So Like... This Whole Gun Discussion is Getting Messed Up By Both Sides

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Summary

- Both the Republicans and the Democrats miss very crucial points when discussing gun rights
- The left fails to recognize that none of their "solutions" will solve the problem of mass shooters
- The right's arguments are generally not backed by data or are just outright untrue
- The assault weapon ban in its current form is unconstitutional, and will remain so until a more specific legal definition for the term "assault weapon" is introduced
- The right overuses that argument in places it doesn't apply by blocking necessary gun legislation like background checks
- Ultimately, the only solution is a massive public education campaign aimed at teaching average people better mental health maintenance skills. See "Mass Shootings and Mental Health" for a more detailed explanation.

 

There's a lot of talk about gun regulation in the public dialogue lately, and its a real hot button issue. I've been wanting to write up one my walls of text for a long time now, but I've been hesitant because I personally think the answer isn't going to be any one thing. 

I've been getting a lot of comments that seem to cherry pick pieces of this article and miss the overall message, so I'm doing an edit to hopefully get people to slow their roll a bit before going to the comment section. My full solution is a third section all the way down at the bottom, blocked off similar to this particular passage.

Please just keep a few things in mind as you read:

1) I take issue with both sides of the debate, and I feel both the left and the right are missing the actual solution. 

2) I feel the current assault weapon ban is unconstitutional, but I don't think all forms of gun regulation are on principle.

3) What I feel is the overall solution to the shooter epidemic is actually in another essay, titled "Mental Health and the Shooter Crisis". It's touched upon briefly in the arguments against the right, but here it is again right at the top so you don't need to go digging:

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Americans should teach mental health skills in public school as required courses, and make free courses available to any adult willing to learn. This will stop people from being pushed into the states of mind the shooters find themselves in. 

It'll be a long time before that has an effect though, so the answer to the crisis needs to be a comprehensive package that uses that as a keystone and then a series of different measures meant to minimize the damage while that takes the time it needs to stop the problem at it's source.
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A lot of people on both sides are gonna find stuff to disagree with here, I may be an a-hole with no clue what he's talking about, but I'm a politically unbiased a-hole.

I dunno which side to put first, and since I can't put them both first cause of how writing works, Ima let the reader decide which one to read first. 

Arguments against the left are at the top, arguments against the right are at the bottom, and there's awesome blocks made out of stars that represent freedom and important side notes so readers can spot em easily. There's also a third section that I'm blocking off in a similar manner that goes into what I feel is the solution.

Let's do this:

THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE LEFT

aka

"DEMOCRATS REALIZE THAT'S NOT GONNA DO ANYTHING RIGHT?"

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So some of these do serve other legitimate purposes and should be passed for those reasons, but almost all of the things the left proposes don't apply to the shooter epidemic.

Background checks and the Private Seller Loophole:

The first thing people like to bring up is the private seller loophole, but most mass shooters have clean records and can pass background checks. Yes, Americans should close the private seller loophole cause keeping guns out of criminal hands is important, but they shouldn't expect it to produce tangible results in terms of the shooter crisis.

Banning Accessories:and Features

Targeting accessories is also mostly worthless. Each individual accessory and feature holds a different value based on what they're intended to do, but none of them have enough of an effect on the outcomes of these tragedies for a ban that targets any individual one, or even all of them combined, to produce results. Full auto accessories like cranks and bumpstocks are pretty much the only things worth looking at, and really just to keep access to full auto capability uniformly limited to class three license holders. Most other accessories and features like collapsible stocks and bayonet lugs have no effect on the potential to take human life, and I feel like they're only included in the discussion as fluff to pad out arguments.

Limiting Magazine Capacity:

Limiting magazine size means the shooters will just carry more preloaded magazines, and be forced to reload more often. This sounds great, but really only law enforcement benefits from more frequent reloads because it provides them more openings to return fire. That's great and all, but these events rarely resolve in a shootout with police and usually end with the shooter commiting suicide or fleeing the scene. The civilian victims hiding and praying they aren't discovered certainly gain nothing from the few seconds a reload creates, and the people running for their lives don't gain much outside of a few seconds to hopefully turn a corner or find cover. I guess conceptually this does more than nothing, but its not enough to change things in any meaningful way.

