opinion: Emotional ties toward gun control need to be reconsidered
If we're trying to limit the violence caused by millions of guns recklessly distributed throughout the country, perhaps it's time to try a new approach.
Instead of trying and failing to pass laws that many people believe deprive them of their own right to bear arms — a right embedded in the constitution — why not suggest something new! Let's ask people to think, really think, if they really believe just about EVERYONE has the right to bear arms.
People have been convinced by the gun lobby and their supporters that the right to own and carry guns protects them, their families, their homes and their autos from violence. But has the gun CONTROL lobby worked to convince Americans that some people should not be allowed to own and use a gun? Some people are not responsible, reliable, and mentally competent. Yet almost everyone is currently allowed to stock up on guns and ammunition; the result, death to innocent people, sometimes individually, sometimes, as in Aurora, in groups.
After a gun-caused catastrophe occurs and 12, 25 or 34 innocent people are killed and many more are seriously wounded, over 65 percent of Republicans and Independents continue to decline to support gun control legislation. Compare this with the reaction of Democrats: 35 percent of Democrats decline to support gun control legislation. Why the difference?
Perhaps we should be more psychological in talking to Americans about gun control. Are Independents and Republicans willing to tolerate group and individual murders more willingly than Democrats? Probably not. Do Independents and Republicans feel less personally threatened by death by guns, believing only poor people are the victims of gun-play? Do Independents and Republicans believe Democrats are easy on crime and violence, so they'd better stay with the Republicans on this one? Finally, is the gun lobby better at scaring some people (the "bad guy" will get you) and reassuring them too (get a gun; it'll keep you safe)?
Advertisements and miseducation do work. Just think of the many Americans who believed that President Obama's Death Panels were out to get them. In a similar way, the gun lobby advertisements and educators have convinced Americans that unlimited numbers and styles of guns should be available to just about everyone, everywhere. Remember, "Guns don't kill you; people do." Guns will keep you safe.
Maybe people should start deep-thinking about what it really means if almost everyone keeps a gun in every pocket.