4 min read
American Attitudes Toward Gun Control: Voices In The Crowd

Following the recent mass shooting in Uvalde, Platform spoke to Americans to hear their thoughts on gun control.

Question 1: Do you support a ban on assault rifles?

Ariel from New York: Yes.

Diana from Illinois: No, as there is no clear definition of what an assault rifle is.

Elijah from New Jersey: First of all, you need to define what you mean by assault rifles but if you mean weapons like an AR-15 then I do not support a ban on AR-15s (or similar rifles).

Isaac from Maryland: I believe in the freedom to bear arms. Bear whatever you want. I believe in the non-aggression principle- that you don’t hurt other people except in self defense.

Israel from California: I do support a ban on assault rifles. I think handguns are fine but I don't think assault rifles are really necessary.

Jake from New York: No, I do not support a ban on assault rifles.

Lisa from California: I do not support a ban on assault rifles because then only the bad guys will have them. They can buy them off the street and then the good guys wouldn’t have them.

Matt from New York: I do not support a ban on assault rifles. I think there needs to be a better way to screen buyers. I think we need an insurance-like process when it comes to firearms that is similar to vehicles. Every car on the road is insured and every gun on the market should be insured. This is about open carry- you need to write the law in a way that makes sense but guns that end up in places should be insured because it will create a situation where we need to better regulate the insurance companies so that they wouldn’t insure guns owned by people who are super strange. If they are unfair to certain persons then you take them to court like you do today. It puts the process back into the open air. An 18 year old has to convince an insurance company why he needs a gun.

Shmuel from Maryland: I do not support the ban of assault rifles.

Question 2: Did the recent shooting in Uvalde change your stance on gun control?

Ariel from New York: No.

Diana from Illinois: No. What it did change is how I look at those in Government and Mental Health issues.

Elijah from New Jersey: No, not really. The chief of police and the police are complete cowards and it is their job to stop shooters like that and they did not. Also in general, I heard that there were a number of red flags that they were ignoring that were already on the books that should have stopped them from buying weapons like that. So no, it does not change my opinion.

Isaac from Maryland: The Uvalde shootings did not change anything. It (shootings) never does.

Israel from California: The shooting did not change my stance.

Jake from New York: I didn’t exactly read up on what happened at the Uvalde situation. Regardless, it hasn’t changed my stance on gun control.

Lisa from California: Because I am not very political, I didn’t even know about the shooting in Uvalde. So it did not change my stance and would probably not.

Matt from New York: If anything it just affirms my stance. We talk about how a good guy with a gun is going to do something. My position on what happened is that regardless of the shooter himself the police response was ugly, tragic, and it was just pathetic. The local police department had been fighting in court against the State of Texas investigation into their response. This is where we ended up- we ended up with a police force fighting against the state government to not be investigated for how they responded to this shooting because they screwed it up so badly. That is a problem for me.

Shmuel from Maryland: My position on gun control is consistent.

Question 3: Are there any solutions for the problem of gun violence in America?

Ariel from New York: Clearly this is a complicated one. My answer above, banning and thereby reducing access to the weapon of choice for these high victim shootings is important but doesn’t solve the issue. Gun violence or violence in general, comes from disenfranchisement. We in America have a culture of individualism, and that pushes marginalized people even further to the fringes of society. Lonely, resentful people disconnected from society. Abject poverty with very little hope of escape.The uniquely high rates of gun violence in the US is a symptom, one of many, of systematic disempowerment and disconnection.

Diana from Illinois: We need to really take a hard look into mental health , with an emphasis on the youth of our country. Then we all have to discuss the breakdown of the family unit. As most of these shootings are done by young males. We need to discuss what are the societal changes that leads to feelings of hopelessness and destruction in our young men.

Elijah from New Jersey: Yes, I think there are but they are not answers that people would necessarily like. The real solution to gun violence is that we need societal changes that make a lot more people happy in America. Right now Americans are all focused on self gratification and relationship [building] is a very low priority. There is a lot of harmful behavior going on in society that makes people very miserable and unhealthy. I think the real solution is to fix this problem. I would also support measures like getting armed guards for schools. The solution is not to take away people’s freedoms. There is a reason why it says in the 2nd Amendment that “it shall not be infringed”.

Isaac from Maryland: If people were allowed to publicly carry guns then maybe people wouldn’t be shooting 10,15, or 20 people at once it would be maybe 1 or 2 persons and then they get stopped. That is a solution.

Israel from California: The shooting just showed what many people knew, which is that there needs to be more regulation on who can get guns. So that is kind of the solution I guess. To me it is weird that you can get a gun before you can drink alcohol. At least for younger people there should be greater background checks and maybe you should get a gun until you are 21 or 25- you can’t rent a car until you are 25. To me, to get a weapon, especially an assault rifle, doesn't make sense at 18 years old. Obviously, there will be things that slip through the cracks like someone stealing a gun or getting it illegally but it would definitely help if we can create a society where it is harder to get a gun.

Jake from New York: For solutions- maybe teachers should be able to carry or the school should have more security guards. But don’t take away the guns. The purpose of the guns is to put a check on the government so they can’t take away our free speech and the rest as we can rebel against them and overthrow them. The 2nd Amendment protects the other Amendments. It enables the people to rebel if people get arrested for talking about the corruption of the Democrats, who want to take away our guns so they can start arresting people for speaking out against Biden.

Lisa from California: I don’t have any solutions for the problem of gun violence. We need a new president- the end.

Matt from New York: Solutions for gun violence in America are not going to come easily. I think a program of insuring privately owned firearms and education in firearms training would be helpful. As someone who owns a lot of guns and is a liberal, I didn’t get to own anything until I had learned to use it properly. That is something that is lost on people today. They say “it is my right”, it is not your right! Maybe you have a right in the constitution to a gun but you have to look at things in a leveled manner. Things should be run like a car because the ability to take a life with anything needs to be measured rationally. Other people and other countries look at us and think we are crazy and it is not because we are freer than them. We can do this in a way where people have the ability to own guns and not abuse it but it needs to be through a process that makes some sense.

Shmuel from Maryland: The solution to the gun violence problem in America is better mental health treatment and an initiative to get people off psych drugs.

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