Even gun lovers can support sensible, moderate regulation

April 25, 2013

I like guns. There’s something satisfying—like the fizz of an opened can of Cherry Coke on a hot summer day—about squeezing the 6lb trigger of an AR-15 and hitting the zombie cardboard cutout 50 yards down the range. There’s something distinctly American about firing both shells of a 12-gauge over-under and watching two fast-moving discs explode in a shower of orange clay over an open field glowing in the light of the setting sun. It’s an embodiment of the frontiersman spirit.

In the home, too, guns have earned their place. In a notable 1982 attempt to reduce crime, the city of Kennesaw, Ga. passed an ordinance requiring heads of households “to maintain a firearm, together with ammunition therefore.” The crime rate decreased by over 50 percent since the law went into effect, ultimately becoming the lowest in Cobb County.

The right to own a gun in the United States is second only to the right to free expression—and rightly so. The American Revolution proved that “a well regulated militia” is “necessary to the security of a free state,” a phrase that inexorably linked gun ownership to American culture and romanticized ideals of manhood.

The American gun culture operates and prevails on a simple assumption, one that has surfaced again and again in recent debates: Guns don’t kill people. This statement is true. Left to its own devices on a front porch, a shotgun will not strike down a police officer in Cambridge, Mass. or a 17-year-old kid in Sanford, Fla.

And yet, the death toll from firearms continues to climb. The more recent mass shootings offer a glimpse at only the tip of the iceberg: Littleton, Colo.: 15 dead, 24 injured. Tucson, Ariz.: six dead, 13 injured. Oak Creek, Wis.: seven dead, three injured. Newtown, Conn.: 28 dead, two injured. Clearly, the National Rifle Association’s attempt at a logical argument based on the aforementioned claim is shooting blanks.

A gun’s inability to decide who to kill is no reason to avoid regulation. People do, indeed, kill people, but those with guns can cause more casualties. The simple conclusion, then, is to favor expanded background checks, increased waiting periods, and mandatory firearm registration, at the very least.

Pro-gun activism and common-sense solutions to the scourge of rampant gun violence are not irreconcilable notions. Since anti-gun control advocates do not accept the rising death toll as a sufficient argument, they should turn to other readily available evidence to acknowledge the need for change.

Above all, the Second Amendment explicitly demands regulation. A rather eclectic group of individuals under the NRA umbrella in no way constitutes “a well-regulated militia.”

Extending the blame to a society that focuses on violence in video games and movies, too, proves to be a weak attempt at defending guns. A perpetually evolving culture—one of the most difficult aspects of a country to change—cannot simply be outlawed. In fact, removing violence from entertainment can be perceived as a violation of the First Amendment. Thus, gun control, which is in line with the Second Amendment, is a simpler and fairer course of action.

Certain realities of the mass shootings in the U.S. offer few logical arguments in favor of lax gun control. According to a Mother Jones study, 49 of 62 mass shootings since 1982 involved firearms acquired legally. The need for a barrier between responsible individuals and weapons should not be difficult to understand, even for pro-gun communities. Though claims that the expansion of background checks penalizes law-abiding citizens for the actions of the few is certainly understandable, the same complaint can be applied to nearly any crime including theft, driver’s license renewal, and bag checks at the baseball park.

In spite of numerous, logical points for increased gun control, Congress still follows only the logic of politics. Vocal minorities in pro-gun constituencies encouraged the Senate last Wednesday to block one of the most bipartisan solutions to date, apparently asserting the right of the legislative branch to put its own citizens in harm’s way.

Though the Newtown, Conn. tragedy launched a reinvigorated campaign for a bipartisan bill, its passage proved just out of reach. However, the chance for a renewed effort is found in the wake of a recent week of tragedy. The gun battle and manhunt that put an entire city on lockdown following the Boston Marathon bombing must become the final straw. Facilitating the murder of U.S. citizens does not fall under the jurisdiction of members of Congress.

Yes, I like guns. They have their place in the U.S. and, according to the Supreme Court, are protected by the Constitution. Even so, the proposed gun control measures have remarkably little to do with the question of rights, freedom, and personal preference—the already rather loose interpretation of the Second Amendment will remain intact. In the end, gun lobby arguments are little more than partisan whining. Extending the waiting period for a gun won’t kill anyone.

Kirill Makarenko
Former Assistant Leisure Editor

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Julia Lloyd-George

Nice one, Kirill.


Well-written, well thought out, and logical. Also, references to “shooting blanks” are always appreciated. Great article!


Every time I hear someone talking about sensible, moderate regulation, especially a gun owner, I see a German officer telling a Jewish family “it’s only a little train ride”.

And it was….at first.

James Kapem

Exactly. Well said. Nothing about the last bill was moderate. We already have background checks when buying firearms, we dont need more and we all know that background checks = registration.

If they want to re-do the form 4473 and save no info from each purchase, I could even go along with background checks, but as it stands now, no way not now not ever.


Funny you forgot the other important part of the 2nd “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” so as far as I am concerned, your just another stooge for obozo pushing your opinion on gun control! People, its not about guns, but about control of the public so we are as needy as can be on the gov, until you wake up and understand what these people are doing to you, you will be just a sheep lead to slaughter!


