Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Assault Weapons Ban

In 1994, the Assault Weapons Ban was passed, banning all semi-automatic weapons in America. A decade later, the ban fell apart due to a "sunset provision" that automatically dismantled it. And yet, nothing much is made of this fact. No riots erupted in the streets demanding its return. No one seemed to care until another decade later, when Congress failed to pass another ban after the Sandy Hook shootings.

Much debate is held over the status of certain types of weapons in America. Automatic weapons were successfully locked behind mountains of potential (and daunting) paperwork by the Firearm Owners Protection Act. But when it came time to deal with semi-automatic weapons, many seemed to drag their feet. Ironically, we have George H.W. Bush to thank for the original assault weapons ban. After a school shooting back in 1989, he announced a ban on assault weapons that eventually made it through Congress. This effectively banned semi-automatic weapons of all types, and also banned high capacity magazines. When the ban expired a decade later, however, only seven states continued to uphold it. An eighth, Hawaii, only upheld the ban on semi-automatic pistols and their high capacity magazines. Some scattered localities around the country also support the now-defunct ban, but why does no one seem to care about the ban's departure from federal law? Perhaps there was some unspoken agreement that it was up to the states. Perhaps the Democrats know that it would never pass through today's Congress. In any case, we will have to make do with the state bans that do exist, and hope that more follow soon.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Gun Control in the 2016 Election

We now arrive at the current political situation: the 2016 Presidential Election, which has followed the usual tradition of starting notoriously early. So far, gun control has yet to appear in any major form during debates and interviews, but I've linked to a website listing the candidates opinions on the subject so far. Linky link link

As you can see, the Democrats positions are predictably for gun control, with a few quirks here and there. The Republicans, however, are many, and their opinions are equally varied. Some are typical NRA 2nd Amendment hardliners, while others have been known to vote for gun control measures occasionally. Of course, the majority of these candidates won't make it to the real election, where things will get even more intense. At this point, the positions of all the candidates involved will truly be revealed, leading to a sink-or-swim situation in the race where voter-base pandering will be out in full force. Unfortunately, the topic isn't exactly the biggest on the docket right now, and will simply be used to boost the candidates positions in their parties.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

John Oliver Explores Gun Control

Not even supporters of the NRA can justify their position properly. How are they still around?

The NRA's Impact On Gun Control

The NRA is, hands down, one of the most disruptive political interest groups of all time. Their impact on the issue of gun control has effectively prevented any large progress on the topic for decades. Founded in 1871, the organization only started blocking gun control legislation a century later, leading to the eventual stagnation of any new bills on the issue being passed. Existing largely on donations and an endless supply of Republican support, there is little chance of stopping their deranged efforts from blocking gun control. All we can hope for is their eventual dissolution at some point in the future, as similar organizations have done in the past.

Gun Control's Endless Cycle

When it comes to American gun control, the federal government tends to stall just before passing something relevant and useful, like mental health screening. The only thing keeping the topic alive nowadays is the disturbing rise in school shootings. Every time one of these events happens, everyone goes on this emotional saga that includes a pledge by *insert Democrat here* to introduce new, reformed gun control policies into the Senate and House, only for it to all burn down as the bill gets destroyed by deliriously insane Republicans who simply don't care anymore. The whole matter is dropped, and we have to wait another year before the whole things goes through the same grinder again.

Examples:        Sandy Hook       Columbine       In General

This cycle effectively means that nothing can done about future incidents of school shootings, and the resulting political "outcry" is little more than the Republicans trying to save face (and failing) and the Democrats halfheartedly trying to push the issue once again through the legislative branches and just giving up once they fail. If anything is to be done about the rampant gun violence in America, we can't just wait around for the next school shooting. We have to take continuous action NOW.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Welcome to my blog, I guess

So this is my blog about gun control and my views on it. Woo. Usually I'm pretty apathetic about things, but sometimes the topic of gun control really riles me up. If something does come up, I'll be sure to rant about it for awhile and inform you of my opinion. But enough about that, it's time to tell you my views on gun control right now.

It's fine, I guess.

See? As it stands now, gun control isn't really interesting. It's just the same NRA nutjobs yelling angrily at the government for taking away their precious assault rifles, you know, the ones they "hunted" with. Personally, I think the government should instate one tiny little thing to improve the gun buying processes: mental health screening. Not for everyone with a mental illness though, just the ones who could be considered violent or unstable. After that, the government should really quit while they're ahead, lest they go mad with power and turn into the dystopian Nazi-esque government we all fear will happen one day. Other than that, I believe that everything America has done gun control-wise is pretty solid. I don't see why Americans need plentiful access to military hardware in a domestic setting, especially given the endless spate of school shootings recently. Heck, Columbine almost single-handedly proved why we don't need assault rifles available to the public. Anyway, that's my opinions on gun control, feel free to comment your own thoughts below.