Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A New Discussion

Yes, Virginia Tech happened. 32 people lost their lives. I am not going to talk about it because CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, and any other news organization can do better than I ever could in dissecting the killer and his possible motivations. I'm chiming in because this act highlights something very necessary that needs to be addressed: gun control.

Cho Seung Hui purchased all of his guns legally in the state of Virginia. In Virginia, there is little gun control as well as concealed weapons allowed. There are no waiting periods in Virginia; you can walk into a store and buy a gun immediately, as Cho did. Does this seem right to you? Should it be this easy to arm yourself to murder your fellow man? Seeing as there was a long history of Cho as a psychopathic, sociopathic, and mentally unstable man, wouldn't a waiting period and full background check ensured that he would have not gotten his hands on these guns? The short answer is yes, but the conservatives would never let this stand because they believe in the Second Amendment.

The second amendment states, "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." There is a key word in their: militia. A militia, as defined by the Oxford American Dictionary, is "a military force that is raised from the civil population to supplement a regular army in an emergency." Seeing as we have a full military now, the need for a militia to be maintained is unnecessary, an idea only held by libertarians in Michigan. Such a standard would dictate that we are no longer in need of the ability to have free access to handguns.

Gun rights advocates would argue that gun laws would cause restrictions on their freedoms. If they are the good citizens that they think they are, there should be no reason that they cannot wait for an extra five days to get their guns. As I have always believed, if you are a rational actor, you will not have any problem obtaining a gun, and any suggestion to the contrary is absurd.

I hope that this incident in Virginia will help the legislation to review their current policies to do more exhaustive background checks and be more cautious in allowing people to buy guns by doing such things as instituting waiting periods and closing the gun show loophole (the gun show loophole a/k/a saturday night special allows for people to go to gun shows and circumvent the rules that come with buying a gun from a shop, i.e. waiting periods, if applicable, and background checks). Violence is rampant in America. We should not allow the tools for this to be so. I know, I know. Guns don't kill people, People kill people. But they usually kill people with guns.