What is gun control all about? Too often gun control articles are driven by an irrational argument. The gun control articles that dominate newspapers, magazines and public debate almost always revolve around the 2nd amendment. However, the right to bear arms is essentially irrelevant. Why is it? Two reasons 1) The right to own guns is established and 2) the right to regulate guns is equally well established. In other words, let’s not debate what is already decided. If that’s true than why are so many gun control articles only about the 2nd amendment? The answer is that the gun control debate is still controlled by the gun lobby. This lobby, as we all know, is fronted by the NRA. It is the NRA that has defined the boundaries of the debate and will not permit the discussion to wander toward real issues. By making the debate about nothing, it avoids being meaningful. Maybe “the right to bear arms” is just sleight of hand. What is really important in the gun control debate? To start, they should address statistics. The gun control statistic that is most surprising to many Americans is the number of deaths caused by guns compared to the number caused by traffic accident. They are almost equal! In 2010, the last year for data, there were 33,687 traffic deaths and 31,672 gun deaths (CDC.) Here are other important gun control statistics: there are an estimated 300 million guns in America, not including those owned by the military. How many does the military own? About 4 million. There are 75 times more guns owned by private citizens than the army, navy, marines, coast guard, air force and Special Forces combined. The right to bear arms? That’s covered. So where do we begin a meaningful gun control debate? Maybe we begin by asking “What are we afraid of that we need all those guns?” After that we might ask, “How did we come to feel such fear in ‘The Greatest Country in the World?'” If we are strong, why are we so frightened? So we are left with this “What is gun control really about?” Is it about the right to bear arms? Is it about facts? What is gun control if not a genuine debate about our contemporary culture? What is gun control except a profound, national self inspection? Don’t be fooled by the right to bear arms. That’s not the issue.
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