Living here in Louisiana, it isn’t hard to find a pickup truck with an NRA sticker on it. Guns are part of the culture here, and I’m OK with that for the most part. The Second Amendment was intended to ensure that men of military age were able to own weapons to defend a fledgling nation against possible attacks by the British or other foreign armies, and called for a “well-regulated militia.” It has since been interpreted as allowing all law-abiding adults to possess weapons not just on private property, but also to carry them in many public places.
There are many people in this country who support reasonable regulations on who can and cannot legally possess guns. It’s one thing to own a bolt action rifle for hunting deer – it’s a completely different thing to own a semi-automatic rifle capable of firing dozens of rounds in a few seconds.
Gun fanatics like to claim that there’s no difference between guns and that an AR-15 is no different from any other rifle, but they are lying. If you want to really make one of them spin on their talking points, ask them if they would rather be faced by an attacker with a lever action .30-30 deer rifle, or someone with an assault rifle with a 30 round magazine.
The NRA and the folks who gobble up their propaganda often spout the talking point that Chicago has strict gun laws, and a high murder rate. However, they fail to mention the fact that lax gun laws in neighboring Indiana and other states help fuel a profitable illegal gun market in the city.
Chicago Police point to Indiana as a major source of guns recovered at crime scenes, indicating that the state’s lax gun purchasing laws, through gun trafficking, are fueling the city’s violence. Gun violence in Chicago remains high, with more than 2,300 shootings in 2015 alone and a homicide count of 484, including the November murder of a 9-year-old boy targeted in gang violence.
“You can be in the city of Chicago and be closer to a gun show in Indiana than you are to downtown,” said Sarah Emmons, a researcher at the University of Chicago’s Chicago Crime Lab. “Having such dramatically different regulations in such close proximity makes it really, really easy for folks [to bring illegal guns into Chicago].” (Source)
It’s possible to have reasonable regulations on gun purchases, and protect the Second Amendment at the same time. However, the NRA and their fanatic followers keep on invoking the slippery slope fallacy by claiming universal background checks are the next step toward total disarmament of every citizen.
On a regular basis, I see comments from people on local news stations freaking out about guns and conservative conspiracy stories, and they’re often otherwise nice folks. These aren’t the stereotypical “ammosexual” gun fanatics that many liberals have condensed into memes showing an overweight white person in camouflage holding a gun, these are ordinary people who have been manipulated by the gun lobby for years.
There are a few folks on the left who do believe that all guns should be banned, but they represent a minority, just as NRA fanatics represent a small but vocal percentage of gun owners. We can reduce gun violence while protecting the rights of lawful citizens to keep and bear arms – don’t let the NRA tell you otherwise.
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