No Silver Bullet for Gun Control

Daniel O'Brien, Staff Writer

With the recent Ohio school shooting so fresh in our minds, we have to again consider the question of gun control.  Having recently read “Give a Boy a Gun” by Todd Strasser, this topic has been churning in my head lately.  For those of you who have not read it, the (entirely fictional) book takes place in an interview format with the teachers, friends and family discussing two teenage boys that were driven to shoot up a high school.
The book provides many chilling statistics supporting stricter gun control.  Now, I do not have an answer about preventing school shootings and gun violence in general.  I can see both sides of the gun control debate.  Here are a few example statistics:
“In 1995 alone, 35,957 Americans were killed by firearms in homicides, suicides, and accidents.  In comparison, during the three years of the Korean War, 33,651 Americans were killed.  During nearly eight years of the war in Vietnam, 58,148 Americans were killed.”
“A gun kept in the home is forty-three times more likely to kill someone you know than to kill a stranger in self-defense.” –Quote Strasser used from the book “Lethal Passage.”
On the flip side, I can see things from the point of view from people who do not want stricter laws on possession of firearms.
First of all, there is the second amendment of the Constitution to consider, which states that “the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Also, I have had personal experience with firearms being used in a safe and controlled manner.  I was trained in firearms safety, I taught rifle shooting as a camp counselor and I know several people who have a healthy respect for firearms and use them for target shooting and hunting.
Furthermore, there is the case of Sarah McKinley from Oklahoma City to consider.  During this past New Year’s Eve at her home, she defended herself and her baby from two intruders with a shotgun, killing one of them.  If she couldn’t have defended herself, the intruders would have most likely raped her, killed her and killed her child.
Like I said before, there is no clear course of action to take in this issue.  I feel that we all can agree however, that it should be handled firmly and with resolution from all sides.  In the meantime, we should teach ourselves and children about what guns are capable of and maybe things will start looking up.