There have been way too many shootings this week, and naturally/necessarily, gun control comes up. I’m not big on guns. I don’t care for them, personally; however, in the light of all these shootings, we could make a knee-jerk reaction, and I would like to say “hold on” before we do something that won’t actually help as much as we would like.
The studies I’m finding (like this) suggest that while restricting guns decreases gun violence, it increases other forms of violence. Obviously, if you have fewer guns lying around, fewer people will be shooting other people or themselves, but you can’t just consider gun violence. You have to consider the whole picture. Of course, I would welcome studies indicating the contrary, as I have only just begun researching the topic.
The problem we are facing — and one which DEMANDS legislation — is how to keep guns away from people who are dangerous. That means sensible restrictions on gun purchase, ownership, and storage. That also means we need to fund an oversight program. The current programs we have in place clearly aren’t sufficient. That might mean we have to raise taxes slightly to fund a new approach, but if it improves the quality of life in our nation, we should do it.
So what I urge both gun owners and gun control advocates to do is to come together and realize that while banning weapons may be questionably effective, we can agree on one thing: we do not want guns in the hands of people who intend them for murder or similar violence. We need to stop partisan bickering and try to find an actual solution.
I know this post isn’t particularly philosophical/theological, but I felt obliged to weigh in. There is likely going to be a slew of rhetoric from both sides of the debate in coming days, and I wanted to do my part and try to present something of a balanced perspective.