A Bit 'o Random Musings on Politics, Religion, and Anything Else That Passes Through My Crazy Head

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Check Yourself, Before You...

Two simple words: Background Checks.  Why do we think it's a good idea for people to be able to buy a lethal weapon without undergoing a simple background check?  Is it really a sensible idea for people to buy guns without restraint?  I don't think so, and I haven't yet heard a cogent argument against background checks.  As always, I am open to being convinced if such an argument exists!

As a wise poet once said, "You better check yo self before you wreck yo self."  Checking people out is just common sense - you have to do it on every job application you will fill out!  Why is there a higher bar for a job at a fast food joint than purchasing a weapon that can KILL?

The second amendment to our constitution does allow individuals to own firearms.  Yet this is not a universal right - we restrict the right of felons to own guns and most states limit access by the mentally ill.  These limitations suggest to me that gun ownership is a right that can have reasonable restrictions placed upon it.  A simple background check seems like a reasonable restriction.  Of course, this step is not going to stop all gun crimes.  I realize that criminals can have other people buy weapons for them.  Which is why we need additional laws to punish gun traffickers and provide funding for such investigations.

I think of weapons as a continuum - suppose at one end is a pocketknife, and the other end is a nuclear weapon.  Now, think about what weapons individuals should be able to own.  We do not allow individuals to own tanks or nuclear weapons.  Such an idea would be ridiculous and dangerous to public safety.  So gun control is also about drawing a line somewhere on that continuum and saying that individuals cannot own certain weapons.  My position is that machine guns, high capacity magazines, and other HIGHLY lethal weapons used in mass shootings should be illegal.

For America, I think it is important to discuss where the line on the continuum should be drawn.  We have many thousands of people in this country who die every year at the hands of a gun.  We need to thoughtfully examine what policies can prevent this.  The dead could be your brother, your sister, your mom, or your dad.  All of the victims are your neighbors.  Gun violence is a horrific problem, and we owe it to the many innocent victims to do all we can to stop these tragedies from occurring!

Memorial to the victims of the mass shooting in Newtown, CT

I've linked to one episode of The Daily Show's series on Australian gun control above, you can watch the other two parts of the series here.   .  

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