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As our nation continues to grapple with yet another painfully public shooting tragedy, Alison Parker’s father and boyfriend have vowed to take on the issue of gun control.

“We’ve got to do something about crazy people getting guns,” Parker’s father Andy said. “You mark my words, my mission in life — and I talked to the governor today — I’m going to do something to get gun legislation, to shame people, to shame legislators into doing something to make sure that crazy people don’t get guns.”

President Obama also weighed in: “It breaks my heart every time you read about or hear about these kinds of incidents,” he said during an interview. “What we know is that the number of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism,”

Whenever things like this occur, victims’ families call on politicians to do something, anything, about guns. Many appeal to the media, become gun control advocates, and even pressure their members of Congress to take up the fight.

Still, nothing is done.

After the Sandy Hook massacre in which two dozen elementary school children were slaughtered, most people assumed lawmakers would finally institute common sense gun control measures, but it never happened. Instead, the National Rifle Association argued teachers should be armed and Congress failed to pass any new laws on background checks or limiting access to firearms.

One thing is clear: Americans are obsessed with guns.

According Mother Jones, there are approximately 300 firearms in America, nearly one for every person in the country. Even more troubling, almost 100,000 people are shot each year.

Guns and gun culture are deeply rooted in America, but is breaking our infatuation with firearms impossible?
What do you think? Will America ever break its addiction to guns to institute gun control? Sound off!

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  • LogicalLeopard

    Okay, so I’m kind of wondering what kind of gun legislation people are looking for? I mean, lets talk real talk here. Number one, what is a “crazy person?” Someone with a diagnosed mental illness? Does this mean that you can’t have a weapon if you have ADHD? That’s a mental health issue. Or are we talking certain types of mental health issues? Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Depression, etc?
    And once you go down that road, you have to understand that you’re telling a person who has a diagnosed mental health disorder, who may be controlling it with medication, that they cannot defend themselves. So, if you’re a woman who has been diagnosed with Depression, which you keep under control by going to your doctor and taking your medication, if your crazy boyfriend (who has no mental heath diagnoses, but is just “crazy” in terms of being possessive, violent, etc), threatens you after you break up, and you’re scared out of your mind, you can’t get a concealed carry and a weapon to defend yourself? That’s taking a lot from a person.
    And in order to take that from a person, we need some statistics to back it up. These are high profile cases. But on average, how many people with specific mental health disorders are committing murders with firearms? Do we have numbers on that? If the numbers justify passing a law saying you can’t have a weapon, so be it. But what if they don’t? We probably wouldn’t want to have weapons in the hands of paranoid schizophrenics, but how many paranoid schizophrenics actually shoot people? It may be a surprisingly low number. Or actually, should we let the American Psychiatric Association make the call on who shouldn’t’ have a gun?
    And how do we put people on the no fly list? Have hospitals automatically report it? Make an acception to HIPPAA law? Then, your question becomes, would gun owners even bother to go to the hospital to seek treatment when they have a mental breakdown? If word gets out that they could lose their firearms, some might not, and this would prevent them from getting the help they need.
    TL;DR version: Everyone is saying that we need to pass legislation. But what does that legislation look like?

    • Ang

      “Okay, so I’m kind of wondering what kind of gun legislation people are looking for?”
      That’s my first thought whenever this topic comes up. Two things people overlook when discussing gun laws is 1) alot of gun related crimes are committed with guns that are purchased illegally so the strictest laws wouldn’t curtail that. 2) the proposed laws wouldn’t necessarily stop these people from buying guns. The perpetrators often have no previous criminal history and no previous signs of mental illness or showed signs to family but were never evaluated by a doctors. Also, how would a gun store know a person has a mental illness that could cause them to attack? Is someone going to create a database? You make a lot of good points. There are so many factors to consider that are rather difficult to decide. But, people act like everything is so simple. Create a law and the problem is magically solved. But what is the law and how is it implemented? Also, I’m not sure gun laws (even if we could create a perfect system) are the cure all for the issues we have in this country. Mental illness is not a new phenomenon and guns have always been apart of American culture. Maybe these experts should spend some time trying to figure out what is going on in our society that has people taking lives so freely. School and movie theater shootings are more recent than mental illness and guns so there has to have been a shift in the culture. I don’t know how anyone can figure this issue out. But there has to be a more well-rounded approach than just banning access to guns. The guy who attacked the Tennessee movie theater had a BB gun, an axe, and pepper spray. You could get an axe from a hardware store and pepper spray from Rite Aid.

    • LogicalLeopard

      Exactly! It’s really not simple, when you really look at it. Legislation doesn’t solve everything, and sometimes it creates problems of it’s own. Sometimes good things have bad intentions.
      And as far as American Culture goes…lets face it….at this point, you’re not going to rewrite American Culture. Sure, they don’t have a gun culture in some European countries, but y’know what? That’s not us. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle.

    • Vintage

      Very true about the gun culture here. I read where there is a white church somewhere in the south they put a shooting range behind the church, and they have GUN SHOOTING CLASSES as part of their fellowship now. And they are proud of it. And they like to say it’s for protection from each other because they are in rural areas; if that’s the case then why do we never hear about all the white on white crime that happens in these areas.

    • LogicalLeopard

      *LOL* Good point!

  • Rastaman

    History tells us that gun control was embraced in the 1960’s by conservative hero Ronald Reagan when the BPP rode around in public with shot guns. I am of the opinion that better gun control laws will return when either of these 2 things occur: members of a minority group begins to walk around with guns and/or someone shoots up one of these legislative sessions. Then there will be a mad rush to control who has access to firearms.

    • Me

      Who’s gonna be the martyr for that cause though?