Compassion and Common Sense: A Republican Approach to Gun Violence

While most Americans were still crying for the victims of the most recent school shooting in Florida, gun control advocates were already sharpening their knives for another assault on the Second Amendment. In the aftermath of the shooting, many Democrats will push towards to an assault weapons ban, while others will refer to Australia’s decision to ban semi-automatic weapons entirely. In response to these attacks, Republicans must focus on several key arguments to tilt the debate over gun violence in their favor.

The most basic argument is that a piece of molded metal simply cannot be blamed for an issue that arose within the twisted and darkened mind of the shooter. The reality is that we live in an evil world and that there are evil people who genuinely seek and desire to do harm to their fellow man. Despite this, guns are used by millions of Americans on a daily basis and yet, in the vast majority of cases, these guns are used for peaceful purposes. In many cases, they are even used to defend against an attack.

This leads to the second argument that merely outlawing guns will only ensure that there are fewer good people with guns to counter the evil ones. A gun free zone is merely a guarantee that there are no law-abiding citizens with guns. No would-be shooter has ever been deterred from committing a crime after realizing the crime would take place in a gun free zone. Rather, the presence of a gun in the hands of a trained citizen is often more than enough to stop a shooting spree before a massive loss of life. If we are truly serious about reducing school shootings, we will take steps to encourage qualified teachers and staff to keep a weapon in a secure location in their offices.

In addition, the recent mass shootings have shown that there are serious issues with the way in which the FBI and other law enforcement agencies view and investigate potential threats. In the most recent shooting in Florida, the FBI was warned over a month in advance that the alleged shooter had a desire to kill people and local police were aware of multiple incidents involving the suspect prior to the attack. It is clear that we are in need of better procedures for identifying and reporting potential school shooters.

Thus, it is important to remember that America does not have a gun problem, it has a heart and mind problem. There is no easy solution to that problem, but it is clear that more gun control will only harm those who rely on guns for self-defense. Instead of placing additional burdens on law-abiding citizens, we need to focus on the real issues of seeking common sense solutions that will allow for a safer school environment while avoiding the infringement of Second Amendment rights.


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