The rancorous debate over gun control has brought out extreme emotional responses, especially from those who fiercely oppose any further restrictions on gun ownership. Few issues in recent years have kindled such heated rhetoric.
Gun-control advocates cry, what’s the big deal? We already register autos. People are required to have driver’s licenses. Possession of grenade launchers and Tommy Guns is outlawed, and nobody has a problem with that. Why can’t we just ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines so killers can’t fire 30 shots at a time? People can still have plenty of guns for hunting and self-defense if they want.
But this most recent push for gun control has ignited a deep pocket of anger, frustration and resentment that seems out of proportion. This can be partially traced to people feeling overwhelmed by the complexity and size of modern institutions: big government, big business, big banks, big utilities, big insurance companies, big oil and big media all taking advantage of the little guy. People can feel powerless in face of such entities but can take solace in the fact that, hey, if I have a gun at least I have some power.
But does the public really need those kinds of weapons? We do have a civilized society. We have police, courts, prisons and institutions to help maintain justice. Let the police and military have assault weapons. The public still can have hand guns or even rifles for self defense if they feel they need them. Surely we can find a moderate, mainstream solution to this divisive issue.