That “moderate background check bill is styled “S.AMDT.715. Google it, and then click on “TEXT OF AMENDMENT AS SUBMITTED: CR S2613-2618” to see exactly what that “moderate background check bill” would do. But let me give you a hint. Any bill that starts with a list of 1,200 guns to be confiscated, and another 10,000 makes and models to be banned by description, is neither moderate nor a background check bill.

And do remember that some 800,000 NRA members are current or former police officers. So yes, we do know something about law enforcement. And the “moderate” gun ban bill would probably not have prevented a single murder had it been put in force ten years ago.

johnny kyburz

You are another stooge. I see you can’t wait to climb over still warm bodies from another tragedy to erode our rights. Please return to your liberal sewer.


What about Food lovers? Millions of pressure cookers must now be regulated. The sales of fireworks should be banned, unless you a U.S. citizen, or course. Two jihadist shut down an entire city of of 8 million with 2 bombs and nothing else. Criminals get their guns via crime, or friends. less than 1.5% are able to get them at gun shows…..AR style rifles are used in less than 1% of all gun crimes and the overall gun violence has been steadily decreasing since the late 80″s. Facts are hard…


They have gun control in Russia. Why their murder rate is three times Texas’?

…and the author conveniently ignores the fact that nearly ALL mass shootings happened in the so-called “gun-free zones”.


This writing has so much wrong with that it is hard to pick out just one problem, so instead I will just start at the beginning and work to the end. Initially, I enjoyed your little trip down nostalgia lane with “the fizz of an opened can of Cherry Coke on a hot summer day” all while blasting away with either an AR or a over and under shotgun. This was a nice attempt to try and find common ground with the pro-gun crowd all while asking for more infringements on their 2nd Amendment rights. You then went on to contradict your argument regarding the need for more “sensible moderate regulation”. You pointed out that awhile back Kennesaw, Ga. enacted a law requiring all homes to be armed (even though if you don’t want/have a firearm this law is not enforced) and the subsequent 50%+ drop in crime rate for the area. You also clearly stated your agreement with the notion that “Guns don’t kill people.” And then on the other side of your face (I believe the more honest side) stated that “the National Rifle Association’s attempt at a logical argument based on the aforementioned claim is shooting blanks.” So you agree with the same argument the NRA is using but think that same argument holds NO weight in the gun control debate? Which is it?
Liberals love to bring up the “well regulated” section of the 2nd Amendment as you did in your statement, “the Second Amendment explicitly demands regulation,” in hopes of pointing out that regulated should mean controlled, monitored, or governed. The problem is the phrase has changed meaning over the years and when reading and discussing the wording in the 2nd Amendment you must look to the intent of those that wrote the Amendment and keep to the definition of the time period. A “well regulated” militia of the period was made up of average citizens who decently disciplined to stand the trials of combat, trained in the proper function of their weapons, and maintained their weaponry in good working order. Alexander Hamilton declared in “The Federalist Papers, #29” that “the character of a well regulated militia” was found in a state of preparedness only reached after rigorous and consistent training. But that to fully acquire “the character of a well regulated militia” would be so time consuming as to be “a real grievance to the people and a serious public inconvenience and loss.” So the best we can do is be ready to fight if needed in defense of the State, keep our firearms in proper working order, and know how to use them.
And why must the Liberal Left always use the tired attempt to connect the Constitutional Right to own and use “Arms” as some psycho-sexual representation of the gun owner’s manhood. You link the notion of manliness and the 2nd Amendment by pointing out how a portion of the Amendment displays “a phrase that inexorably linked gun ownership to American culture and romanticized ideals of manhood.” I’m not female but if I was I think that I would take offense to this blatant sexism.
I’m not sure how you could excuse the role that “violence in video games and movies” have in the glorification of brutal violence in our culture. Almost since the invention of the moving picture there has been violence but not to the brutal extent that it is today. Watch a little Turner Classic Movies and find an old Western. Sure people might get shot or killed but where is the bucket of spewing blood that we find in movies today, ie. Kill Bill series and others. And you can with a straight face claim that “removing violence from entertainment can be perceived as a violation of the First Amendment.” So you defend one Amendment but wish to further restrict another through “expanded background checks, increased waiting periods, and mandatory firearm registration.” You, a supposed gun owner, should already know that we have background checks via NICS and waiting periods (Adam Lanza didn’t LEGALLY obtain his firearms due to Connecticut’s waiting period). And as for mandatory registration, you obviously have no understanding of history throughout the 20th Century or you would know that registration leads to confiscation. Don’t believe me; check out the JPFO’s “Genocide Chart” at http://jpfo.org/filegen-a-m/deathgc.htm#chart. The same Government that you trust to take down everyone’s name, address, and firearm serial number would never go against its own people, ask the Japanese Americans during World War II, or forcibly take people’s weapons, ask those that stayed in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
And as a member of the “Vocal minorities in pro-gun constituencies” I fight to protect a right that makes sure that I have the means to defend myself, my family, or my community. The pro-gun side may not have the numbers, if you believe the Liberal media and I don’t, but the central difference is that while Liberals may answer polls and write in to digital fish-wrap like HuffPo regarding their concerns and then go back to play around and “Likeing” crap on Facebook, listening to their iPods, and gunning each other down on the latest and greatest first person shooter, the pro-gun crowd fights for their Constitutional Right, fights for YOUR Constitutional Right, and fights for the Constitutional Right of each and every future American.
And as for that “already rather loose interpretation of the Second Amendment”, what part of “…the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” is difficult for you to understand.