The goal of the current gun control debate is to reduce gun violence across America.
That’s a noble goal.
To achieve it, President Barack Obama is weighing several different options that include both legislative and executive action. Among the ideas he’s considering: a mandatory federal background check before any gun purchase, limiting the capacity of magazines and another assault weapons ban. New York has already passed similar control measures.
There is one main problem with all of those proposals: they will not reduce gun violence because most gun violence happens in inner cities across the country and most of them are committed with handguns, not rifles. Handgun regulation isn’t mentioned as part of this equation (by the way, I’m arguing that it should be). It’s just that for some reason we’ve grown to accept handgun violence as part of everyday life in America. I’ve never been sure why.
In 2011, there were 515 murders in New York City, 431 in Chicago, 344 in Detroit (it’s worth noting that NYC and Chicago have very tough gun restrictions). In Phoenix, someone was murdered every three days. Murders happen so often they barely make the news. Previous legislative attempts have never really been able to address the issue because the issue isn’t guns. The issue is mostly poverty. And poverty is harder to solve and easier to ignore.
As David Frum writes for CNN:
If you ignore America’s poor, you can make all kinds of problems disappear from view. Not counting the poor and minorities, the country does not have an obesity epidemic. Not counting the poor and minorities, the United States has perfectly adequate schools. Not counting the poor and minorities, America would have a higher average income.
Unfortunately, America wakes up to violence only when it happens in a movie theater in Aurora or at an elementary school in Newtown. In the aftermath, politicians always want to do something. We all pray it will never happen again. We, too, want Congress to act, but we should want Congress to do something effective that won’t limit our cherished freedoms.
I don’t have a perfect answer or solution. Maybe no one does. As we move forward and recover from tragedy, some form of gun control will happen, either in Congress or via executive order.
Once it is completed, the president and other politicians will line up to take credit. They will take credit because they have done something, but they will have done something else that won’t solve the problem. The press will still applaud.
Meanwhile, America’s big, dark and violent secret will remain in the neighborhoods we never visit unfazed by Congressional meddling.
- Tips to get ready for a pain-free golf season
- Protect your family with these 7 home security features
- How to train like an Olympic swimmer
- 2016 Olympics: A guide to must-see TV events
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets