Like most things prominent in the media, gun violence / problems / solutions has been a ongoing discussion at the gym.
The following is a well articulated argument from a college debate on the subject submitted for our viewing pleasure through Reddit by u/Derek762. I think this summarizes the point rather concisely.
"I agree with you that this country has a gun violence problem. I'm sure all your statistics are accurate and valid." At this point she was very confused to say the least.
"There were 11,000 gun-related homicides in 2016 and that is ridiculous. I completely agree, we need to fix this issue, but why are we fixated on AR15s, 30 round mags, and bump stocks? There were over 6,000 handgun murders in this country and only 300 committed with rifles, why are we fixated on AR15s? There will be more gun murders committed this year in Chicago than total fatalities of all US mass shootings. Banning AR15s, 30 round mags and bump stocks will do nothing to reduce these numbers, do you not care about these people? The vast majority of gun murders in this country are gang or drug related. Why is that? Is it really because they have access to a steel and polymer machine that launches propellants at high speed?
Could a better answer be its because of a lack of socioeconomic alternatives that force these people to turn to crime? Could anyone of us honestly travel into inner city Chicago and say, "Don't worry, you still have crippling poverty, a lack of affordable housing, drug trafficking, failing schools, and gang violence but you can't shoot each other anymore, problem solved!"
Now let's look at those gun violence rates from Japan. I agree, those numbers are low, but do you really think if they started selling unrestricted guns in Japan that Tokyo would have 650 murders next year? I guarantee they would not, because the issue isn't a simple as access to firearms, it's about poverty, inequality, drug crime, gang violence and institutional discrimination against minorities and the poor.
I agree with you that NYC is a great example of a city recovering from the grasp of an urban crime wave, but is it really just due to gun legislation? During the urban crime wave of the 1970s the Bronx was the arson capital of the world. Did the city ban gasoline? Is it still the arson capital of the world? How did they recover from that without restricting access to flammable materials? Could it be that legislation wasn't the only thing to curb this crime wave?
You paint yourself as an activist but last year there were 650 gun murders in Chicago and you didn't do a damned thing, but now the tragic murder of 17 students has prompted you to action? You're not an activist and you aren't committed to truly reducing gun violence in this country. If you were you'd be focused on the root of the problem, not on an intimate object.
What would you say if you took your child to a psychologist because they were violently launching out against you and trying to harm themselves and the psychologist said, "Don't worry I know how to solve this problem, just hide all your steak knives and he cant murder you, problem solved."
Let's end the plague of gun violence, but lets get to the root of the issue and stop focusing on inanimate objects. Lets improve the socioeconomic environment in urban cities overrun with crime, lets end drug trafficking and street gangs. Lets improve these impoverished inner city schools, lets bring jobs back. Lets stop mass shootings by stop over hyping it in the media and treating fatalities like a high score in a video game. As parents lets take responsibility for our parenting and the actions of our children. Put your phone down and get involved. Instead of taking a day off and marching to make yourself feel good, try volunteering to be a mentor for at risk kids. Talk to your children, ask them how their day was, find out who their friends are, don't let an Xbox do your parenting for you. "
Her rebuttal to that was, "uh....uh....(shuffle through papers)...yeah but those things are really hard."
My counter was, "So you're only committed to fixing the problem if it has an easy solution?"
Her response, "Uh...no I didn't mean that....I...I don't know, I wasn't expecting that argument."
My advice for those of you engaged in these types of debates is to embrace the opposition's points and data and use them to support your own argument. It's okay for us to acknowledge that the US has a crime problem and still keep our firearms. By taking a more radical approach to fixing this problem we become the activists . . .
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