The Aurora, Colorado shootings at a premiere of the popular The Dark Knight Rises has predictably made gun control suddenly a hot topic as election campaigns churn on. We’ve discussed this effect here at Common Sense Conspiracy before. A lot of times elections are decided by what happens during the campaign, not in silly speeches candidates make at job sites or universities, but what happens in America and the world. What issues come to the forefront, issues that without a certain event happening would not have even made the top of the list of things to address. Now, we’ve talked at length about the conspiracy side of the shootings and other events that have happened recently that have put the spotlight on gun control, but this article wants to take a moment to address the issue of gun control in and of itself.
The gun control debate is nothing new. It all boils down to the Constitution. In the Bill of Rights, the famous 2nd Amendment provides the right for Americans to bear arms to defend themselves and their property. Many believe this should be altered as violence spirals out of control. Others believe that the amendment should be taken even more leniently, citing that if more Americans carried weapons everywhere, crimes like what happened in Aurora would at the very least end quicker. Common Sense Conspiracy is a site that is run by several contributors, and sometimes it may seem like the articles contradict one another. That is because distinct different personalities are involved in the creation and maintaining of this website. We like it this way. We feel like it is a positive if our readers get to see multiple viewpoints on issues. After all, this is not a site trying to shove an agenda down your throat. We are open to all opinions and ideas, and we have always encouraged our readers to participate in the discussion. However, before we get into the nuts and bolts of this issue, I would like to make it clear that Common Sense Conspiracy’s contributors as a whole believe in the Second Amendment. We believe in the citizens’ right to bear arms to protect themselves, their property, and their family. We also understand and realize that this amendment was conceived with the idea of defending against a tyrannical government as well, but we won’t put that on our friendly list right now for fear of being accused of inciting a violent revolution. In any case, Common Sense Conspiracy certainly believes in this right. However, this particular contributor wants to look at the amendment a little different. We have a right to bear arms, but what kind of arms?
With two incidents in the same week involving semi-automatic weapons (the Aurora shootings and a thankfully non-lethal similar event in Tuscaloosa, Alabama), people are becoming increasingly weary of madmen running around with assault rifles. Some are calling for these types of weapons to be banned for civilian use and purchase. Gun advocates, like the NRA, of course, vehemently defend their right not just to bear arms, but to bear assault rifles. My question is, why do people need assault rifles in their homes? Assault rifles, in my humble opinion, have only one place, and that is in our soldier’s hands in warfare situations. They need assault rifles. There is little coherent reason that you can come up with for an ordinary civilian to need assault rifles or other such weapons in their home.
Now, the first defense offered up is always the same. Well, the criminals aren’t going to obey the laws, and they are going to have assault rifles. So, to defend ourselves against these criminals, we need assault rifles too. Think about it. Every time you hear about a shooter busting in somewhere with an assault rifle, what happens? They fire off fifty or a hundred rounds in seconds, and maybe, if they are lucky, they hit one or two people. The shooter in Colorado, James Holmes, emptied two clips to manage to kill twelve people. I’m not downplaying how terrible these deaths are, but I’m pointing out that for the rounds fired, the casualties are relatively low. One person with a much less powerful pistol that was skilled could have took out James Holmes with one, maybe two rounds. Perhaps Americans should focus on becoming skilled at using normal weapons instead of trying to gain access to assault rifles that they will not become skilled at, because where in the hell are you really going to practice firing semi-automatic weapons if you aren’t military?
I’m not a gun expert, but I’d be willing to bet if you put a skilled marksman with a pistol against an average civilian with an assault rifle, the marksman wins every time. The other guy will make a lot more noise and have a lot more casings on the ground when they are done, but he will also be on the ground with the casings and bullets. So, why on Earth does someone think they need an assault rifle to defend their home? If you really do need an assault rifle to defend your home, you were screwed anyway. If you needed that kind of firepower, you were obviously severely outmanned to begin with.
Another issue that many are putting out there is that gun laws should be loosened so that more people carried guns with them for protection. I don’t necessarily disagree with this idea, but I think that if we are going to encourage more civilians to carry guns, we should also be more vigilant in making sure they know how to use them. Having more people toting guns that couldn’t hit the broad side of the barn is not going to defuse situations like what happened in Colorado. It would quite likely make it worse. Holmes may have killed more people if he had encountered armed resistance. Sure, if the right person was armed, they might have been able to do something about it and save lives, but how many people toting guns in their purses or shoulder harnesses are skilled marksmen (or women)?
I guess the point is that more guns aren’t going to solve anything. The right people with guns could make a difference, but where are they? I’m saying that if you do want to bear arms, become proficient at it. And that doesn’t mean going to the shooting range once in a while on a Sunday afternoon. It means knowing your weapon, and being confident that even in the most stressful of situations that you could hit your target. But, we digress. The point of this article is assault rifles.
Yes, criminals will get access to assault rifles somehow, regardless of the laws. But it’ll be a little bit harder, won’t it? James Holmes got his easy as pie. Maybe if he had had to work a little harder at it, and risked all the things that come with trying to purchase something that is illegal, his hand might have been stayed. Or at least he would not have been able to create as much chaos as he did. But even if criminals do get assault rifles anyway, why does that mean that you need one? What you need is a good weapon that you are comfortable and confident with. That is the way to defend yourself, not by a hail of bullets that may or may not hit your target, not to mention the possibility of harming others unintentionally.
The real point of this article is the gun control debate all too often turns into an all-or-nothing one. I believe in the rights of American citizens to bear arms for a variety of reasons. But I hold that no one, except our troops and in some isolated cases, police officers, really need an assault rifle. I know people like to collect such things, but wouldn’t you feel better making it as hard for the wrong people to get these types of weapons that you can?
There will be plenty of people that will line up to say that I’m wrong. They could be right. If assault rifles are banned, criminals might start going on mass shootings with more precise weapons that are easy to practice and become acclimated to. It may be that this would be even more dangerous.
What do you think?