This brings me to the only measure that can slow the bleeding, and the least likely idea of all of these to ever make it past the NRA lobby+conservative outcry combo blockade and onto the books. Here's everyone's favorite part of this debate: 

***The Assault Weapon Ban*** 

Make no mistake, in its current form this violates the 2nd amendment. I know the 2nd amendment argument is used a lot of places where it doesn't apply. This is the only place it actually does make sense as a rebuttal.

The legal definition of "assault weapon" is "Any semi-automatic weapon with a detachable magazine for fast reloading that's intended for combat". That's too vague and applies to almost every modern firearm. 

They need to make the definition more specific to respect the Bill of Rights. I like "Any semi automatic firearm with a detachable magazine that fires .50 caliber rounds or qualifies as a rifle". That means they also need a second definition for rifles, and that oughta be something along the lines of "Any firearm with a barrel that both (A) has a grooved interior to improve accuracy and (B) is 16 inches or more in length ". 

Once the more specific definitions are in place, there needs to be a way for sport shooters to still practice with these firearms, and for collectors to own them. I think making it legal to own the weapons banned and store them at government sanctioned shooting ranges so they can't be brought out into the general public to be used for a massacre is a great way to keep them accessible for those reasons while still protecting the general public. This would definitely limit a lot of the potential for carnage these shooters have, and leaves the 2nd amendment unscathed. 

Straight up, that much firepower is not needed for home defense from the scumbag burglars and home invaders that're the only threat people ever gonna see. The close quarters of a person's home make a shotgun the best defense anyway. People don't need the range a rifle provides, That buckshot spread that's gonna blast anything within 15 ft to pieces is gonna put in way more work as far as home defense goes.

If it comes time to for revolution, someone can pull a true weapon of war off the corpse of a fallen enemy that they've taken down with theirr ace marksmanship and a pistol.

I know people interpret the words "shall not be infringed" to mean absolutely no regulations allowed at all, but that literal of an interpretation is nonsense.

I'll tell everyone why when I get to defending the 2nd amendment in....

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THE ARGUMENTS AGAINST THE RIGHT:

aka

"THAT'S STATISTICALLY UNTRUE AND/OR JUST PLAIN WRONG, GHOSTRIDER"
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"Good guy with a gun stops a bad guy" 

That's a negative, ghost rider.

Statistically speaking, good guy with a gun gets mistaken for the shooter by the cops and screws up their game plan and/or gets shot in dome is how this one ends. 

Good guy with a gun kills some bystanders with crossfire or gets blasted in the face by the shooter are also more likely than a good guy with a gun doing anything useful.

I know a lot of dudes out there with concealed carry permits fantasize about being a hero in a shooter situation, but those dudes do more harm than good here in the real world.

"If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns" 

That's a negative again, Ghostrider.

Even in the impossible nightmare situation where the 2nd amendment is repealed and the population gets disarmed that people use to make this argument, the cops'll still have their guns. 

I know the thought of depending on the popo irks a lot of 2nd amendment bros, but statistically speaking I shouldn't need to repeat the point I just made about good guys with guns.

"But Chicago has a gun ban and they have way more murders than anywhere else in the world." 

Correlation doesn't imply causation, Ghostrider.

Two things being statistically correlated doesn't imply any link at all. A statistics professor could explain why that is, and how to prove a link. This is not a statistics class though...

The gun ban is not the cause of the increased gun violence the way people who make this argument try to imply.

If anything, the opposite is true, and the increased violence is the reason for the ban. That just makes more logical sense than a ban increasing violence.

Again, mere correlation is *almost* meaningless either way.

"Guns don't kill people, people kill people, watch.... Go on gun, get up and kill someone" 

Holy f&*!, Ghostrider, thats some of the stupidest stuff I've ever heard in my life. It

I've got some questions for anyone who's ever said this thought they were being clever:

Do people who say this chug lead paint for breakfast? Huff glue? Just had a recent lobotomy that got botched? People who say this clearly suffer from some kind of brain damage is why I ask.

Do people who say this really think people don't realize guns can't pull their own trigger? 

