More Guns In The Hands Of A Raving Fringe

On the one-year anniversary of Sandy Hook, and one day after the latest school shooting, there are still many Americans who are passive on the issue of gun control. In fact, many Americans who don’t own guns, and some who don’t even like guns at all and wish they didn’t exist, are still apathetic to the issue of firearm proliferation in this country. For decades the percentage of households with a firearm has decreased while the number of total firearms has increased. That means being quiet on this issue, being indifferent when a few resolute lawmakers attempt something as seemingly practical as universal background checks, leads to a hoarding of arms by a few raving lunatics. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying every household with a firearm is occupied by crazy people. But what I am saying is that there is a fringe minority in this country who are amassing large stockpiles of guns and ammunition. Can you honestly tell me that you don’t care about this?

And most Americans agree on the issue of universal background checks, 90 percent actually. It’s rare to get that kind of consensus on anything in this country. And I’m sure you could find a majority of Americans in favor of even more rigorous gun control laws, like an assault weapons ban. But the problem is that people who support these sensible measures do not vote on this issue. Whereas the other side, if necessary, will vote on this issue alone.

“While ninety percent of the public does support background checks, out of that ninety percent, maybe ten percent vote on that issue,” said former Missouri State Senator Jeff Smith (on Up with Steve Kornacki, 12/14/2013). “Out of the ten percent who don’t support background checks, it seems like ninety percent vote on that issue.”

The problem is people who favor sensible gun control, who outnumber the so-called “gun rights” constituency, are not driven by the issue. But the gun rights people? Well, there isn’t a day that goes by where they aren’t thinking about their idea of what the Second Amendment means.

“The gun culture in the United States — people sort of don’t take this into account — is a very different gun culture from what we had thirty, forty years ago,” said Timothy Noah on Up with Steve Kornacki. “We now have a minority of households in the United States that have guns. It has become — a moving from the majority to the minority. It has become a fringe extremist culture. We’ve seen fewer and fewer people own guns in the United States, and yet there are more guns in the United States. So there’s an awful lot of hoarding going on, which is of course terrifying.”

You have to ask yourself why someone needs so many guns? When a minority of Americans own all the guns (all 300 million of them), you have to wonder why the majority seems so uninterested in writing or calling their elected representatives and demanding tougher gun laws. It is not about taking anyone’s guns away, it’s about making it harder for guns to get into the wrong hands. And yes, it should also be about limiting the types of guns that can be sold. Nobody, and I mean nobody, needs a semi-automatic weapon to hunt or defend themselves. That kind of weaponry exists for one purpose, indiscriminately (and easily) killing people.

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