Both Trumps are Right on Gun Control

On the issue of gun control, like father, like son. President Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. Image Source:
On the issue of gun control, like father, like son. President Trump and Donald Trump, Jr. Image Source:

In the wake of the horrendous massacre at a San Antonio area Baptist church on Sunday, politicians from all areas of the spectrum have added their two cent’s worth regarding the issue of gun control. Some have made the case that if there were more gun control (even suggesting a complete ban), then these kinds of shootings would happen less, while others posit that if it weren’t for a legally armed neighbor’s involvement, the shooter may well have killed many more.

Passions typically run high after these awful events and most of those weighing in on the subject are speaking from a point of emotion rather than reason. Two exceptions to this both happen to be named Donald Trump.

When the news broke (and identity confirmed), President Trump made a statement that has enraged many on the left. He began with a statement of condolence:

“We cannot put into words the pain and grief we all feel, and we cannot begin to imagine the suffering of those who lost the ones they loved. Our hearts are broken. But in dark times such as these, Americans do what we do best: we pull together. We join hands. We lock arms. And through the tears and the sadness, we stand strong.”

He went on to address specific concerns about the incident: “We have a lot of mental health problems in our country, as do other countries. But this isn’t a guns situation. I mean, we could go into it, but it’s a little bit soon to go into it,” Trump continued. “But, fortunately, somebody else had a gun that was shooting in the opposite direction, otherwise it would have been — as bad it was, it would have been much worse.”

The fact of the matter is that the President is absolutely right. There is a startling level of mental illness in the USA that is dealt with primarily through medication and drug regimes. Mental illness carries a strong negative stigma that discourages people from acknowledge it or seeking treatment. Add in the potential loss of rights and it is a further disincentive to treatment.

In countries where access to illegal weapons is either impossible or extremely difficult, we see different types of attack that are no less horrifying. The UK has experienced a massive rise in knife attacks and acid attacks. This has resulted in talk of knives as well. Across Europe, people are using cars as a weapon of choice. In many cases, these vehicular attacks can be as deadly as a gun attack or even more so.

Then Donald Trump Jr., a father himself, made his own point on Twitter. He posted: “Psycho w illegal gun kills many taken down my law-abiding citizen w gun. Which one of these would be out of the equation w more gun control?”

Both men are making the point that control on legally owned guns would make no difference to this situation, so why are people calling for such? We have data on cities where there are strict gun laws, and we know the impact they have: higher murder rates by illegally owned firearms.

It’s not as simple as just saying we need more gun control or questioning the effectiveness of such gun control. The United States Constitution has a pesky little amendment that other countries don’t have. The 2nd Amendment, despite conflicting “interpretations” of those 27 words, invariably hinders attempts at draconian levels of gun control. Even when you describe those draconian measures as “common sense regulations.”

Unlike other countries, the U.S. has a lot of citizens who are very protective of their rights. Not just the National Rifle Association (NRA). Many Americans have much more faith in their own ability to protect themselves than they do in government protections.  The gun debate in America has been long running and shows no signs of letting up. However, for the time being, America seems to be more on the side of the rights of the people than government controls.

About the Author

Mark A
Mark A
Mark is a political writer and journalist who has worked on campaigns for Brexit.

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