`Firearms have been around for over 400 years, yet it is only in the last 20 years that people have begun
shouting "gun control". Why then, only recently, has this become such an issue? Moreover, why are there more mass-murderers
than at any other time in our known history? It is not because weapons are more powerful -- 200-year-old muzzleloaders have
a much greater force-per-round than today's "assault rifles". It is not because weapons are semi- or fully-automatic -- rapid-fire
weapons have been available for most of the last century. It is not due to a lack of laws -- we have more "gun control" laws
than ever. It IS, however, because we have chosen to focus on "gun control" instead of crime control or "thug control." It
Is because only recently has the public become complacent enough to accept, by inaction, the violence present in our society.'
- (Kevin Langston, Tuesday, 29 October, 1991)
The interesting thing about the gun debate, is that both sides hold safety as a major motivation. Both sides believe that
they will reduce crime by acting to either limit or liberate gun rights. The truth in this matter is measurable, and provable
by fact. However, fact can be ignored, contrived, or twisted to fit ones own opinions. (See Guns and Crime) For the gun rights
advocate, crime reduction isn't the only motivation. If every person in this country were a criminal except one, then that
one person has even more of a reason to own a gun, and not less. Shouldn't my right to bear arms be forfeitable only by my
own actions rather than the actions of people like "the freeway sniper", kids at Collumbine, terrorists, or anyone else who
could care less what gun laws they are breaking? Can the government really get away with telling the general population that
they are not to be trusted with guns? And if they do, should we trust them with theirs?
NEXT: Guns and Crime.