SHAWNEE BALDWIN – The sight of bloodied shoes still haunts me and I was not even there that day. The images from December 14, 2012 still induce grief. Newtown parents recalling the day picks a scab off a wound that wasn’t even inflicted on me. And this is just one of many gun violence incidents plaguing our country. Guns only have one purpose – to maim, kill, or forever horribly alter the life of another. They must be regulated far more than they are now.
CHARLIE SCUDDER – Hundreds rally for gun control outside the NRA’s Houston meeting, calling on Americans to ‘protect kids, not guns.’
SARAH BETANCOURT – Massachusetts has the lowest US gun death rates, and John Rosenthal says mass shootings wonâ€™t stop without real national action.
WINSLOW MYERS – The times are too momentous for us to bite our tongues in the name of a veneer of civility that inhibits the constructive exchange of views. Civility, while necessary, is not sufficient.
ROB OKUN – Students: keep up the pressure to ensure legislators pass assault weapons bans. Demand they raise the age requirement to purchase firearms. Insist on funding for mental health screenings. Also, please donâ€™t forget to press for research dollars and training initiatives on how we raise boys.
TOM H. HASTINGS – My real point on the Second Amendment is that it effectively blocks sane control of weaponry. Repealing the Second Amendment would not affect anything that most gun owners feel is desirable. But the Second Amendment as interpreted by the Supremes does make it possible for the gun industry, through its most powerful lobbyist–the NRA–to claim that laws restricting anything to do with guns are odious and part of an unconstitutional slippery slope. The track record is so clear. The Second Amendment protects the gun manufacturers and sellers at the expense of a lot of lives every year.
TOM H. HASTINGS – After the horrific shooting in Orlando there are some facts we might want to consider.
LAURA FINLEY – That conservative forces have long sought to squash dissent and curtail rigorous academic debate on campuses is far from a secret. From the militarization of many campuses, academic repression of faculty, excessive and difficult-to-navigate bureaucracies, limitations on free speech and more, college students, staff and faculty members today face many challenges as they seek to explore, debate, and take action on critical and difficult issues. The gun lobby has seized on this environment of academic stifling, promoting firearms as the answer to an array of problems on campuses and beyond. Donâ€™t want to get raped? Carry a gun, or itâ€™s your own fault. The best way to prevent an active shooter situation? Everyone pack heat. The chilling effect of the campus carry laws that have been enacted has been immediately visible.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – Is the human race determined to snuff itself out through mass violence? There are many signs that it is.
SAM HARRIS – Editorâ€™s Note: Readers may be surprised to find this article reprinted by The PeaceWorker, since it takes a largely pro-gun stance, but it makes a number of very cogent points which gun controllers need to be able to answer. Comments welcome.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – In a number of ways, gun control issues are remarkably similar to arms control issues. Gun controllers argue that the availability of guns facilitates the use of these weapons for murderous purposes. Arms controllers make much the same case, asserting that weapons buildups lead to arms races and wars.
MICHAEL MINCH – Can anything be said in the wake of the most recent murderous eruption, this time in Aurora, Colorado? On one hand, many people jump forward quickly with new laments, calls for greater gun control, appeals against such control, and frankly, everything weâ€™ve heard so many times before. Others, on the other hand, are offended by the very idea that we would try to answer the question of why such violence occurs. To suggest that explanations might exist, seems, for them, a move toward affixing blame somewhere close to their own values, interests, and lifestyles. They are people who tell us that murderers alone are to blame for murders. Period. This view is a preemptive strike against calls for, and criteria of, accountability and moral maturity.
LAWRENCE A. WITTNER – The discussion of the Tucson tragedy should be familiar, as we witness similar massacres in U.S. schools, shopping centers, and other public places played out periodically. Each time, the NRA and other gun apologists tell us that the easy accessibility of firearms, including assault weapons, had nothing to do with it. Indeed, they argue that the key to our safety is to obtain more guns. But does the fact that nearly 100,000 Americans are shot with guns and nearly 10,000 Americans are killed with them each year really have no connection to the remarkable availability of guns in the United States?