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Blame Shootings On Lawmakers, Not Guns

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This simply is an address to my commentary choices of paragraph or commentary placement in response to some selected demographic arguments and audiences. I spoke in a gregariously formal manner as a means to, as I stated I am an advocate of firearms ownership, represent the firearms community in a well mannered light showing a part of my target audience we’re not a bunch of gun crazy, baby eating, penguin kicking, school shooting, psychotic savages. I also mentioned recent shootings as isolated instances comparing the U. S. to supposedly “gun safe” nations such as the UK which have significantly higher rates of violent crimes. I wanted to undermine the cloak and dagger statistics my audiences have most likely been fed or have seen from the American liberal media. My target audience was primarily parents, victims of gun violence, relatives and acquaintances of said victims, persons neutral or somewhat against gun culture, and concerned gun owners. I consciously avoided referring to guns as weapons despite mentioning their destructive capabilities. I also attempted to avoid labeling them with the base terminology of the word ‘gun’.

These actions were to better associate firearms as a hobby and disassociate them with their violent headlines. This was also to provide perspective from the gun community’s side, as firearms are also seen as tools. This however, does not cover up their destructive capabilities in experienced (or often inexperienced) hands. Whether or not civilian’s have a right to be armed in the modern age has always been a topic for controversial debate. According to a Harvard research pole, in 2014 alone shootings occurred approximately every 64 days (McCormack). However in the United States, firearms run deeper than a single sport hobby or niche. They have been an integral part of our tradition and history, propriety of the common man, a staple of safety, independence, and freedom. But public concerns have been raised as of recent in regards to the safety and accessibility of modern firearms to the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. There have been a multitude of efforts to regulate and enforce laws on the purchase and sale of firearm in recent months in response to recent mass shooting. These policies attempt to quell the public panic and restore order in total prevention of the unlawful use of such destructive devices described as “assault weapons” at the expense of the over 240 million legal law abiding gun owners according to The BLAZE newswire (Morgenstern). Ultimately this double edged offensive on firearms is rushed and uneducatedly weak, ineffective, and pointless.

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With the enactment of “gun free” zones that only disarm the civilian population and fail to stop gun violence, criminals easily traffic firearms in country and conceal them from public view; at the same time negligent and unknowledgeable gun owners and legislators not regulating or responsibly controlling the truly lethal components of firearms results in easily loop holed bans or easy access to unsecured firearms. Both sides have their faults in the debate but there is a middle ground for plausible solutions. If firearms legislators were properly educated in the legal matter they oversaw as well as if some educated and fairly conscientious legislature was carefully created that underlined the actual mechanics and possession methods of firearms without restricting free use, public safety concerns can be met without violating ownership rights. Gun legislation that focuses on the control of obtaining firearms is virtually ineffective. This is due to the fact that 86% of all crime committed with a firearm involves illegally obtained, unregistered, trafficked, or illegally modified weapons (Crime and Guns). Quintessentially, regulating the facilitation and purchasing of firearms be it: background checks, waiting periods, age restrictions (45% of all gun crimes committed in the US alone are committed by minors), weapon type bans, etc. would all be pointless as they always seem to be loop holed or bypassed by weak legislation at the hands of lawmakers that have little to no experience with firearms. This results in poor unreliably weak laws, or simple criminal intuition with the illegal importation of unregistered European knock offs giving them access to firearms regardless. An example of poor, nonspecific firearms legislation would be the 1994 assault weapons ban. It targeted ridiculously irrelevant aspects of firearms such as pistol grips, adjustable stocks, fore grips, select fire safeties, and shortened rifled barrels. All of the previously mentioned only forced manufacturers to modify their firearm’s appearances and not their function. Criminals will always have a connected network to obtain firearms regardless of country, namely the United States. Besides violent crime (including the now reduced gun crime rates) in gun tight European countries such as France, the UK, and others has actually increased by around 40% resulting in some of the highest if not the most violent crimes committed per capita out of all first world countries even more so than the US as stated in Tampa Bay Times (Jacobson). 82% of all gun crimes in the US are usually non violent and no shots are fired; however, if shots are fired 73% of the time it is law enforcement on gangs or gang on gang (Crime and Guns). Gun legislation focused on the containment of lethal components and the filtration of lethal ammunitions would be a more viable option in addressing public safety concerns in regards to firearms. The use of high capacity magazines capable of housing more than thirty rounds is hardly justifiable and hence forth unnecessary for self defense purposes. Criminals capable of obtaining such magazines for weapons regardless of the intention of the firearm’s design it was made for can be incredibly dangerous; these magazine allow for continuously repeated fire of 50, 75, or even 100 rounds before having to reload. However the right to own a firearm for recreational use is still a valued principle of the majority of the firearms community. These magazines shouldn’t be outright banned rather they can be regulated in the similar sense as the UK’s and Russia’s demonstration of proper possession regulation. The regulation states that demonstration of proper containment to own a firearm must be demonstrated before being allowed to house one in one’s home, place of work, or range. A similar regulation can and should be placed on magazine attachments of this nature in which you must require registration from a court or safety course, similar to a concealed carry permit, where you are only allowed to use such attachments for recreational use at designated ranges.

