Yesterday’s senseless murder of thirteen individuals will once again mobilize the two sides to the gun debate as each tries to use it for their own propaganda purposes. As law enforcement continues to piece together the history of murderer Aaron Alexis and his motives the demand for gun control is already being organized. According to The Washington Post, thirteen individuals were killed and another eight were injured. Although an act of terrorism has been temporarily ruled out, many questions remain as to whether Alexis was a lone gunman or if he had accomplices. For the families with injured ones and those who have lost loved ones the gun debate is the furthest thing from their minds.
As everyone else, I do not know the motives or the reasons for the violence and eventually some type of explanation will come forth. How complete it is, is yet to be known. Speculation about motives and causes will no doubt lead social media for the next few weeks. Regardless, the gun control debate is already starting up again.
There is no argument that guns enabled Aaron Alexis to murder many more people then he would have otherwise been able to without access to guns. That is a fact that is irrefutable. However, the other side of the argument that has been ignored is that the lack of access to guns is also the reason that the murderer was able to do as much damage as he did.
Consider, for a moment, that in an enclosed space, a military base, where the majority of the people are not only trained in handling guns but some have the experience to use them in a life or death situation are prohibited from defending themselves with a gun.
In 1993, the Army imposed regulations forbidding soldiers from carrying guns on base. Army bases essentially became “gun free zones”. Soldiers, trained in defending the nation and themselves were deemed too unreliable to carry weapons while on base.
Think about that for a moment.
A solider trained on the use of guns essentially becomes a sitting duck to a criminal intent on killing him because those advocating gun control focus on the tool; the gun rather than the criminal misusing it. The fact is that guns are everywhere. No amount of gun control will put the genie back in the bottle and therefore gun control should be about the ability to defend oneself rather than making it easier for a criminal to kill unarmed individuals. No amount of laws and gun control will stop lone-gunman or even a small group of individuals intent on killing.
Consider that in yesterday’s incident both the city and the location were declared gun-free zones and thirteen people lost their lives. How many would be alive today had one, or two law abiding citizens had their guns on them?
Fort Hood, and yesterday’s Navy Yard murders are clear proof that if you disarm law abiding citizens they stand no chance of defending themselves from criminals no matter how secure the location. Law enforcement cannot be everywhere and unless gun control advocates would like to put a policeman on every corner controlling guns will not stop the carnage.
The fact is that criminals don’t care about the laws. In fact laws are not an impediment to them. Laws just impede the lawful citizens from defending themselves.
I realize that many of you are aghast about me writing about this topic so close to this tragedy but the fact is that the gun debate online is already in full swing. In fact the discussion began on Twitter within hours of the shootings as both sides began to jockey for social media attention. Yesterday’s events are horrific and many people are suffering today. The Fort Hood murderer has been processed through the court system yet the issue of the right to defend oneself has yet to be properly addressed. Does the nation require more blood before people are allowed to defend themselves from criminals?
Guns are already in the public realm. No amount of legislation or control will change that. The question is now about whether law abiding citizens have the right, and I would argue the responsibility to defend themselves. That should be the only debate today.