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Q&A: Gun Rights, Gun Control, and Frequently Asked Questions

Conservative Answers to the Gun Control Debate

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After a number of shootings in 2012, talk of new gun control measures has heated up. Here we will answer a number of the most frequently asked questions on guns and gun control and a conservative take on why we oppose gun control measures.

Conservatives have claimed to allow school staff to be armed. Wouldn’t allowing guns in schools increase the chance of gun incidents?

I think the argument that letting some school officials carry guns is “dangerous” is without merit. After all, President Obama’s own children go to an elite school with an armed security detail and the school itself has a dozen guards, mostly made up of police officers. Given the elite nature of the school, it is likely that they are likely armed as well. Of course, there is the reality that we live in a “do-as-I-say” world where elite politicians send their kids to elite (and armed!) private schools on one hand while doing everything in their power to prevent the middle class from doing the same, sentencing children to time in failing public school after failing public school.

Beyond the hypocrisy of the ruling elites, gun control advocates argue that the presence of guns could force the escalation of a teacher-student argument into a dangerous situation. I’m not sure why escalation would be limited to a “gun.” If people were in a position enough to lose it and draw a gun, then what prevents them from losing it without a gun and attack students in a different way? Wouldn’t they still attack with something? If our teachers are deranged, then what would stop them from bringing a gun to school even if it were a “gun free zone”? But this doesn’t happen. Responsible gun owners are rarely the problem with guns. This doesn’t mean arm every teacher. Indeed, the instances are so rare that armed school officials would rarely be needed. But it might be nice in case they were.

We are told to blame the person and not the gun, but then some argue to blame “Hollywood” instead. How does that make sense?

Advertisers pay millions of dollars to run 30-second television ads and place products predominantly in movies and entertainment programming. Athletes, actors, and singers sign multi-million dollar endorsement deals to publicly support products. Why would a soda company pay for a popular TV character to simply drink from their can during a television show if it had no effect on consumer behavior? (And note that the “key demographic” for advertising is 18-34 year-old males because they are the most likely to be influenced such advertising.)

It’s illegal to run a 30 second television commercial selling cigarettes because it might make kids want to smoke cigarettes. And television shows – and even car commercials – often come with a warning to “not try this at home.” Why? Because they know people will. Oh, and they will do it regardless of the warning. Now, this is not to say that Hollywood is at fault. But there is a dangerous element when you inundate and desensitize to violence an entire segment of the population. Mix the culture with a person with mental illness and it can become a dangerous situation. Ultimately, individuals are responsible. But we can’t on one hand say that the culture has no effect on behavior when we all know that is not the case.

What responsibility does the NRA have in gun control?

The NRA supports and teaches responsible gun ownership to people of all ages. They teach classes on gun safety, self-defense, and proper gun usage techniques. They do not promote violence. In fact, they speak out against the entertainment culture that regularly promotes guns and gun violence in a glorified manner. I’d also guess that the problem with gun violence is not among people who are members of the NRA. After all, if they were, we would hear about it.

Why does it seem the conservatives’ solution to every gun-related problem is “more guns”?

That can be answered simply by asking another question: Where does crime and mass shooting tragedies happen most frequently? Not surprisingly, in “gun-free zones.” Notice that mass shooters never head to a police station in hoped of killing or terrorizing people. No, they head to “gun-free zone” schools or movie theatres with “no firearms” signs posted everywhere. Criminals will always take the path of least resistance. If a criminal drove upon two streets, one where guns were outlawed and the other were it was mandatory every house had a gun owner, which neighborhood will the criminal rob?

It can also be true that a law that mandates gun ownership – yet where no-one in the neighborhood actually owns a gun – can prevent crime as the robber doesn’t know who does and who does not own a gun. And perhaps a school that not only drops the “gun-free” premise but teaches classes on gun safety and has a shooting range will not be high on a deranged person’s list to go to. But again, it’s also important to stress that such occurrences are very rare in the first place.

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