I had a great conversation about gun control with my brother-in-law a while ago. My context was Sandy Hook, where a man slaughtered 20 children between 6-7 years old, his mother, and six teachers, using weapons including an AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle that his mother had bought legally. My brother-in-law’s context was Canada, where that just doesn’t happen. He’s also a very responsible gun owner.
At first we seemed to be in opposition. He heard me saying guns are bad, and I heard him saying guns are fine. But *eventually* we learned a lot. Gun control in Canada is not perfect but it’s light years superior to most of the US. And there really is a sickness in America – gun violence holds a sick fascination, and the male psyche is, for some insidious and complex reason, especially vulnerable here.
The solution to the problem in America is not *just* gun control, because that sickness is the most gut-rotted cancerous mess you can imagine, but gun control is *part* of the answer. If someone is bashing his own head with a hammer you don’t start with a lengthy talk about his feelings.
In Canada, Trudeau just announced a ban on assault-style weapons, which includes a list many people rightly say is not comprehensive. Some of these same people say that, because of the culture and the regulations already in play in Canada, the problem doesn’t exist and that this ban, timed as it is two weeks after the slaughter of 22 people in Nova Scotia, is a political stunt that will do nothing more than cost Canadians millions of dollars.
Could be that this law changes nothing except to make a few thousand gun owners a little wealthier in exchange for a few thousand semi-automatic weapons gone from Canada.
But really, I’m good with that. Take my money.
No, it’s not a perfect solution to the complex and subtle problem that some people decide at some point that mass murder is some kind of option.
We need to take better care of each other. THAT is the only Real Solution.
But while we’re trying to find the compassion to do that on a national and global scale, I am 100% all in for ideas that make it harder for people to get their hands on weapons that only exist to kill people. You and I may disagree on the details (I am also all in for demanding effective implementation) but if we disagree on that, what’s your plan to get us to the Real Solution? And do we even agree on that?