On Gun Control: Is Compromise Even Possible?

By Michael Glantz on January 14, 2013

Source: Schyma Media

As you may remember, after the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut last month, President Obama set up a task force, headed by Vice President Joe Biden, charged with coming up with reasonable recommendations for curbing the gun violence in America. Obama gave the task force until the end of January to come up with these recommendations and surprisingly the recommendations are going to come early. Biden will present the recommendations to Obama on Tuesday, the 15th. So, for what seems like the first time in a very long time, Washington is working fast to effect real change in an earnest effort to reduce the number of mass shootings in America. The question remains, however, as to how effective these recommendations will be. Gun control is one of the hottest hot button issues around today and people on both sides of the issue argue passionately for what they believe in and when that happens it’s easy for reason to be left behind.

Take, for example, Alex Jones. A conservative talk-radio host whose syndicated show is aired on about 140 stations nationwide and reaches millions of Americans, Alex Jones is a staunch advocate for second amendment rights. On the other side, Piers Morgan, a British national who is the host of Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN, is a firm believer in stricter gun control. Since the Sandy Hook shooting, Piers Morgan has been calling for stricter gun controls including a ban on high capacity magazines and a ban on semi-automatic assault rifles. Morgan’s call for more gun control led Jones to create a petition on petitions.whitehouse.gov (which has since been removed) asking that the United States Government deport Piers Morgan for attacking the second amendment. A ridiculously ironic petition since carrying it out would infringe on Morgan’s first amendment right to free speech. When Morgan invited Jones on to his show to discuss the matter the results were mesmerizing and terrifying all at once. Here is the video. It is a little long but I suggest you watch it because it illustrates so well the obstacles Americans face in trying to have a civil debate about gun control. If you don’t have time to watch, let me summarize: Piers Morgan barely gets a word in during the entire interview. Alex Jones goes on a barely intelligible tirade about conspiracies and pharmaceutical companies at one point screaming in Morgan’s face “1776 will commence again if you try to take our firearms!” Remember, this is a man whose voice reaches millions of Americans a day spouting off this paranoid invective.

And he is far from the only one with this extreme hard-line on guns. James Yeager is the CEO of Tactical Response and posted a video (video contains profanity) on YouTube claiming he would start killing people if gun control went “one inch further”. Ted Nugent claimsThere will come a time when the gun owners of America, the law-abiding gun owners of America, will be the Rosa Parks and we will sit down on the front seat of the bus, case closed.” as if gun control is anything like the civil rights movement. One pro-gun advocate, Larry Ward of Gun Appreciation Day, even went so far as to suggest that had African Americans had the right to keep and bear arms, “slavery might not have been a chapter in our history.”

Is anything even capable of changing when one side of the argument is dominated by paranoid conspiracy theorists? People need to come to their senses and realize that steps can be taken to prevent future tragedies without infringing on the rights of law abiding citizens. And people desperately need to quit listening to people like Alex Jones who pick and choose the facts that best fit their current insane conspiracy, and start actually listening to the proposed steps because none of the possible recommendations Joe Biden could make are worth starting another Civil War.

I am a sophomore at the University of Denver studying Film and English. I am deeply interested in Politics and the role of the U.S. in the world at large.

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