Gun violence is at the heart of American values

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Are you ready to live in a world where you must be able to exert lethal force at all times to feel safe?

This question may very well be the only one that matters in the ongoing debate about gun culture and gun violence in America – a country reeling from its most recent unimaginable tragedy which unfolded in an elementary school in the Texas, where 19 children and two adults were insane. kill.

We argue that the fact that mass shootings (incidents in which four or more people are killed in a single shooting) continues to occur at a staggering rate of about 19 per year since 2009, and that more than 110 people die every day of gun violence in this country, is no longer a symptom of some sort of undiagnosed problem – rather it is the simple conclusion of the values ​​and decisions we have chosen for decades and centuries to arrive at this point.

America’s gun violence problem is not the result of too few regulations, or too many guns, or a failure of the federal government to prioritize mental health outcomes – c It’s a deadly combination of all these factors, based on the very DNA of our country and pre-ordained from the moment we achieved independence through violent revolution.

We can debate until we’re blue on how to ban high capacity magazines, assault rifles and implement better background checks, pass red flag laws (like Rhode Island did) or increasing the age at which you can buy a gun will resolve the situation. While all of these measures can move the needle towards fewer deaths, especially in situations of domestic violence, to imagine that these measures will stop unnecessary carnage is nothing short of wishful thinking.

Pandora’s box has been open since 2008, when the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment was not in fact written in order to ensure that people could keep and bear arms in order to maintain a “good Regulated Militia”, which the framers deemed “necessary for the security of a free state” Instead, a conservative majority decided that the Second Amendment actually meant that people should be allowed to carry guns for personal protection, and we will continue to face the fallout of this expansive decision for decades. coming.

Because ultimately this argument hits a breaking point as soon as you get to the fundamental philosophical difference between proponents of control and opponents. Proponents of gun control believe the world is more dangerous when there are more guns, and opponents of gun control believe that safety is impossible without access to guns.

How can we bridge such a radically different philosophical gap? Our representatives in Congress certainly did not understand the answer to this question. The studies that clearly showed that the “good guy with a gun” theory was nothing more than a fantasy certainly don’t matter. Nor is there clear data that more guns lead to more gun violence deaths, a causal relationship that should by no means be controversial.

This is not meant to be a defeatist position. Regulations to make guns more difficult to access – or impossible to access for those who have shown clear signs of danger to society – are the lowest and most sensible fruit that should be implemented. immediately at the federal level.

But beyond regulation, this issue is deeply personal. Individuals have to decide what kind of country they want to live in and what kind of world they want to leave behind. The world we now find ourselves in, the product of our decisions and beliefs, is one where children and innocent people are slaughtered by military-grade weapons while simply trying to exist and thrive in what many consider as the greatest country in the world. Is there a way to solve this problem without turning every civilian, teacher and bus driver into an armed vigilante?

Personally, we’d say living in a world where you’re so afraid of being hurt or killed that you have to carry a lethal weapon on your hip to do something as trivial as do your weekend shopping is not at all “live free”.

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