago in 2012. Not 33 in Virginia Tech and not 27 like in Newtown. The crime that they have witnessed in those areas, as a Chicagoan, I see it every day. It happened just recently at a high school basketball game. Tyrone Lawson, 17 years old, an honor student at Morgan Park High School was shot multiple times and pronounced dead at Advocate Christ Medical Center. Lawson was an innocent victim leaving a basketball game. It turned out to be the last game he will ever see.

Homicide Rate

Here in Chicago, random acts of violence like this are too common. The gun control conversation needs to begin here, not in Newtown. We need to talk about how to eliminate the guns which are easily accessible for the young people in America to use for gang enforcement and for the use of protecting their drug traffic. No 15 year-old young man should ever have damn-near immediate access to a gun, ever. How to make sure he never gets the chance to use a gun is where the gun control debate needs to start.

In Newtown, instead of gun control, mental health must be the topic of discussion. Adam Lanza had a mental illness. In Aurora, the defense attorney for James Holmes, the accused shooter of the theater tragedy, is using mental illness as a defense.

Mental illnesses are the root to many of the world’s evils and indiscretions. We must temper our emotions and acknowledge the problem. Until we do, we will have more events like Newtown and continual acts of violence in the greater metropolitan cities in America.


For more on the gun control debate and mental illness discussion: tune in to Our Town with Chicago’s Progressive Talk’s Mike Sanders this Sunday at 8:00am, live on 820 AM, 99.9, 92.7/5 FM in the Chicago area, or    

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