Our country has a huge problem. Mass killings are disgusting and we need to investigate every possible solution to reversing what is a growing trend. According to some sources there have been over 300 mass killings in the last 300 days. In our great nation, innocent people should not be dying in their schools, movie theaters, places of work or at their finish lines. That much is very simple and a fact on which we can all agree. It’s pathetic.
Let’s say we completely ban guns.
There are roughly 350 million legally owned guns in America today. No one really knows how many are owned illegally, but let’s say it’s half of one percent. Even 1.75 million illegal guns is a lot. I believe confiscating legal guns in this country is less plausible than building a wall across our Mexican border, or paying for everyone’s health care in our current system. In this country, we are never going to get rid of guns. An attempt to do so would trigger upwards of a civil war. Do you agree or do you see it differently?
While I understand why some people believe banning guns, some types of guns, black guns, or “assault rifles” would “fix” the problem, the issues filed under “gun” run much deeper. I believe the real problems are rooted in human dignity, self-reliance, self-worth, perceived opportunity, education and the family unit. There are people suffering or oppressed for countless reasons, many beyond our comprehension. How do we “fix” the problem of people wanting to kill other people?
The gun debate, and the conversation I hope to start here is a good and important one, not because we’re going to find the “fix,” but because people dying in mass shootings stains our very existence as bystanders. It’s unacceptable that we don’t have better answers. But, answers come through civil discourse and smart people putting their heads together, not through division. The left wing and right wing belong to the same bird.
I believe, broadly speaking, we spend on “fixes” in our country, rather than consistently investing in long-term solutions. Catchy proposals win elections, but cause losses that live forever. To me, the only sustaining solutions are longitudinal investments in education, health care, family units and economic development. They’re slow, complicated and expensive.
The very meaning of our daily work at Powderhook involves getting people away from urban areas and shooting some form of weapon. Looking around the world, I believe it’s evident that if someone wants to kill people they’re going to find a way to do it. Is easy access to legal guns making it more likely to happen? I’ve read dozens of positions from both the left and right and I don’t believe there is any unbiased evidence that it is or isn’t. More importantly, I think the whole train of thought amounts to focusing on a fix rather than investment in solutions.
About the author:
Eric Dinger is the co-founder and CEO of Powderhook.com, an app built to help people hunt and fish more often. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.