The Gun Debate: Why Does it Seem to Render People Incapable of Using Common Sense?

nugent-gunIt goes without saying that the topic of guns in this country is highly controversial.  Every time there’s any kind of mass shooting, the topic becomes front page news all across the nation.  We get an endless stream of opinions from both sides as to what the answers should be.

The thing I rarely see from the fringe on either side is common sense.  You have the far left which screams for a ban on all guns, and then you have cries from most on the right who seem to believe gun ownership is one of our greatest American rights.

I’m a liberal, but to me a gun is a gun.  It’s a tool used for hunting and self defense.  Maybe even an item one might collect if they like historical items.  It’s also something that can be extremely dangerous if put in the wrong hands.

Gun ownership is an American right, but that doesn’t mean we should have the right to own any kind of gun we want.  In fact, the Second Amendment doesn’t even specifically say “gun”—it just says “right to bear arms.”

Heck, one could argue that any sort of weaponry could be considered an “arm,” couldn’t they?  Missiles, tanks, RPG’s, nuclear weapons. Aren’t they all “arms?”  After all, don’t many of these people feel that “guns keep our government fearful of its citizens?”  Do they really believe basic guns keep a government, which controls some of the most advanced weaponry that’s ever existed, fearful of its citizens?  Shouldn’t they then believe we’re allowed to own more lethal weaponry?

Or the silly argument that guns have nothing to do with gun violence.  Come on, really?  They have nothing to do with gun violence?  Of course mental health and other factors play a huge part, but so do the guns.

More specifically, the access to the guns.  Which is something that would be helped by expanding background checks—something Republicans gleefully blocked earlier this year.

Or the line I love most, “If guns are responsible for gun violence then spoons are responsibility for obesity.”  Anyone who takes that line seriously should be ashamed of themselves.  The total ignorance behind that statement shows what kind of a short-sighted mental capacity that person has, along with a total inability to think critically about anything.

All weapons are essentially tools that, until used by a human, are harmless.  Yes there are some that can be dangerous even without human interaction, but for the most part a weapon is only dangerous when a human being uses it.

So to say that a gun isn’t a catalyst for gun violence by comparing it to a eating utensil is simply outrageous.

Why can’t both sides come together and face the simple reality that both guns and mental health are leading factors behind gun violence?

It’s not one or the other—it’s both.  It’s called common sense.  A mentally healthy person doesn’t kill a group of people, nor does a gun spontaneously pop up and commit the same act.  However, when you mix the two, they become very dangerous.

And why is it such a “threat” to gun rights activists to limit the style of guns or magazine sizes?  Like I said before, do you really think you’re overthrowing the United States government with an AR-15 and 30 rounds in a magazine?  If you do—you’re an idiot.  Not to mention a traitor as well.

There’s a reason why certain types of guns are most often used in these mass shootings.  It isn’t a coincidence.  And while there might not be any concrete evidence to say this is why one gun is more dangerous than the other—reality is undeniable.

And I’m sorry, ordinary citizens do not need magazines larger than 10 rounds.  If you need more than that to hunt or defend yourself, you don’t need to own a gun in the first place.

And as far as the “ban all guns” fringe goes — it’s never going to happen and it’s a pointless solution.  Guns are a deep-seated American tradition, protected by the Second Amendment and they’re not going anywhere.  Starting your counter argument with “let’s ban all guns” simply puts you in the same radical category as those who believe guns have nothing to do with gun violence.

So either accept the fact guns are going to be a part of the “American way of life” and find a sensible, common sense approach to dealing with them — or don’t be part of the conversation.  Because quite frankly your side isn’t getting us anywhere productive.

I just don’t get why, when it comes to guns, so many people seem to lose all common sense.  If someone hoards 200 cats they’re insane, but if they own 200 guns they’re a “gun enthusiast.”  If someone wants to get married we need government regulations which define marriage, but any mention of any new government regulation over the purchase of firearms and it’s an “unconstitutional attack on our rights.”

It’s simply astounding.

That’s honestly the biggest reason why we struggle in this country with gun violence — because too many people lack the simple ability to apply common sense when discussing them.

And if we can’t even do that, just how in the hell are we supposed to fix this problem?

Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.


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