Gun Control in the United States

Gun Control in the United States

(Photo by Joshua Tartakovsky (C) 2015 All Rights Reserved).

By Joshua Tartakovsky


The recent shooting in a school in Farmland, Florida, brought to the fore the question of gun control in the United States, once again.

If I understood their arguments correctly, a student protest movement encouraged and led on by various mainstream media outlets, have pushed forward demands to prevent the AR-15 from being operated as a semi-automatic weapon, placing background checks on those who wish to purchase weapons, and bringing up the age one can purchase guns to 21, for example, as moral imperatives that cannot be challenged unless one wishes to see more of children’s blood spilled.

To argue that only 21 years old people can acquire guns, while they can be 18 to join the military and shoot other people abroad, does not make much sense.

Significantly, gun control advocates, have almost entirely ignored the fact that a police deputy near by the school did not enter to stop the shooting. Instead they are advocating taking guns from people. Which means, in fact, that madmen may be unable to get guns, but it also means that American citizens will have to trust the police only, and will be unable to rely on themselves to stop a shooter by their own efforts and through arms.

As people have accepted emotionalism as a valid argument, and one cannot debate the issues coldly, perhaps it’s time to raise some questions on the various arguments made.

Gun control critics are right that it is far too easy for a madman or mentally disturbed individual to buy a  gun. It is also quite probable that one who is mentally disturbed or suffers from depression may not have the wisdom to know how to find a gun in the black market and may be caught by the police in the effort.  After all, an insecure, depressed person, won’t exactly have the know-how and courage to find a gun by going to the Ghetto and asking random people where to get one.

At the same time, if mental checks must be done before one can get arms, than the ethos of the Constitution demands that one will not submit blindly to the federal government and allow the nanny state to approve or disapprove of one’s ability to purchase a gun. If Trump is indeed a new Hitler as many liberals seem to believe, and fascism is coming to America as the resurgence of white supremacist groups suggests, than trusting the government to allow or not allow one to purchase a gun is highly problematic. If America turns to fascism will Jews, blacks and others be able to purchase guns and protect themselves from white supremacist groups? If one who opposes the regime is denied the right to purchase a gun on the ground of having a “mental illness,” then what will he do next? He is left with no means to protect himself.

One of the great values in the Second Amendment is the strong opposition to tyranny inherent in the American DNA. The right to bear arms means not only that citizens are self-reliant, and can protect themselves by relying on themselves, but also that Americans will not subjugate themselves to tyranny ever again.

But in the heat of emotionalism, many liberal Americans place blind faith in US tyranny, even as cops failed to stop the shooting, even as Trump supposedly is a new Hitler, even as white supremacist groups are springing all over the US.

Preventing guns from mentally disturbed people is important, but mental madness seems to be growing in the US due to various factors, namely loneliness, depression, over reliance on pharmaceuticalsas a solution, bad nutrition, bad parental attention and many other factors. To begin to solve violence, society has to repair itself. But in the mean time, stripping citizens of their rights to arm themselves, can only mean that only the government or criminals will have the guns, that the police will not necessarily stop the next shooter.

It may be possible to also prevent mentally ill people from buying guns, but only if not other so-called background check is involved (which can mean anything and which allows a government official to violate the right of a person to rely on himself for defending his life and the life of his family from any sort of tyranny or violence), and the opinion of three psychiatrists is taken into account (once a person is suspected of having a mental illness).  That would make it harder to enable the abuse of the “mental illness” claim (as it would entail a waiting period for those who may be problematic while not robbing Americans of their right to own guns unless they are in fact unstable).

But the right of Americans to buy automatic guns should not be infringed upon. How is one to protect himself otherwise? By placing a new bullet in the gun every time, World War I style?

Every day we are being bombarded by emotional arguments on the need for gun control, but that would only mean that the government would have the guns and not the people. Such a move would undermine a basic tenant of the United States: the ability to rely on oneself in the defense of his or her life. Once again, the cop outside the school did not bother to enter, so hanging over the only means one can protect oneself via creeping legislation, undermines safety and security.

As the great Benjamin Franklin wrote in his notes for the proposition to a Pennsylvania Assembly in 1775: “They that give up essential liberty to obtain temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

We must not fall into the trap of seeking “temporary safety” by following emotional arguments made by teenagers and metrosexual TV pundits for then we will find ourselves with “neither liberty not safety.”