Lao Tzu’s way of living consists of people having a more peaceful life if the country is governed wisely. With this being said his philosophy would be a great asset to have in our current situation with gun violence. Gun violence has been rising in the United States throughout the years. There has been tremendous controversy about having guns banned. With the principles that Lao recommends, it would create different outcomes like less mass shootings, safer living environments and better gun laws. Lao Tzu believes that people are comfortable and honest with fewer restrictions and are in peace. As Lao quoted, “Therefore the Master says: I let go of the law, and the people become honest.” (Jacobus 63). Mass shootings are caused by a person who is in control of a gun. They are usually people who have mental illness, rage, or revenge. There is an article where it shows in chronological order of each mass shootings that were noted throughout the years in the history of the United States. One in particular caused a tremendous awakening for many gun control advocates.
In December 2012 a man named Adam Lanza shot 20 young children and six staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn. With Lao’s recommendation, he quotes, “If you want to govern the people, you must place yourself below them.” (Jacobus 66) Practically being humble and understanding that person would have changed this tragedy. The shooter had a motive for wanting to do something like this. They plan and usually abide when they feel the time is right, in most cases. Another horrific shooting happened at Columbine High School. Two students named Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold entered their high school with semi-automatic rifles, pistols and explosives and killed 12 of their peers, a teacher and wounded 21 others. With these mass shootings occurring in schools, teachers were starting to carry guns in at least 14 states. School boards have been allowing to arm their teachers in another 16 states so they can be trained. These crimes are happening more in different scenarios apart from schools. They have occurred in movie theaters, nightclubs and the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history, an outdoor concert event in Las Vegas.
Gun control advocates dismiss the arguments of guns being used as self-protection. Devin Hughes, the founder of the gun control advocacy group GVPedia, quotes, “The best research shows what common sense tells us: More guns mean more crime and more death.”. This is what Lao mentions as well in his thoughts. He says, “The more weapons you have, the less secure people will be.”. Having a safer environment will make people more at ease. With a series of mass shootings that have occurred over the past few years, many businesses and government officials have adopted gun restrictions. Creating a safer environment starts with change with the country itself.
Gun control supporters have mentioned that their movement has scored some striking wins. Dick’s Sporting Goods has stopped selling assault rifles and high- capacity ammunition magazines and also destroyed existing stocks to prevent manufacturers from redistributing guns to other retailers. Slide Fire Solutions, a Texas company, would stop making the device, which enables semi-automatic rifles to fire like automatic ones. Citigroup said it would require its retail clients to stop selling high-capacity magazines to anyone younger than 21 or who has not passed a state or federal background check. Bank of America said it would stop lending to manufacturers who produce AR-15 and other semi-automatic rifles. Also, United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Hertz Corp, Alamo Rent a Car and MetLife ended special discounts and benefits for National Rifle Association members.
NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre declared, “Evil walks among us. And God help us if we don’t harden our schools and protect our kids.” He protests that the government must do far more to protect people. To better protect the people there should be better gun laws. To serve a better country, there needs to be better laws. With gun violence growing, the government passed the Fix NICS Act.The law is designed to get more names into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, a database of people with criminal records and documented mental health issues that make them ineligible to buy guns from federally licensed dealers and dealers without federal licenses. Trump has endorsed a number of gun control proposals, with one having to increase the age of buying a gun from 18 to 21.
One proposal known as the red-flag proposal requires individuals to stay away from domestic partners they are accused of abusing. They say this proposal is promising because research shows that domestic-violence orders reduce homicides. Another law known as “Stand-your-ground”, permits people to shoot others in self-defense when they believe they are in danger. These laws are beneficial to the country. For instance, in Connecticut they passed a law that required gun buyers to get permits and undergo background checks that helped lead to a 40 percent drop in gun homicides and a 15 percent drop in suicides. Missouri repealed a similar law in 2007 that caused a rise in gun murders by 23 percent and suicides by 16 percent. This shows what impact this law has when the consumer has to undergo a background check.
Overall, Lao Tzu implies that having a better life is being moderate with the people. He quotes, “For governing a country well, there is nothing better than moderation.” Gun violence is caused by those who have access to guns. The person who has the gun is not in the correct state of mind that Lao wants the people to be in. If a person was at peace, the weapon would be nonexistent. In this situation, the government is able to decrease the number of shootings by creating the NICS law, where they undergo a series of background checks to acquire a weapon. This law definitely created less gun violence, a safer environment and better control.
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