In light of the recent events in Newtown Connecticut it seemed inevitable that assault weapons would be banned for civilian use in the US. Disappointingly though, a poll in the popular newspaper USA today, revealed that while Americans do favor tighter gun laws they do not favor a ban on assault weapons. The main question in this issue is why a majority of Americans do not support the proposed ban on assault weapons. It was these weapons that got us into this argument yet banning them seems to be an uphill battle.
The first look is on the logical standpoint of owning an assault weapon. The purpose of an assault weapon is to kill many living things at once. It is specifically designed to do that; and while most assault gun owners might not have the intent to kill people, there are unfortunately people out there who do hold that goal, people who will buy these guns to kill and they usually don’t hold back. Another issue I have is that nobody needs an assault weapon specifically because there is nothing in this country that requires you use such a weapon. We aren’t being invaded by a foreign country, we aren’t being attacked by terrorists, and as far as I can tell we’re still quite far from having a breakdown of the states which would require a militia. The need for an assault gun or rifle simply isn’t there. Even a fear of home invasion does not require such an extreme defensive strategy. A simple pistol will do just fine at subduing an intruder.
Some people claim that they collect these guns and will never even shoot them. Although this argument works well concerning the individual owner it might not apply to others. Let me give you a simple example. You are a gun collector. You will never fire the weapons you collect and you proudly keep them behind a glass display case in the basement. One day a friend and his teenage son visits the house, and being a proud gun collector you show them the collection describing each one with extreme detail. Neither you, nor your friend have any intent to fire any of your weapons. The son of your friend however is being picked at a lot at school and he just found out the perfect way to get back at the people who made his life miserable. While you’re at work he breaks into your house, shatters the glass and it all goes downhill from there. It might seem like an extreme case but the weapons used at Newtown were acquired from the shooters own house while the weapons used a columbine (although not assault weapons) were stolen from a neighbor’s house. Collecting assault weapons or any type of gun might seem pretty harmless but if these guns somehow make it into the right hands they could be deadly.
People who claim that they use assault weapons for defensive purpose are also rather dangerous in their own way. Generally the people who own these types of guns are very paranoid and it is a well-known fact that paranoia can sometimes cause you to pull the trigger. Take the Trayvon Martin case for instance. Although the weapon used was not an assault weapon it is a prime example of how paranoid people can sometimes pull the trigger without proper cause. If he had not been a gun owner George Zimmerman probably would have either disregarded Trayvon or have called the police. Instead, because he was extremely paranoid, Zimmerman took matters into his own hands and killed an innocent person.
The obvious thing to do here is to ban assault weapons in every US state. If a gun has no purpose other than to kill many people at once then there should be no place for it in American society. The answer is not tougher gun regulations, the answer is not better mental health screening but to simple eliminate the problem at its root. It seems there is too much back on forth conversation on weather assault weapons should be allowed despite the fact that any person with an ounce of logic can tell you they should be banned. I struggle to see how this is even a huge political issue at all. People can howl and complain all they want and blame whoever they feel they need to but the answer is simple: ban assault weapons.