Did anyone say guns were growing limbs and going around killing people?

The true logical response to this is that people with guns kill people and taking the gun removes their capacity to easily take lives, but honestly this argument is so dumb in its premise that dignifying it a response like that without insulting whoever makes the statement first is giving it too much respect.

"Its not a gun problem, its a mental illness problem" 

That makes sense, but its more general "mental health" than "mental illness", Ghostrider. Not every mentally unhealthy person is mentally ill.

I've covered this in detail in another essay and partially in the intro to this one. 

Pieces of this argument are correct, but it's not a mental illness; It's poor mental health maintenance on the part of "normal" people. 

Any human being can get pushed to snap like this. This argument scapegoats mentally ill people. 

"Ay, yo, dawg... I uh... I found this thing called the Bill of Rights, look at the 2nd amendment on there real quick for me" 

Okay Ghostrider, you make a decent point, but we gotta clear some stuff up first. 

Most of left's proposals don't conflict with the 2nd amendment. 

Almost everyone on both sides of the issues agrees we need background checks with no loopholes to avoid them. 

For some reason though, 2nd amendment activists mobilize against something they're in agreement with because the NRA or their MSM news sources tells them gun control is being voted on or discussed and they jump into action thinking "BANS AND DISARMAMENT". The people who put the gun control bug in their ear did that on purpose knowing they would make that mistake without fact checking. Not calling anyone stupid, but some people learn to use google every once before voting.

I know people interpret the words "shall not be infringed" to mean absolutely no regulations allowed at all, but that literal of an interpretation is unrealistic. The founding fathers had no way of knowing we'd make the advancements that we've made to firearm technology. Every other constitutional right has laws around it to protect people. Americans have freedom of speech, but they can still commit crimes like conspiracy or menacing by speaking. Some form of regulation is necessary for the safety of society. End of story. 

If someone's attachment to the 2nd amendment comes from the idea of being able to resist tyranny with force, and they truly believe an AR-15s really makes them a threat to any modestly equipped modern military, they're either living in a fantasy or unaware of how much military technology has advanced over the last 40 years. Yes an inferior force can beat a superior one, so in theory beating the much better equipped US military is possible. 

Doing so on their home turf is highly unlikely though. Everything about our nation's infrastructure is built with defense in mind, and they have contingency plans in case of rebellion. The resistance's best bet at changing the system is a cultural revolution using their constitutional freedoms and the democratic process to force these slimeballs out of office. 

If the American government does start oppressing people and turns the military on the population, only a large segment of the military defecting to join the resistance and bringing military grade hardware, training, and experience with them would give the resistance a chance to put up a meaningful fight. Without that happening, even relying on guerilla tactics, sabotage, and other stuff we associate with terrorism will be doomed to failure. 

All violent revolution will do is give justification for martial law to be declared, and people will see how much freedom they have once it's all gone because anarchy and brutality took the reins.

Really guys, first amendment rights are attacked way more than second amendment rights and they're more important too. 

People looking the other way while our most important freedom is assaulted by the public because a dude won't stop kneeling whenever their favorite song comes on or by the current administration whenever Cinnamon Hitler gets made fun of by assholes on Facebook is a way worse attack on the Constitution.

People wanna defend liberty? They should defend Freedom of Speech. It's the first amendment because it's the most important amendment.

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THE ANSWER ACCORDING TO A CLUELESS A-HOLE FROM THE INTERNET

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I'm going to start out by copypasting something from above that leads into my answer to the epidemic:

"Its not a gun problem, its a mental illness problem" 

That makes sense, but its more general "mental health" than "mental illness", Ghostrider. Not every mentally unhealthy person is mentally ill.

I've covered this in detail in another essay and partially in the intro to this one. 

Pieces of this argument are correct, but it's not a mental illness; It's poor mental health maintenance on the part of "normal" people. 

Any human being can get pushed to snap like this. This argument scapegoats mentally ill people. 
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Now, read that carefully. I know it sounds contradictory to a lot of people. That's because many people have an incorrect understanding of mental health terminology, and they don't see the difference between mentally unhealthy and mentally ill. 

