A Different Take On The Gun Control Debate

As a conservative and a follower of Christ this has been an interesting (and difficult) political season.  I simply cannot support the GOP’s presumptive nominee and I am disgusted that so many in the party have thrown out their principles to support him. Needless to say unless a miracle occurs at the convention come September I will be a registered Independent.

There is somewhat of a silver lining in all of this. It has challenged me to  examine more in depth certain political opinions and question whether or not they line up with my Christian faith. Some questions are easier to answer than others ( a pro-life position, support for traditional marriage, no crony capitalism). Others require more thought and investigation such as environmental policy and welfare reform ( both subjects for another diary). Added to that list is  the subject of this diary: gun control.

My position on gun control has varied over the years. Growing up in the age of Columbine made me lean more towards the center-left viewpoint. I was for gun control and could not understand why others were not. A few years passed and my position shifted a bit. I  realized that the Constitution mattered, that the black market will always exist, and that guns often protect people’s lives. Yet even in knowing all of this I have always had mixed thoughts and emotions when it came to this subject. Let me be clear, I am not speaking about handguns or rifles here. Most rational people have no issues with gun ownership of these items. It is the high-powered guns and their use in mass shootings that I think should cause us all to pause a bit.

However, I am concerned that in today’s political climate an authentic discussion may be hard to come by. The reality is that extremes exist on both sides and they are often the loudest. These are the people who politicize every tragedy and shout down those with differing views. One side would trample our Constitution and have us be like Europe and the other side complains their rights are being taken away over background checks ( especially if there is any talk of expanding or strengthening them). One side treats these high-powered guns as holy relics and the other side acts like the violence in our culture has nothing to do with anything and that it is all the gun’s fault. Couldn’t we all agree that thorough and comprehensive background checks are needed for these high-powered guns? Or that ( gasp) it might take a while to obtain such a gun? Some news outlets are reporting this guy was on a watch list. How on earth did he ever  get a conceal/carry permit?  Some are even reporting that Florida does not require a license to own a gun. That may be a law that needs to be changed in this day and age. Perhaps we should even discuss whether or not such guns should be on the market with massive amounts of ammunition. I do not know. I certainly do not have all the answers. I know the two extreme sides don’t. They will just keep shouting at each other and nothing will be discussed or debated. I am just tired of mass shootings, tired of PC talk when it comes to terrorism, and tired of violence all together. My heart breaks for the people who have suffered so much in Orlando. Perhaps maybe we will have that authentic discussion soon. I certainly hope so.