“You hold the gun. I hold the wound. And we stare looking in each other’s eyes. It all looks fine to the naked eye, but it don’t really happen that way at all.” — Pete Townsend
Whenever these things come up, there are go to responses on the right. Sometimes it can be hard to penetrate those responses because they have been designed to shut down debate on gun control. These people get placed into two baskets. The first ones are the incendiary ones. They are a part of the leadership cult. They are purposefully trying to derail debate. The rest are just parroting what they hear. Many of them mean well, but they are helping the other side just the same. So, you will get a slight variance of these as you discuss this with friends and family.
1. The school’s security measures either failed them or they were not properly used. If they had been then the tragedy would have never occurred.
I’m sure most people offering this don’t mean to victim blame. However, that is essentially what they are doing. Usually, all it takes is to game this one out. Someone shows up with an automatic weapon, body armor, and numerous clips of ammunition. What is likely to happen? Of course, our response should vary slightly based on the person making this statement. Again, many are not in a psychological place to admit that they are not in control of their own destiny here. As the thinking goes, THEY did not use proper security, so THEY were not safe. WE use proper security, so WE will be safe.
2. If the teachers were armed then this wouldn’t have happened.
Okay, since I am in the classroom let me also game this situation out. Let’s pretend that we have a handful of professionals that are also trained and experienced in using a firearm. After all, we wouldn’t want old Ms. Jones to have to carry a weapon she’s never fired before. However, during one of these events you would have your two or three heroes going across campus in a matter of seconds and forced to make a split second decision to shoot someone that might be a student without hurting those around him.
Then, a few minutes later the SWAT team enters the building. They see what appears to be two, three, or four grown people holding guns and pointing it at each other. Who do they shoot exactly? How do they know who the good guys are with the guns and which one is the bad guy? You’d be looking at multiple dead bodies at that point.
3. We can’t enact X law because in this shooting Y occurred.
Remember this phrase: perfect is the enemy of good. There will be no perfect solutions. There will be no laws that prevent every single scenario. The goal is better and not perfect. We capture as many different scenarios as possible and realize there will be a new scenario. My sister (a head volleyball coach) has had to add to her rulebook every year. There are new scenarios to consider. This is like any other law and any other rule. People are creative and they dream up new ways to get what they want. We keep us as best we can. Remember the mantra: perfect is the enemy of good.
4. The kid was a disturbed kid and there was no telling that this would happen.
You will notice that a lot of these start to melt together. The best defense is to marry these together to make a response difficult. So, I repeat my response from the last one. If you think it’s a mental health problem then step up and make some suggestions. In a lot of these cases you had parents and neighbors that knew something was wrong. They were just powerless to stop it. We can be angry at the mother in the Sandy Hook case for instance. Her son was autistic and she introduced him to guns as a way to connect with him. We can lambast her all we want. She paid the ultimate price and we have to remember that she begged for help along the way because she knew her son was in trouble, There has to be a way for family, friends, and neighbors to alert authorities and actually get assistance and not be turned away. We need to figure this out AND we need common sense gun control legislation. This is not an either/or situation. It is both.
5. Then we get the catch all edition. Good people follow the laws and bad people don’t, so if you make certain guns illegal then just the bad people will have them.
Why have any rules really? People will just break them. Rules are in place in society (whether it be society at large, in a group setting, home, ect) as a framework to punish those that do not follow them. If everyone followed the law then there would be no need for it. That includes traffic laws, laws that govern behavior, and gun laws.
We regulate guns already. No private citizens own tanks, bazookas, live grenades, rocket launchers, missiles, or any other weapon of war. From here, it is just a question of how much regulation we want or need. The regulation of an item depends on its positive utility. If the item is used at it was designed then what is it’s purpose. You could claim a hand gun protects. You could claim a rifle hunts. You could target shoot with either. What exactly is an AR-15’s positive utility? What’s its primary purpose? It kills people and it kills people in large groups quickly. So, why would a private citizen need that?