Fiction vs. Reality: The Gun Control Debate

Fiction:  September 2008 – NRA ad alleges that then candidate Obama wants to levy a new tax on guns and ammo, as well as ban the use of certain guns.

Reality:  February 2008– Steven Kazierczak walks into a Northern Illinois University classroom with 3 handguns, a shotgun, and 8 loaded magazines. He opens fire killing 6 people including himself.

Fiction:  April 2009 – Glenn Beck says President Obama will, “slowly but surely take away your gun or take away your ability to shoot a gun, carry a gun.”

Reality:  April 2009 – Police officers in Pittsburgh, responding to a 9-1-1 call, were met with open fire by Richard Poplawski.  At the end of the shootout, 3 officers were dead and 2 others were injured

Fiction:  May 2010 – At the NRA National Convention, Sarah Palin said that if Obama and other Democrats thought they, ”could get away with it, they would ban guns and ban ammunition and gut the 2nd Amendment.”

Reality:  February 2010 – During a meeting for the biology department at the University of Alabama, a professor, Amy Bishop, pulled out a handgun and began shooting indiscriminately. She killed 3 people and injured 3 others.

Fiction:  August 2011 – Chuck Norris claims the Obama administration is, “an administration with a secretive itch for gun control…”

Reality: January 2011 – Jared Loughner opens fire on a Tucson crowd gathered to hear Rep. Gabriel Giffords speak. She is critically injured and 6 are killed.

Fiction: April 2012 – Mitt Romney spoke at the NRA National Convention and warned that if Obama was given a second term, “He would be unrestrained by the demands of reelection” and would use, “every imaginable ruse and ploy” to take away gun rights.

Reality:  July 2012 – James Holmes walks into a Colorado movie theatre and opens fire on the crowd. 12 are killed and dozens are injured.

Reality:  The unfortunate reality is that these right-wingers are wrong about the President’s gun control record. In reality, Obama has already signed more repeals of federal gun laws than Bush in his combined 8 years. As a candidate, he supported closing the ‘gun show loophole’ and creating stricter background check requirements for new gun purchases; on both accounts he has remained silent since taking office. In fact, the Brady Campaign, the nation’s largest anti-gun group, gave him F’s in all gun control categories.

Part of me wishes the crazies on the right were correct about the President’s gun control record, but they are simply fabrications. I am not in favor of a total ban on guns, but how many more innocent people need to be murdered before we enact actual gun control laws? How many more preventable deaths need to occur before we realize sensible gun control laws will not be the destruction of our Constitution? How many more massacres need to happen before we reject the notion that fewer gun control laws somehow create a safer society?  We have to stop perpetuating the myth that everyone having a gun makes everyone safer. It doesn’t. It just leads to the further loss of life.