Think of it like this: Not everyone who's physically unhealthy has cancer, right? Mental health works the same way. Not everyone who's mentally unhealthy has a diagnosable disorder.

I have another essay that explains in great detail what I mean by this, called "Mental health and the Shooter Crisis". It's available on this page for free like everything I write, and I highly suggest you read it. It's by far one of my favorite pieces of writing, and certainly one of the most important. 

To truly understand why my solution is the only solution to address the core of the issue, people are gonna need to check out that really awesome essay.

Now, here's the solution I suggested at the beginning of this essay, repeated here again, only this time I'm going to elaborate...

Americans should teach mental health skills in public school as required courses, and make free courses available to any adult willing to learn. This will stop people from being pushed into the states of mind the shooters find themselves in. 

By mental health skills I mean a lot of things:. 

Disputing and changing beliefs that create negative consequences. Proper coping skills. Proper anger management. Proper stress management. Assertive communication. Proper introspection. Relaxation techniques. Setting healthy boundaries. 

Really, they're just basic mental health skills. They're the "Eating right and exercising" equivalents for mental health. 

They aren't nearly as hard to understand as they sound. They aren't as "touchy feely" as all the bada$^es out there will try to make them sound either. It isn't about people crying out their feelings and giving each other hugs while they work on mommy/daddy issues. Proper assertive communication is necessary if you want to be alpha AF like me. Learning this stuff will teach people to have the mindset of the true alpha male they wish they could be. It will also teach people to be more understanding and step on peoples emotions less. 

It's really just gonna make life all kinds of better.

Most of these are things people do *partially* on their own subconsciously. Most of these lessons individually will take less than an hour to teach people properly.

All of these things that I picked up in mental hospitals need to be taught preemptively in school as a course every child needs to take, instead of reactively in groups on the psyche ward. 

Seriously, all society has to do is devote half a semester from health class every year from the 6th grade on up. The school system would need to make sure it's taught year after year with lots of refreshers and elaboration each year, so the stuff gets ingrained in the kid's psyche. 

I promise if society starts doing this today, and runs a general education campaign to make the same classes available for free, one hour a week at local rec centers and what not, targeted at any adult willing to walk their happy a^% in and pop a squat, America will see a drastic drop in these mass shootings five years from today, maybe sooner, and the problem will be a thing of the past in a decade. 

There will also be the added benefit of making society a whole lot mentally healthier and able to care for each other in that regard.

Unfortunately, we need solutions that will help staunch the bleeding right now. Our only answer can't be something that takes five years to show a noticeable effect.

That means we're gonna need other measures put into place too:

1) Public safety drills similar to fire drills that tell people how to respond in a shooter situation.

2) More security at high risk targets such as schools, night clubs, and places where large crowds congregate.

3) A general education campaign aimed at teaching people basic first aid so more people are able to provide emergency medical care on the scene of these things.

4) Better systems for troubled individuals to turn to for help voluntarily while remaining anonymous and not stigmatizing themselves

5) And yes,a more sensible gun ban that's more respectful to the constitution than the current proposed legislation. Even though the current proposal is unconstitutional, not all forms of regulation are unconstitutional by default, as I discussed in the essay above.

Now, I'm just a 31 year old dude with a love of the English language, too much time to think about this stuff, and a great group of friends that likes discussing all this with me. 

The majority of this essay is stuff I've learned during my many years debating online and IRL. This is especially true of the solution I offer. 

I don't want to put myself out there like I'm some kind of prophet. I just stole the best ideas I've heard elsewhere, and condensed them into an essay. 

Please feel free to steal any idea you see here and use it for your own needs, as I also stole most of these ideas from someone else. Just make sure to do it in your own words, cause I don't wanna have to sue you for plagiarism if you get famous by copy pasting my work.

Thanks for your time, and if anyone hops up in the comment section arguing about why the gun ban is unconstitutional, I'm just gonna copy and paste the part of the essay where I said the gun ban is unconstitutional and tell them to go back and read the thing they're commenting on.

 
I’m what happens when you live by the motto ‘Live Fast, Die Young’ then you fuck up and survive
— A Gun Regulation Supporting Constitutional Rights Activist