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We need compromise; how to deal with guns

IDW100890 · politics · opinion · 10/30/2020

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Guns can be used for both the noblest and most despicable purposes. At their best, they are an invaluable tool that can be used for hunting, self-defense, and reminding those in power that citizens are not to be tread on. At their worst, they are cold weapons of death that bring pain and suffering to the unlucky soul that stares down the wrong end of the barrel. When an individual decides to use his unalienable right to arms in one of the most detestable ways imaginable and hurt children, emotions run high as society has to come to terms with the heinous act. 

As the debate on the role of guns in our society has been once again triggered by the school shooting of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the conversation has, as national issues unfortunately often do, devolved to the dealing of absolutes and the simplification of an extremely complex and multifaceted issue. To some, the only morally sound position is absolute gun control legislation, and it is often painted that those who oppose this legislation are responsible for the actions of a mad man. To others, any attempt on regulating guns, including existing legislation, is a direct and organized attack that plans to rid the people of their firearms altogether and their Second-Amendment rights.

To each side, the other is the enemy, attempting to strip everyone of their security and or liberty. And as usual, this deconstructive banter that seems to plague modern politics has accomplished nothing. Only when both sides try to compromise will a reasonable solution be reached, there are plenty of facets to this issue in which a middle ground can be reached in an effort to make positive change.
When examining the polarized sides of the debate, both camps have very different ideas about how to keep society safer. The gun control activists often stand firm that having fewer guns in society is the answer, and guns are best kept in the hands of law enforcement. This, in turn, would ideally lead to fewer school shootings.
The gun rights activists however often take the position that many types of gun laws would be an infringement on the right to bear arms guaranteed in the Constitution. In their eyes, the disarming of citizens can give the government too much power, and ultimately people would not be able to defend themselves from a possible authoritarian government.
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<span style="font-weight: lighter;">As a viable solution to help against school shootings, some assert that more guns given to the right people would make us safer; in the case of a school, that could be teachers, staff, or administrators. The argument is that if properly-trained individuals who had the right to carry did not have that right suspended on school grounds, this would both serve as a deterrent for potential school shooters, as well as provide increased protection in the event of a shooting.

Dissenters of this idea call it dangerous, concluding that much could go wrong if teachers were allowed to carry firearms. For example, much could go wrong if it somehow ended up in the wrong hands, like that of a student’s. Also, in the event of a shooting, they argue that instead of providing protection, the potential of incidental lethal crossfire could worsen the situation.
Both sides of the argument have valid points, as well as valid rebuttals for the other. However, little will be accomplished by remaining staunch on one side. Instead, we ought to examine what middle ground we can arrive at in order to effect change. An example of a compromised solution is more police presence at schools. This can help provide a deterrent for potential school shootings, protection in the event of an active one, and the handling of guns left up to those who most would agree are qualified to operate them.
Of course, this is not a perfect solution. The police have incidents in which they act less than perfectly, and neither side of the argument gets exactly what it wants. However, this is an example of how two sides of this decisive debate can find common ground and work to arriving at a better solution. There are myriad avenues that can be explored, and if we as a society can stop oversimplifying issues in order to push our own agendas, we can possibly open up dialogue in which ideas and their nuances can intellectually and honestly be discussed in an effort to finding viable solutions.

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