Thursday, May 29, 2014

request for response: "gun rights" = absurd recipe for tragic disaster

Normally I refrain from offering opinions about politics and policy.  After all, I am in the business of helping you develop the skills to find, analyze, evaluate, and act on information in order to make up your own minds.

However, once in a while democracy demands that we stand and be counted.  The recent tragedy in Isla Vista could have and should have been avoided.  Apart from whatever fueled this young man's decision-making process, there is simply no reason for a college student to have guns in a dorm room or an apartment.  Just four days after last week's killings another UCSB student accidentally fired a handgun through a wall and the apartment next door.  He was in possession of seven weapons and over 1000 rounds of ammunition.

According to Richard Martinez, a Santa Maria attorney and father of one of the murder victims, shootings such as this-- once considered shocking-- have become the new normal because of "craven politicians and the N.R.A."  The author of the article entitled "Christopher Michael-Martinez's Father Gets It Right" agrees, going on to say that every other country that had this problem (note the past tense) went on to enact laws that made everyone safer.  We, the United States of America, have not.

Your thoughts?  (Please Note: This is not merely an exercise in rhetoric or expository composition.  Members of our own community lost friends and relatives in this tragedy.  Be mindful and base your arguments on facts and clear reasoning.)


  1. Needless to say, I am absolutely horrified by what happened. I had heard word of this tragedy, of course, but I hadn't actually viewed the details until I clicked those links; they left a pit in my stomach and a somber chill running down my spine. I'm sad for the victims and their families, I'm angry at the sick piece of shit who did this, and I'm deeply ashamed of the fact that, despite all of our achievements as a species, that kind of evil is still present. Believe me, there is NOTHING I would rather see more than a world without senseless violence, and as much as I would love to channel all of these emotions towards advocating the most obvious course of action, I'm going to stick to the facts: there is no simple solution. If there was, the problem wouldn't exist in the first place. It's easy to say "just take away all the guns and then people won't be able to shoot each other!" Unfortunately, in the real world, things don't work like that. First and foremost, it would be logistically IMPOSSIBLE to secure every firearm in the country. Even if every, single household in the U.S. was rigorously searched (which would be an amazing waste of resources as well as the single most unconstitutional act in our nation's history), a huge amount of guns would slip through. The result: ONLY criminals would have guns, as anyone who did allow his/her weapons to be seized would most definitely be a moral, law-abiding citizen who is not the problem in the first place. Keep in mind that this is the most extreme measure conceivable (the best-case scenario for gun control advocates); as I mentioned, a nationwide sweep is not feasible by any stretch. Realistically, we're looking at a law (or series of laws) that bans weapons. I cannot think of a more disastrous outcome... Think for just a second about how easy it is to obtain illegal drugs... I live in one of the most moderate areas in the world, and I could still get drugs within walking distance of my home if I wanted to. Guns are no different. It is easy enough to obtain a weapon illegally as it is: banning the legal sale of them would only strengthen the black market enterprise. If the legal supply stops, the product becomes scarcer, but the demand persists. This leads to an increase in price, which causes illegal suppliers to increase their supply. Simple economics. The only way to break this trend would be to shut down the criminal organizations responsible and/or completely cut off their supply.

  2. By completely failing to perform the exact same task with the drug trade, the government has shown that it is either unwilling or incapable. Either way, there would still be guns in the streets, and mostly in the wrong hands. I'm tired, I didn't see this post until fairly late, and I still have homework to do, so I am barely scratching the surface here; I can talk for days about why gun control is ineffective and counterproductive. This is all insignificant in the long-run, however. Gun control is little more than a ploy to disarm the population so that the government can carry out its will unimpeded. I hear people argue all of this crap about target shooting and needing guns for sport or whatever: they're beating around the bush. The Second Amendment was put into place by our founding fathers to ensure that the people have the power to keep the government in check. Politicians know that gun control won't prevent violent crimes. They also know that we live in a society that is dominated by the media, and that those media sources only care about money and are not difficult to exploit. It's not too hard to put together. Anyways, the bottom line is this: there are evil people in the world, and it is that evil itself that needs to be addressed. Does anyone honestly think that the filth who shot up IV would have just stayed home if he didn't have those guns? Whether it's with a gun, or a knife, or a car, or a homemade bomb, or any number of other potential weapons, a person (I hate even calling those monsters people) who has reached that point is going to inflict his/her damage. It's not an easy one, but the only REAL solution is finding the evil behind each one of these incidents and eliminating it.