Erica is the Local Perspectives editor for TodaysMama.com. She is the mama of 2 boys and a punk dog and the wife to her best friend. Work experiences include writing, editing, teaching, project management, and designing PEZ dispensers. She likes thunderstorms, old barns, and driving at night in the summertime, and dislikes arrogance and pickles.

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The Quiet Gun Control Debate

I don’t know about you, but the subject of guns seems to be a never-ending subject in my social circles lately.  Even while my family agrees on the over-arching topic of gun control (when I was little, I’d pull the lever for my dad’s bullet reloading press, if you get my drift), there are nuances we disagree with one another.  On Facebook, my friends represent very far-reaching viewpoints from the left to right.  It’s fascinating and infuriating at once — it’s America.

Yet for all the turmoil over the topic, when I sent out a request asking for gun control opinions, few people were willing to spill the beans about their private discussions.  I posed two questions.  Here are some of the responses.

In light of recent events, what discussions are happening in your household regarding gun control?  Is this issue linked to other discussions, such as mental health care or multimedia exposure (video games, movies), and how?

Man I from Wyoming

[Gun control] should not happen. Should there ever be limitation on the type of firearm or magazine, etc. by our government, then there must be an equal and reciprocal limitation on the First Amendment.  Hollywood, TV, and video games cannot sensationalize firearms and glorify the bloodlust we see on screen today.  By calling this art without any sense of responsibility is asinine.  Those on the fringe and outside the zone of reality are easily and most certainly influenced by this lack of humanity, savagery, and gratuitous violence as seen on screen.

 Man II from Wyoming

Our motto is when you don’t put up with any offensive action in life, you won’t be exposed to any.  People know that my family won’t ever be far from a gun.

Woman from Connecticut

[Our family’s] conversations are less about guns and more about safety in general. Knowing the difference between feeling safe and unsafe, paying attention to surroundings, etc. The convo also includes talks about the difference between good and bad people. The guns have never been addressed with [my daughter] but she knows they are dangerous weapons. Her dad has guns and when the three of us were talking about the ability to hand in unwanted or unused guns in the state of CT [she] asked her dad if he was going to do this but he…said no.

Man from West Virginia

Initially, I thought this whole fiasco was an emotional over-reaction to the massacres of our children.  Then I stumbled upon a logical thing to do: Look to the past to find the reason and rationale for the present.  What I realized was that the political leaders pushing the gun control debate are not responding to any specific massacre or the emotional outrage over said massacres but instead using them to their advantage.  If you follow their political history back a few years, their true colors are exposed:

  • In 2004, as a state senator in Illinois, Obama voted against a bill that would have made it legal to defend yourself inside of your home with a pistol.  In a 1996 interview, he also supported the notion of outlawing the manufacture, sale, and possession of handguns.  Yet, on Dec 26 2012, he was thankful that his daughters are surrounded by armed guards for their protection.  Our children do not have armed guards.  Only us and the good nature of those around us.

  • In 1995, Sen. Feinstein was interviewed regarding the previous year’s Violent Crime and Law Enforcement Act.   She lamented that she did not have the votes to outright ban all semi-automatic weapons.  Yet she admits, when she feared for her own safety, she carried a concealed handgun.

Conclusion: They are taking advantage of the country’s emotional abhorrence of the massacre(s) to polish and push political posturing that the population repeatedly rejected in years past.  In addition, I would encourage you to watch Dr. James Dobson interview Ted Bundy.  The interview takes place the afternoon before Bundy’s execution.  It is candid and honest.  In it, Bundy speaks of pornography and violence as the gateway through which he voluntarily fell and emerged as a serial killer.  His parents loved him and he grew up in a Christian household.

Woman from Kentucky

Suddenly an issue to which I’d given very little thought has been elevated as I found my husband perusing gun websites and putting one on his Christmas wish list. Personally, I have always believed that parents who allow their children to consume violent video games/movies are irresponsible and that they are allowing their children to become increasingly desensitized to the act of killing another. (However, we have Lego Wii games so perhaps some would find those to be “violent” as well….)

Has your opinion about gun control or the presence/ownership of guns in your home changed?

Woman from Connecticut

Yes, it’s only made my uneasiness and displeasure of guns in general stronger. It’s too easy for people, criminals, undiagnosed psychos or regular ordinary people to get a hold of and purchase unnecessary weapons. Everyone is worrying about the second amendment. Hello people this was put in action in1791! When the world was at war, when civilization wasn’t so civilized. We are not protecting farm land against disgruntled neighbors, we are not protected animals against predators. We live in a different world and we need different laws or at least stricter regulations.

 

Woman from Kentucky

The discussions have been a wake-up call to our family to realize how important it is to defend the 2nd Amendment as many activitists use tragedies such as mass shootings to advocate for a gun ban, which is a frightening thought. Joining the voices of countless others, I believe people kill (not guns, per se) and that the root cause of violence is not gun ownership.

Man from West Virginia

No.  Our opinion about gun control and ownership has not changed.  There is no method for one human to legislate the thoughts and actions of another human.  Removing one tool from the grasp of the disturbed will not deter their efforts or minimize their damage.  The day of the Sandy Hook Massacre, in China, a man with a knife entered an elementary school and slashed kids.  Hitler did it with fear and a gas chamber.  Pol Pot killed millions by withholding food.  One cannot simply legislate away the madness of the deluded.  In order to fix those delusions, you have to get involved as a community, as a county, as a society.  “Getting involved” is something that few today find palatable.

