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CONTROL

Cindy Maddera

I was in New York when the latest, yet most deadliest, mass shooting happened in Florida. I was loopy on cold medicine, laying on the couch with Megyn Kelly on the TV. You could feel her anger radiating off of her in waves, just like every parent or human being with a heart. I heard her say "Your condolences mean nothing without action." and I nodded my head in agreement. Since that time, I've watched as people post various memes on Facebook that range from comparisons of this mass shooting with every day in Chicago to requiring voter ID to vote. The fallacy in logic boggles my mind. The voter ID thing sends me off on a major tangent because of hypocrisy. There's something that just doesn't sit well with me to hear a republican in the reddest state in the Union complain about voter fraud. Meanwhile, I live in a very blue county and always, always, always have to show ID for a ballot. Go figure.

It is a common misconception that Chicago has the strictest gun laws in the United States. It is true that the state of Illinois has tougher gun laws and at one point Chicago itself had stricter gun laws. But in 2008, the Supreme Court declared the ban on handguns unconstitutional and their gun registry program ended when the state of Illinois passed a law allowing concealed weapons. Chicago is also very very close to two states that have weak gun laws, thus making it even easier to purchase a gun over your lunch break, making it back to your Chicago office without anyone noticing. Actually, if you look at the Centers of Disease report on Firearm Mortality rates, you will notice that the top twenty states with the highest firearm mortality rates are states that have the weakest gun laws. So please stop using Chicago for an example that gun control does not work.

Another common misconception is that when people like me talk about gun control, we are advocating to take away ALL OF THE GUNS FROM ALL OF THE PEOPLE. For some reason the phrase 'gun control' sounds like an all or nothing solution. Again, this is not the case. Drunk drivers kill people. Do we revoke all vehicles and make cars illegal? No. We take licenses away from the drunk driver. This is a form of safety regulation. Are you mad because you can't drive drunk? I hope not. Gun control makes it harder for the bad people, the mentally unhealthy people to purchase the type of weapon that will kill a hundred people with one round of bullets. What would be even better is if that mentally unhealthy person gets flagged at an attempt to purchase a weapon. Then a mental health advisor is immediately dispatched to that person to help them. 

I do not own a gun and I will never own a gun. I'm not a hunter and I am not mentally prepared to take the life of another human being. So there's no reason for me to own a gun, but I do recognize that this country is made up of a whole lot of rural America who still hunt or use a gun to keep predators from their livestock. I get it, but in this amazing country, the land of opportunity, our children should not have to risk their lives for an education. Doing nothing is not an option.