Sunday, 16 November 2014

The Right to Bear Arms: Gun Control

Pro-gun control -

I found this website when searching the simple term 'anti-guns in America' however this website of 'moms' is not exactly anti-guns, they just want to raise awareness and have some form of 'gun sense' policies introduced to avoid senseless and avoidable shootings that leave families heartbroken. Their aim is to 'mobilize moms and families to advocate for stronger gun laws', something that, from Caitlin King's story, is very needed.

"It's time for all of us to come together and demand lasting changes that will keep our children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren safe." 
Caitlin King, San Francisco, California

Caitlin King is one of the 'Faces of Courage' listed on the website, and she wrote an article explaining her reasons for fighting for better gun control. As a teacher, she experienced guns a lot with students falling into gangs and, when teaching in New York, every few months or so they'd receive a notice from their principle to alert them to the fact that a student had been shot, sometimes fatally. She comments that, more often than not, students handled this better than teachers, something I found quite interesting. Surely other students, that would have seen this person in the halls and gone to lessons with them, would be able to relate to the person more and would therefore be more shocked than a teacher that maybe taught them once or twice a week? Caitlin answers my queries in the same sentence, it was "because they were used to it". 

The pure idea of someone not being shocked by the fact that someone had been shot, and possibly killed, near to their school or maybe in their neighbourhood is completely foreign to me, mainly because I haven't been brought up in a society that so readily allows guns. The fact that students became "used to" hearing about people, their friends, being shot is evidence enough that need to persevere in their mission.

#GroceriesNotGuns is one of their main campaigns as the grocery store 'Kroger' has policies that allow customers to openly carry guns in its stores, "where moms and their kids shop every day". We've all heard about senseless shootings in public places, well a few have taken place at 'Kroger' brand stores in recent years, a fault in their policies allows things like this to happen. 

"Private businesses like Kroger have the responsibility to protect their customers when the law won't."

This is evidence of their main fight, the fact that the law will not protect people that are caught in these shootings. By allowing open carry and such freedom of guns, there are more and more innocent citizens put at risk, even the ones that carry guns responsibly themselves. There are a few people that cannot control their guns and they should not be allowed to carry them but with weak laws in most states it means that a majority of people, as long as they are the right age, are allowed to buy and carry guns without a background check or training. There's a sense of recklessness of legislation portrayed by the momsdemandaction website when they speak of the flimsy laws that allow shootings to happen daily, and the government do not even try and prevent it. 

Anti-gun control -

Whereas momsdemandaction want stronger laws, the National Rifle Association describe themselves as America's "longest-standing civil rights organization", as they defend their second amendment rights. 

"When you sign up to defend your Second Amendment freedoms..."

On their membership page, it is written that you will receive a multitude of 'member-only' discount at many nationwide brands and this seems to almost be used as a bribe to support the freedom of guns. Despite the website aiming to support the liberty that comes with owning and bearing arms they seem to feel the need to create an exclusivity to their association to entice more people to join – with discounts and the feeling of fighting for and 'supporting' their civil rights.

The NRA believes that their second amendment rights should not be taken away or restricted as they were in the original promise of liberty that the country was founded upon. On the other hand, momsdemandaction believe that stricter laws need to be introduced to prevent senseless crimes whereas the NRA believe that citizens need to be protected for the sake of their liberty and right to bear arms. 

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