The only solution is not fear of authorities or more law but love and support.  It is easy to see the need for support for going to see a psychiatrist.  In the last 35 years, how many of the children who massacred their classmates were seeing a psychiatrist?  I do not know the numbers…but it was not “none.”  I have met men who have spent years with a psychiatrist yet have only learned how to say the right things to end the session.  No real resolution was reached for their problems (PTSD, suicide, rage, etc).  Yet, in less than one week surrounded by the love and compassion of similarly broken men did they come clean and begin to heal.  No degrees, just love and understanding.  Even so, I do believe that seeing a psychiatrist has the potential to help.  But that, in and of itself, is not a solution.  What I have not even touched on was the original intent of the second amendment.  But that is for another day.

* * *

I suppose it would be disingenuous to conclude a gun control article without putting myself out there.  I don’t see any need for fully automatic weapons except to arm oneself against others who have them.  The thing is, no matter what the law says, there will be unlawful people with sick intent who use such weapons to destroy others.  Look back at the locations of recent massacres.  They’re all places where private sanctions override federal law and prohibit the use of any firearms (schools, government buildings, malls) — meaning, locations where murderers knew unarmed people could not fight back.  Murderers are cowards and they’ll look for any way to make their intentions easier.  Laws will not thwart that thinking.  This said, I do not believe guns have a place inside schools and classrooms.

Gun control.  It’s a multi-dimensional topic that is not going to be simple to address in such a large and culturally wide nation.  So readers, I ask you, rather than respond with a critical nature to others’ opinions here, to add your own at-home discussions to this thread.  The politicians and media have their say, let the Americans have theirs.

 

Related posts:

The Conversations We Should Have About Newtown

Why You Should Vaccinate Your Kid (or you are being stupid)

Remember When Mom Shot My Cat

 

Happiness Is A Warm Gun image by SpaceB, I think but am unsure.

 

 

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Comments (5)

  1. Becky 01/25/2013 at 6:54 pm

    We can’t control everyone with laws. Some people will just break the law not matter what it is. You can’t make someone stop at a stop sign, they have to decide and sometimes there will be people that run it and don’t care about the reason it is there or how it helps others stay safe or keep the traffic flowing smoothly. Our family teaches our children the difference between right and wrong and to obey the laws. The Constitution helps us be free but the freedom comes with a price. We have discussed the recent shootings with our children. We hope that when this topic is talked about that people will not forget an interesting and disturbing fact, ALL of the children and people that committed the shootings were on drugs, mostly for depression. YES, EVERY SHOOTER has been under psychiatric care, taking these powerful, mind altering drugs that are scientifically proven to create homicidal and suicidal urges in those being prescribed these drugs. Our family tries to love and reach out to each other and our friends, to include and try to help those around us. We hope that more people will find their self worth and see it in others and not result to drugs to feel better. Everyone has choices, some are not the right choice. I like the choice to have a weapon of choice to defend my family.

  2. Caseye 01/22/2013 at 8:09 pm

    I always wondered about the stats of murder we have in the US compared to other countries, and became more and more alarmed as they rose to incredible numbers. Why aren’t we asking, “WHY are we killing ourselves?” As an educator for many years, I’ve seen some startling changes: the breakdown of families and/or values; respect, honor, and honesty easily dismissed as “old fashioned”; technology taking over for meaningful discussions and relationships; a poor work ethic accepted as standard because “everyone is doing it”; more people eagerly willing to take a government hand-out rather than learning how to make do with less and relying on family and friends; and on and on. We can’t regulate behaviors, but we can demand more of our movie stars, athletes, and politicians. We can, and should, take the time to be heard, rather than thinking others will speak on our behalf. We should all take an active role in letting our politicians know what we want. We should “talk politics” often (it’s amazing how many people have no clue who or what is making our country tick!). When these things happen, we can come together to talk about and make decisions to curb violence and even violence with guns.

  3. adrian 01/15/2013 at 9:58 am

    I think this is a thoughtful and sensible view of gun control. I am glad that at least it is being discussed after so many years of being swept under the rug. However, as we have tragically lost family members (plural) to mental illness and gunfire (in multiple incidents), I would have to place myself firmly on the opposite side of the debate.

    You just never know when someone is going to snap and turn violent or suicidal, so I prefer to keep them out of my home. I seem to be in the minority, as most people have not had the tragedies we’ve experienced, but my voice needs to heard as well.

  4. Kandi 01/15/2013 at 8:22 am

    Using the stance that “you can’t control people with laws; they’ll get around them” to deny the need for regulating deadly weapons is like saying we shouldn’t try to impose any laws at all because people will break them anyway. So…anarchy? Second, by saying that people are taking advantage of a national tragedy to push for changes in the law is a red herring. We should be focusing solutions to a problem that is undeniably present. Yes, the revival of this debate was prompted by a tragic shooting, but if it had been some kind of isolated incident, it probably wouldn’t have had the same impact. Truth is, it was the last straw for a lot of people. Third, in response to the people who are stonewalling any kind of legislation or executive action that limits the number or type of weapons and who has them, and are instead pointing to mental health care, video games, violence in the media: shouldn’t we be looking at *all* of these issues? I see no reason not to.

  5. Rachael Herrscher 01/15/2013 at 6:49 am

    That Ted Bundy interview was chilling, and so interesting in the light of what media looked like when he was growing up, compared to 1989, compared to today.