In the wake of another horrific school shooting, the national conversation on guns has taken a predictable turn. The left immediately called for ‘common sense’ gun control, the right asked what that means, and both sides accused the other of standing on the graves of the victims for political points. In light of this ongoing debate, it’s time to actually tackle the question of what the left means when they say ‘common sense’ gun control.
For some reason, gun control conversations only happen after mass shootings. The media latches onto the big flashy headlines they can gain from this kind of big event, but this ignores the vast underlying problem of gun violence. According to FBI crime statistics, there were 8,124 total gun homicides in 2014. Of these, 248 were explicitly caused by a rifle, whereas 5,562 were attributed to handguns. Additionally, since 1996, only 1,077 gun deaths have come in mass shootings, in which at least 4 people were killed. That is less than 1% of all gun homicides in that time frame and the worst school shooting in U.S. history, the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, used 2 handguns.
Despite all of this, the left’s prevailing call for ‘common sense gun control’ almost entirely revolves around restricting the right to purchase “assault weapons,” even ignoring that assault weapons is a meaningless phrase. What they mean is that they want to restrict or ban AR-15 sales and other semi-automatic rifles like it. They claim that handguns are sufficient for self defense, and shotguns can be used for home defense, but that no one in their right mind needs to own a big, scary AR-15.
Obviously, this is nonsense. If the left truly cared about gun violence in America, they would be consistent in their calls for which guns need to be banned. Banning semi-automatic rifles, assuming that completely eliminates all gun deaths attributed to them per year, would only get rid of about 3% of total gun deaths.
Of course mass shootings are a problem, and this is not to deny the tragedy of them, but if the answer to gun violence in America is banning guns, then at least look at the facts and understand that only repealing the Second Amendment will actually allow you to ban the guns most at fault. And to those on the left who are already calling for this action, thank you. At least now we can have a true discussion about the merits of the Second Amendment itself. And to the rest of you, quit hiding behind mass shootings to ignore the discussion we really need to be having.
The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Lone Conservative staff.