Stop gun hysteria

Stop gun hysteria

January 28
23:38 2013

A lot of people have said a lot of things about assault rifles in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre. All of them are wrong:

“Assault rifles are designed specifically to kill people! We need to get them off the streets!”

The implication here is that bolt-action rifles are OK, because they are used for hunting, and that shotguns and pistols are OK because those are used for home and personal defense.

Let’s assume assault rifles are banned. Let’s even assume the civilian rifle Adam Lanza was carrying, which only looks like an assault rifle, is also made illegal. How does this prevent a massacre like Sandy Hook?

If Lanza had walked into that school with a bolt-action rifle or shotgun, nothing would change, since he was attacking unarmed children.

“We need to make it illegal for psychopaths like him to have guns!”

It is, in fact illegal for psychopaths like him to have guns. Lanza’s mother, Nancy, was a gun enthusiast who acquired the weapons he used legally. Lanza stole these guns from her. Should we make stealing more illegal than it already is?

“We need to arm ourselves against these rampages! We should put more guns and armed guards in schools!”

The next time you’re in class, look around at your classmates and ask yourself if you want them to have a weapon. College campuses already have their own special police force, and adding individuals with no training in crowd control or emergency management, no uniform and no understanding of how the real police are handling the situation isn’t a solution, it’s lunacy.

Instead of adding and subtracting gun owners to these situations, or giving them less potent weaponry, can we make them smarter?

In a perfect world, every gun owner would be a good marksman, could keep their weapon clean and wouldn’t leave a round in the chamber. They would know to keep weapons in their homes where they were within easy reach but out of their children’s hands.

The adage goes, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” By the same token, guns don’t keep people safe, people keep people safe. Guns are just tools, that’s all. Instead of saying they’re too dangerous, let’s make sure everyone who has one knows how to use it.

I mean, everyone with a driver’s license knows how to drive, right?

Joshua Knopp is a pre-journalism sophomore. He can be reached at hillbutton@gmail.com.

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