Likens: Obama takes aim at wrong opponents in gun control issue
Published: Thursday, January 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, January 17, 2013 00:01
Let’s put on our serious caps for a moment. It’s time to talk about gun control. Again.
Yesterday, Barack Obama gave a speech on his plans to push for stricter gun control in the United States. A lot of negative things have been said about Obama, things that wouldn’t become any more true no matter how many times you repeat them, but his recent attempts at breathing new life into to gun control, and specifically the Federal Assault Weapons Ban, is horrendously ill-fated.
I don’t think of Obama as a fascist overlord looking to disarm the American people in preparation for some sort of Nazi takeover. Instead, I think of him as somewhat of a Don Quixote, taking aim at all the wrong opponents in an immature hunt for glory.
We seem to have forgotten that the Federal Assault Weapons ban of the past, effective from 1994 to 2004, did virtually nothing to the crime and murder rate in the United States, as verified by the Department of Justice. The explanation for this is simply that Americans traditionally don’t use assault weapons to kill each other, or at least not often enough for there to be any notable result from banning them. More lives would have been saved by the outlawing of mosh pits and banana peels.
This new wave of support for gun control is almost exclusively fueled by the recent Connecticut shooting, in which 28 were killed. Yet oddly enough, an assault weapons ban ignores the fact that these weapons had absolutely nothing to do with the shooting itself. The shooter even had an assault weapon in his car and instead chose to use handguns.
Australians, who after one particular mass shooting imposed some of the most stern firearm restrictions on earth, actually experienced a rise in their murder rate in the years after the ban took effect. As it turns out, the urge to commit murder isn’t really something you can just sleep on and expect to overcome by morning. A longer waiting period just means a delayed killing.
Similarly, Obama pushes to enforce mandatory background checks for the purchase of firearms. Keep in mind that it is already illegal to purchase a firearm if you have been convicted of a felony and rightly so.
Stop and ask yourself if James Holmes, the Aurora shooter, would have passed the background check. Or Seung-Hui Cho, who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech? On the books, these people may have passed for perfectly normal citizens who would no sooner commit mass murder than the next man. In reality, however, they were extremely disturbed individuals who had psychological issues that were not being properly addressed.
To make the most of gun control without infringing on each other’s rights we must put the blame where it belongs, and search deeper into the minds of those who will be holding the weapons--which is the only place the danger ever really laid to begin with.
For too long we have blamed inanimate objects for our problems. As I have written before, the only way to put a cork in these mass killings is to address the mental health problems within our society and to raise awareness of how to recognize and treat these issues.
Take a long, hard look in the mirror, America. As much as you don’t want to believe it, the problem with America is Americans.
Lastly, I find myself am obligated to direct everyone interested towards the CNN iReport of one CTMarine87, a former Marine who discusses his own vision for gun regulation in the United States. It is brilliantly simple, refreshingly realistic, and well-informed: http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-819622