Caught in the crossfire

I値l be the first to admit, the hot-button debate over gun control is one I知 not personally too passionate about.

In fact, I tried hard to steer clear of the gun debate. I did. I listened to every concern, every viewpoint, and every logical and illogical argument from both sides of the fence; from the pro SAFE crowd that says stricter gun laws are 田ommon sense, to the arguments of gun activists who say government is leaning toward a dictatorship now more than ever.

For two months, the argument has swayed back and forth, each side of the debate spewing their own share of tired arguments. While proponents of gun control say legislation is for the benefit of everyone, those who oppose it typically take a slippery slope argument of comparing gun restrictions to the restriction of cars because of drunk driving (since both kill), or make the weak argument that any gun control will ultimately be used to take away all guns and establish a tyranny (an argument that痴 a little overblown, in my opinion).



Truth said, I don稚 really have a dog in the fight to bear arms. I don稚 own a gun. I don稚 really want to. I don稚 hunt, I hardly consider shooting as a hobby and frankly, I don稚 understand how guns appeal to anyone. So to pile on stricter gun regulations for safety痴 sake... well, I really couldn稚 be affected any less.

Yet despite that, I can稚 bring myself to support the recently enacted SAFE Act. Why? Because I think it痴 a fruitless venture. It痴 an overreaching government trying to correct something there can稚 possibly be a viable correction to, all in an effort to score some political points while the Newtown Connecticut travesty is still fresh people痴 memories. Simply put, the SAFE Act or any similar legislation to come isn稚 going to work.

To be fair, I understand, to an extent, the arguments behind the SAFE Act. I understand that its intent is to make people safer, to give anyone caught in the nightmare of a mass shooting more of an opportunity to escape, to believe that fewer bullets equates to fewer deaths, and to keep military-style assault rifles out of the hands of bad people. After all, it痴 only 田ommon sense, as the Governor put it when he signed the legislation last month, to have gun control reform. The same 田ommon-sense sentiment was echoed earlier this week in the President痴 State of the Union address.

Common sense. What a disputable way of putting it. To call such legislation 田ommon sense is a clear political scheme. Agreed that it痴 common sense to want to protect citizens, and that it痴 common sense to want to prevent such horrific acts as that of Newtown from ever happening again. But isn稚 it also common sense that making something illegal doesn稚 make it preventable? Isn稚 it common sense that inflicting more laws does not, in any way, create more law abiding citizens? Doesn稚 common sense mean that as gun regulations go up, so too does a very dangerous but still very real black market for what is now illegal (this all coming from someone who despises the NRA and Fox News, by the way)?

Now moving forward, all the unknowns of gun regulation and what, if anything, is to come lays in the lap of Congress, beckoning the question of whether or not they even have the authority to pass such regulation. As I said, I can稚 say one way or another that gun regulations strikes me the same way it does some people in the area, but for me at least, it痴 far more concerning to see laws made just for the sake of making laws.

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