What is the fight over guns really about? There are two opposing sides in the argument over guns. Overall, the two stances in the debate are: those who are fighting for stricter gun control versus those who support the right to bear arms in self-defense. The gun control supporters base their argument in regards to the average of annual gun related deaths, mass school shootings, the unnecessary need for 30-round magazine clips and automatic assault rifles in home defense, background checks, and gun show weapons purchases. The gun rights activists base their argument in the 2nd Amendment.
David Ropeik, a consultant in risk perception and risk management, is the author of “How Risky Is It, Really? Why Our Fears Don’t Always Match the Facts, believes that the fight over guns is really about the fight over who gets to control society. He believes that guns are more symbolic than anything else. “This fight isn’t about guns as weapons, nor about public safety. It is about guns as symbols, of a much more profound and ancient conflict over how society should work, and who decides”, says Ropeik in his article entitled, “On Gun Policy, Both Sides Have Something to Fear.” David Kopel, research director of the Independence Institute, co-author of “Firearms Law and the Second Amendment”, and adjunct professor of law at the University of Denver, unveils his opinions in his article entitled, “A Divide in the Gun Debate Widened by Misunderstanding.” Kopel holds the media partially responsible for the fight over guns as they make large stories out of mass shootings while under reporting on circumstances in which a gun toting American diffused a potential tragedy. Caitlin Kelly, the author of “Blown Away: American Women and Guns”, explains in her self explanatory entitled article “Women Buy Guns to Protect Themselves”, why women are emotional about the topic of guns. Geoffrey Canada, president and chief executive officer of the Harlem Children’s Zone and president of the Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy Charter Schools, goes into detail in is article entitled “The Availability of Guns Affects the Lives of Children” about how the slaughter of innocent children emotionally effects him in regards to the topic of guns. Robert Walker, current president of the Population Institute, legislative director for Handgun Control from 1993 to 1996 and the president from 1997 to 2000, believes that we need stronger background checks and that there should be a ban on high capacity clips, and states in his article entitled “Passion Over Gun Control Shouldn’t Preclude Common Sense” that owning a gun does not make an individual more safe. Adam Winkler, professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, School of Law and the author of "Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America”, believes that in American, guns are a permanent fixture. In his article entitled “Emotions About Guns Can Be Ratcheted Down”, Winkler explains how both sides of the gun argument defend their positions.
I have personally found these articles to fairly represent both sides of the argument, with the exceptions of Geoffrey Canada, Robert Walker, and Caitlin Kelly’s articles. Overall, I personally believe that the gun argument is fueled by fear on both sides. There is a fear of murder, a fear of tyranny, a fear of abuse of power, a fear of crime, a fear of child safety, a fear of this and that, and the list of fears goes on and on. I am on the fence in regards to this issue. I don’t own a gun. However, I defend the second amendment. I support the right of self-defense. I understand and agree with both sides of the argument. I don’t see a need for high round clips and automatic weapons. I agree with Adam Winkler’s idea of guns being a permanent fixture in America. If it weren’t for guns, America would still be under British rule. No matter what side an individual agrees wit, fear is the driving force in the fight over guns.