The Gun Control Debate: Where Are We Now?

Want a subject that is sure to generate tons of hate mail? Try gun control.

That’s right: as soon as you dare to Tweet or blog about common sense gun laws, guess who’s coming out of the woodwork? You guessed it! Gun control fanatics! These are folks who believe the federal government is out to get them and their guns—even going so far as imagining that the feds will soon be patrolling neighborhoods in black vans and going door to door in an attempt to collect everyone’s guns.

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. The NRA probably has more lobbying power than the NEA, the Laborers Union, and the U.S. Postal Service combined. In fact, the one time I received genuine hate mail, it was as a result of posting a negative reaction to the new concealed carry law on college campuses that was soon to take effect. One gun-loving second amendment fan shared my post, and suddenly all his friends were sharing my post—and making it clear just what they thought of me as well.

It was far from pleasant, so I don’t recommend taking to social media with your reasonable gun control opinions any time soon if you care to steer clear of the proverbial line of fire. However, where are reasonable, debate-loving citizens supposed to go to air their opinions about the second amendment or anything else they might believe?

Most states are quite lenient when it comes to background checks for purchasing guns. Illinois, for example, is one of the more stringent states—requiring both a background check and a Firearm Owner’s Identification Card. Thankfully, because they are deemed a “high-risk product,” guns are difficult to purchase with a credit card.

Though there are sensible policies being floated among members of Congress—some like Chris Murphy being more serious about the issue than others—so far, there hasn’t been any serious discussion of gun reform at the legislative level. And while security measures like metal detectors in schools could help temporary alleviate the threat to student safety, what will ultimately help the most would be sensible gun control legislation such as background checks, restrictions on assault rifles, and more limited access for minors.

Evidently, Trump strayed from the script he was supposed to have followed per his previous meeting with Mike Pence and the NRA. As for any tangible legislation on gun control—well, it seems we’ll have to look to the youth protest movement for any real action on that front.

What do you think should be done to introduce sensible gun laws into federal, state, and local legislation? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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