BLOG: The Fear of Fear Itself

KATIE PICKRELL

One of the biggest political debates in light of shootings and violence of modern day society is the matter of gun control. It seems that regardless of how many times someone gets shot by an armed individual who has no business in the possession of any type of weapon, gun laws will not change for the simple reason that a lot of people don’t want them to.

It’s kind of strange to think that so many people would be dead set against protective legislation, but what’s even stranger is the fact that the most common reason for the opposition to gun control is safety concerns.

Politicians and highly elected officials that are in charge of creating the legislation for gun control have struck fear so deep in so many people that the reason for loose, unenforced laws is the fear of guns themselves.

In other words, the argument to keep guns around is to make sure that the playing field is even. The claim is that gun control would lead to more violence, given the right people wouldn’t have the right weapons and the wrong people still would. It’s practically like arguing, if they’re going to break one law, they’re probably going to possess an illegal weapon anyways.

The previous argument seemed kind of redundant to me, so I decided to take my predicament to the Internet. I asked Google, Why do some people love guns so much?

My first answer, via Yahoo!, was probably the most in line with the honest views of many conservative Americans, and aligned directly with what I had thought so many others may believe. Beneath the hatred for the Democratic party came an actual, understandable answer: “The bottom-line purpose for a gun is to win your given situation. When being attacked, the best way to win is by eliminating your attacker, whether that attacker be a thug, a bear, a dog or an army. Many anti-gun people confuse protection and aggression, though I don’t know how or why.”

My confusion between protection and aggression, to answer the curiosity within the answer I found, stems from the fundamental idea that the wrong people are still able to obtain violent weapons now, it’s just much easier for them.

The thing that concerns me is the fact that gun ownership trends in a similar direction as violence. When ownership increases, crime rates do as well and when ownership drops, the same is apparent in acts of violence. It is true that most violent acts are committed with illegal firearms, but that doesn’t invalidate the correlation of less guns and less crime.

Another contradiction to the argument that gun-toting criminals aren’t going to oblige themselves to follow any laws is the new average criminal isn’t really a criminal at all. Too often, the news runs articles on kids who got their hands on guns or of individuals with psychological disorders going on rampages. Gun laws would protect individuals in both of these circumstances.

Acknowledging those things and a slew of statistics and studies that I’ve ran across on the web, my fear for my own safety doesn’t give me a desire to expand the right to weapons. It makes me want to limit that right– to ensure that the wrong person, who I’m bound to be in contact with at some point in my life, doesn’t have legal rights to a murder weapon.
It seems to me that the only true fear behind pro-gun activists who completely repudiate the idea of ensuring that any individual doesn’t have the right to his or her weapon of choice is the fear of change, which is thus causing all of the murmur about the terrible downfalls of restrictions on gun ownership. People aren’t used to being told what to do, and even acknowledging that a change in the way of stricter control may be beneficial, many are unaccepting of the idea.

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