Also that these attachments must be properly stored in rented or owned safes. Another plausible safety solution is the mandating of the use of non lethal rounds such as plastic, rubber, or wax bullets as opposed to the conventional lethal full metal jacketed rounds. Lethal rounds could require special permits for use and purchase such as limiting them only to competition or hunting. Despite not being entirely nonlethal and being capable of a degree of lethal to fatal injury, “nonlethal” rounds are still a better self defense alternative in terms of reducing casualties and addressing public safety. In response to those who may have qualms about the argument posed against poorly written firearms legislation and legislator’s inexperience on the subject, I will under-line their probable claims against the remark and formulate a simple rebuttal. They may ask “if we do not regulate possession or the purchase of firearms then how do we prevent the ‘bad guys’ from getting their hands on weapons and committing crimes”. Unfortunately, if there is criminal intent or a desire to cause destruction or harm to other human beings, a criminal will always find a way to accomplish or reach the desired result. Such is the result of a 2012 school wide stabbing spree at the hand of one man armed with a knife in which he successfully injured 22 children and one elderly woman in China according to Daily Mail. com (22 children and elderly woman stabbed outside primary school by Chinese knifeman). Other cases such as improvised explosives composed of household gardening products such as fertilizers like the Timothy McVeigh incident are also examples of such instances. However, laws that require proper concealment and or secure storage of firearms can be reworked and or enacted to a stricter standard that prevent the easy access to firearms. Gun safes can be required and mandated by law with secure codes and or demonstrations of proper storage could be demonstrated similar to some European countries.

As for inexperienced law makers or first time owners, mandatory background checks (although debatably invasive) should be mandated prior to first time ownership along with a mandatory safety class for all first time owners. Any legislator presiding over a law should be well versed in the community and mechanics it affects and regulates. That is a standard that should extend beyond just firearms laws. Therefore any lawmaker or legislator involved in passing regulations on firearms should be knowledgeable on the subject via educational and instructional courses regardless of their occupancies and or obstructed schedules. No one should be allowed to regulate something they do not understand. In turn with the knowledge of operation and technicalities referencing firearms, more educated legislation can be written. Moving into the more technical aspect of the argument this section will cover concerns and counters to technical safety solutions regarding firearms as mentioned earlier. A main standing issue is the concern of the possible alternative use of “non lethal” rounds as opposed to the conventional lead ball ammunition used in normal firearms. People may argue that “in the Ferguson riots, rubber rounds and other supposedly ‘nonlethal’ munitions were used and they still resulted in fatalities and or serious permanent injury. ” While this may be true that these nonlethal munitions are by technicality semi lethal, even then only under the right conditions and against the proper protections are they lethal, the logic and reasoning lies with viewing the alternative which would be high velocity full lethality rounds that aren’t designed for attempted reduced injury. Another argument from the pro gun community against some change in regulation such as this is “those plastic, rubber, and wax rounds do not have the deterrent force or stopping power to be viable for self defense. ” This argument actually presents factual and substantial concern as I have conducted field research into this matter. Unfortunately the lethal force contained in nonlethal rounds when striking regular soft or hard tissue rivals the force of BBs and Airsoft pellets. They also require specially modified barrels capable of housing such rounds. Not to mention production and specialized design makes them difficult to find a willing and capable manufacturer for purchasing alongside the nonstandard equipment and materials that would cost extra for production.

All these things may be true only due to the fact they are so uncommon and see rare use. If use was more consistent and standard then design would improve into more formidable ballistics and production would become commonplace and cheaper as it would be normalized with demand. It’s simply a matter of commonality and availability that would improve the defensive viability of such ammunition. There are an insurmountably incalculable amount of smaller sub-arguments and disagreements to be had regarding this nebulously magnanimous subject but the gist of it is that a combination of educated legislators, an educated public, legislation focused on mechanics and practical possession of forearms as opposed to their sale and purchase will safely and securely protect constitutional rights while appealing to public concern. Ultimately, at least in the United States, the purchase and sale of firearms is far too specialized to regulate across different states. Even if regulated, criminals will find an alternative means to accomplish their goals or a way to illegally traffic firearms from unregulated European militias or some third world country. Demonstration of proper storage of certain components and requirement of specific ammunition types for self defense purposes are a few of the effective adaptable policies that could be implemented from European legislation that can neutrally and efficiently appeal to public safety concerns without restricting fair sporting, recreational, and self defensive use of firearms.

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