Gun fanatics love to make the argument that it is all or nothing when it comes to gun laws. To them, there are only two options, complete confiscation, or no laws at all. Requiring people to undergo background checks for all weapons sales is part of their slippery slope fallacy that leads to an imagined all-out ban on weapons of every kind.
The fact is, we can continue to hunt and protect our homes, while still having rules in place that prevent mass shootings. Canada is a prime example of that. I read up on Canada’s gun laws, along with regulations in other countries, and we could copy much of them without infringing on the 2nd Amendment.
Let’s dispense with the idea that the Founding Fathers were flawless geniuses who could see into the 21st century. After all, they denied women the right to vote, allowed slavery, and genocided the fuck out of native peoples. The 2nd Amendment was designed in order to make sure local militias could protect against another British invasion, stave off Native American tribes, or keep slave revolts in check.
Since the 2nd Amendment was passed, the British are now one of our strongest allies. Native Americans have sadly been pushed into reservations, and black people are still second-class citizens. Local militias have been replaced by the National Guard and law enforcement agencies.
I’m obviously not in favor of banning all guns. Our country has plenty of law-abiding citizens who use rifles, pistols, and shotguns to hunt or protect their homes. I’m not even totally convinced that we need to outlaw assault weapons, but seriously restricting access to them is a good idea.
Currently, you have to be 21 to buy a handgun, even if it is a .22 target pistol for plinking cans. However, an eighteen year old can buy an assault rifle and high-capacity magazines, which are capable of far greater devastation than a handgun.
If trained law enforcement officers are too afraid or unable to neutralize an active shooter in a school, let’s stop pretending an art teacher with a handgun can suddenly turn into Rambo. That is a movie fantasy that doesn’t translate into real life.
We aren’t going to protect students by arming teachers. That is a ridiculous fantasy offered as an alternative by Donald Trump and the gun lobby. What we can do is restrict the purchase of high-capacity magazines and the weapons they go into to people over 21 who can pass stringent background checks. This won’t deter all school shootings, but it can keep angry teenagers with a death wish from shooting up a school. These individuals aren’t worried about whether or not teachers are armed, they usually have a suicide wish.
I’m tired of the stupid, NRA-backed talking points and alternative “facts” propagated by the gun lobby against reasonable gun laws. Canada has the right gun laws, it’s time for us to start learning from them.