Ben’s brother, Matt, wrote an interesting post on the “gun conversation” and I liked it so I thought I would share it along with a couple of thoughts of my own.
I don’t necessarily believe we need more government or less government in most of these controversial topics, but that we do need smarter government & smarter regulation. I consider myself a moderate/pragmatic – I am registered as a Republican but have voted for both Democrats & Republicans at times, and wish people would try harder to come up with smart solutions instead of just bashing the other side, often without really understanding the other side.
As far as guns go, I understand that “people kill people not guns”, but guns make accidents too easy and make mass killings too easy. I believe it is true that if someone really wanted to murder their ex they will find a way with or without a gun. But in countries like the UK where guns are pretty much outlawed (even many police officers there do not carry a gun), they have very very few mass shootings – unlike the US. In China, where guns are banned, on the same day as the Sandy Hook shooting, there was a knife attack at an elementary school by a mentally ill man. About 22 people were injured but no one was killed. So yes people can still find weapons but they are less likely to kill 26 people before they are stopped. Also, like Matt said for every incident of someone with a gun stopping a crime there is an accident of someone being killed with a gun.
Now, I’m not for banning guns – I understand some Americans really like to own guns and it is a constitutional right, but we should find smarter ways to keep accidents from happening and keep the wrong people from easy access to guns. I like Matt’s ideas of requiring people to keep their guns in a safe when not used, and required background checks and a wait time before someone can purchase a gun. Ben also had an idea that I really like – fingerprint locks on guns. This way only the gun owner could shoot the gun – not their child or someone who steals it. A friend told me he thought handguns (more than assault rifles) should be highly regulated – because more crimes are committed by them, probably because they are easy to hide. I’m sure there are other good ideas out there – do you have any?
Thoughts from Matt Munyan:
“I’m going to add my two cents to the gun conversation, which is this – gun owners as a group are not responsible enough right now and they as a group are refusing to take responsibility for their collective failure to use and store their guns correctly. I know many individuals do a fine job, but according to a RAND-UCLA study (that and lots more here: http://www.med.umich.edu/
The further irresponsibility of gun-owners as a group to properly handle and store their guns accounts for about 600 accidental deaths every year (http://www.usatoday.com/story/
I firmly believe people have the right to protect themselves and that guns can be a wonderful tool in the right hands, that being said I do not believe everyone should be able to own a gun unregulated (and I’m curious if anyone actually does, since that would mean they think children and felons should be allowed to buy and own guns). To create some truly useful regulations though maybe responsible gun owners could actually propose some ideas that would help keep guns safe and in the right hands, rather than just assert that nobody can take their guns away.
I believe I could find an accidental discharge story caused by a negligent or moronic gun owner for every story about a crime being prevented by a brave and responsible gun-owner. Here is a start from a 10-second google news search where in the past month we have a young child’s death, an irresponsible owner “checking if it was loaded”, and a “responsible” concealed carrier accidentally shooting his wife while checking his pockets:
Legislating against stupidity may be impossible, but refusing to try to do anything about this is also stupid.”