Friday, October 2, 2015

A smoking gun in the non-smoking section

So my Alma Mater  put out a study looking at the relationship between issued Concealed Handgun Licenses and crime rate. The verdict? No effect at all. The result of the study, as I understood, implies that the mass ownership of guns does not entirely affect the rate of which crime happens. At the same time, CHLs are part of policy and thus challenge the effectiveness of current gun laws. This had me curious in light of the recent shooting in Oregon, Chicago crime rate, and ongoing gun control debates.

It is clear that something has to be done but what my mind toggles with is more the question of what kind of policy change and what kind of community change must happen (most likely both simultaneous) to effectively reduce or respond quickly to such incidents as the past few church and school shootings. Prior to this blog, I’ve had many discussions about gun rights, gun laws, and related topics with both sides of the fence. Both, have their points and relative narrow views but there seems to be something missing more than the obvious problem of refusing to see eye to eye on an issue.

I don’t own a gun but I do understand the right to do so, which requires a great deal of accountability, self control, education, and respect. I also kind of believe that some people have the capacity to own a gun and others not so much but will obtain one anyway but that raises the question of how do we determine who should? I’ve played devil’s advocate to both extremes just to test the arguments and ideas. It has been most interesting. In the end, I keep finding myself at the same idea saying all we can do is “prepare for the idiot in the room.” which my mother hates hearing from me.

I think about my recent trip to Germany where I learned that you can still own a gun but few do and the process is very cumbersome (understandably) and also requires an annual psych evaluation (which I support). I search that for possible applications. It’s a very different mindset in Germany compared to the U.S. Anyway, I’m really trying to find a multi-layered solution rather than the redundant typical approach of one sided and one note solutions rushed out that repeatedly seem to fail and become repetitive rhetoric.

Hmm what to do? What fits best? How to get people relatively on similar pages despite different circumstances.

At the same time–I’m looking at the nature of the beast that inspires these shootings and that hits close to home for me and seems like the source of all this.

What are your thoughts and solutions? Do they incorporate elements from the different perspectives respectfully?