Opinion: Gun control debate should remain honest, logical

Posted on Oct 13 2017 - 7:56am by Matthew Dean

In the wake of a devastating mass shooting in Las Vegas, the question of gun control is being brought up again. And, to be fair, it is not a bad question. I am very pro-Second Amendment, but that does not mean that I do not believe in any forms of restriction of what can or can’t be owned. I understand the controversy and why some people are uncomfortable around guns. There are honest arguments for taking a second look at certain things.

My problem, however, comes from the people clamoring against legal gun ownership in dishonest ways.

In one very popular example, late-night comedian Jimmy Kimmel took nine minutes out of his poor audience’s one and only life to deliver a bizarre rant against gun ownership.

Starting with crocodile tears and politely paying tribute to the victims, he soon skipped down a yellow brick road of delusional political tirade against legal gun ownership. He attempted to claim that his monologue was not about gun control but about “common sense.”

Hopefully anyone with common sense could see past his shenanigans. By attempting to guilt you into believing it is about the victims, Kimmel makes any dissent seem like a heartless eye-roll to human suffering. I am sure that Kimmel was totally, definitely not trying to influence his viewers toward a political stance with his backdrop of Republicans who decided against governments manhandling gun show sales.

Maybe it’s because, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, less than 2 percent of convicted criminals bought guns at shows or flea markets in 1997, and gun violence has decreased since that time, according to Pew Research.

Sure, there’s a possibility that more guns from these purchases are being used in crimes, but if that were the case, celebrity saviors like Kimmel would surely let us know for the sake of our own safety.

Currently, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives law allows that these gun sellers can deny sales to individuals to whom they may feel uncomfortable selling. With a number as low as 2 percent, I would say these guys have done a pretty good job judging.

But no, the individual can never be trusted. Let’s hand it over to the government. I’m sure it’ll do a good job preventing arms trafficking. Ask Eric Holder, if you don’t believe me.

Of course, I cannot bow out of this article and let CNN off the hook. Maybe you’ve seen its animated demonstration of what a bump stock is, but in case you missed it, I can tell you: There’s a silencer, a scope and even a grenade launcher. Unfortunately, no bump stock.

But it did just have the gun animated to show its stock adjusting for length. Some would yell “Fake news!” but I believe it was probably these pesky Russians again. I’m sure there’s no agenda there, either.

The Second Amendment states, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” It does not say “shall not be infringed, unless you guys start shooting each other.” Anyone claiming that our founding fathers lacked the foresight to understand that technology develops and the Second Amendment was meant to apply to muskets is being intellectually dishonest. Unless these people are Time Lords, I doubt they know that for a fact.

Is there room for a logical debate about what constitutes a firearm that should be legally owned? Of course, and having this debate after a tragedy is perfectly reasonable. But there’s no room in that debate for dishonesty or illogical, emotionally charged decisions.

Matthew Dean is a senior criminal justice major from Possumneck.