On Monday, January 20,, thousands of people all over Virginia gathered to protest and speak out against what is considered to be one of the greatest threats to American freedom. The only problem is that this freedom has killed millions of people. According to BBC News and Politifact.com, about 1.4 million people have been killed by gun violence between 1968 and 2011 in America, and that number has only continued to grow. Yet the thousands of people at these rallies only seem to care about gun control laws would pose a risk to the second amendment.
As American citizens, we should go against anything that tries to take away our freedoms and blindly accept any constitutional right, even one that is outdated. The message this kind of belief sends to the rest of the country is that the government prioritizes rights over security and that they view safety as a luxury. However, this is a luxury that many Americans do not possess. People from all walks of life have lost loved ones due to gun violence and the people lobbying for gun rights do not seem to care.
The logic that most gun rights activists seem to follow is if we take guns away from law abiding people, criminals will just find another way of getting them. We need to keep our guns to keep ourselves safe and defended. This way of thinking is a similar line of logic to attitudes towards drugs. The only problem with this comparison is that people do drugs to feel good or distract them from some kind of pain. Why do people use guns? Because they are also in pain or bored or want revenge or for some other reason that would drive someone to kill or harm another human being. The other problem with this comparison is that drugs are relatively easy to come by, if you have the right materials and tools. They can be made with materials found in nature. Guns on the other hand are completely man-made and are far more complex to build. This argument also has a fairly simple remedy: make guns impossible to obtain without the proper paperwork or clearance.
One thing that many lobbyists seem to forget when the topic of gun rights and gun control are discussed is that human rights are on the line. Nobody complains about traffic laws because everyone agrees that driving recklessly is extremely dangerous and will get somebody killed. Nobody complains that traffic laws are a violation of privacy or an invasion on someone’s freedom to drive how they want. So why do so many people rally for something so dangerous? It begs the question how many people have lost a child or loved one or friend to gun violence? Have they kissed their child goodbye and sent them off to school in the morning only to be informed that their child will never be coming home again? Or has their friend gone for a walk one afternoon only to be shot and killed? Have they ever been frozen in fear when a gun threat has been made at their school or place of work?
Many gun rights lobbyists claim to care about the lives lost to guns, but if they really wanted to lesson the number of deaths, they would lobby for a more thorough screening process for obtaining firearms or for easier access to mental healthcare. But they have not tried to make any changes that will make people safer. The only times they have raised their voices is when someone tries to take away their guns. The people who speak out for gun rights send a very clear message to the people who have had family members, friends, and loved ones killed by guns: They do not care. They would much rather have people die than have someone take away their guns. They would rather have more violence than have to give up something that causes more problems than it solves.