By Thomas “Encylopedia” Crawford
This isn’t a typical post. It is however one that falls under entertainment, as it is entertaining to watch people argue over things. As mentioned before, it is amusing to watch people argue almost to the point of fighting over things such as politics. As long as it remains civil, it is okay. This particular argument happened at a relaxed Sunday afternoon cookout between two individuals that will remain nameless, just call them Frick and Frack. The main point was gun control. It is most interesting that both had very good points, yet neither were able to back off or give an inch of concession. This small argument is actually a perfect example of the larger scale problem, that people are unable to give an inch, and yet feel that they will make a difference in the greater scope of things.
Frick is liberal. This is not meant as an insult. Frick is very passionate, and believes in fighting for the injustices that are abundant in the world. In a way, it is quite impressive, because Frick doesn’t back down an inch, and will throw down with anyone on any subject seen to be against Frick’s beliefs. Frick is actually very much in favor of gun control, and believes that the crime rate in America is directly linked to how easy it is to obtain firearms.
Frack, is young and full of energy. Frack may not be the most worldly, yet believes that lessons learned at a young age still are worthwhile. Frack, believe it or not, is not conservative. In fact, Frack makes it a point to say that government can’t be trusted, and doesn’t side with liberal or conservative beliefs. However, on the idea of gun control, Frack believes that every American has a right to own and bear arms. They are important to have not only for self-defense, but also as a way for citizens to protect themselves from a possible tyrannical government.
Enter the casual observer. This person has used many guns, and at times has used them for target practice and hunting. However, this individual is not an avid hunter and has only owned a few guns over the course of the years. This observer has never really thought about gun ownership or rights. After eating some good burgers and hot dogs, and drinking a few cold beers, this individual simply sat and decided to watch the argument take place between these two opposing forces.
The argument started suddenly and truthfully, enough alcohol had been imbibed that the exact beginning is uncertain. Yet the observer watched as Frick, laughed out loud, and called Frack crazy for beliefs about gun ownership. Frack replied that the Second Amendment of the Constitution guaranteed rights to bear arms, and that guns would remain in Frack’s possession. Frick countered that the original idea of the Amendment was to protect a state’s militia’s right to bear arms, and if Frack wasn’t part of a militia then the right wasn’t really there.
The argument went back and forth, and truthfully never had a serious conclusion. The main reason being that each of them, Frick and Frack, were so obsessed with proving themselves right that they didn’t take the time to listen to the other side. This is a common problem, not just at cookouts, but in general about this issue.
Gun control advocates often point to the wording of the Constitution, that the use of firearms for state militias means that only certain individuals have the right to bear arms. Gun enthusiasts often point to the rest of the wording, that the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed. Both seem to make valid points with both of these arguments. As a casual observer should note, the Supreme Court of the US has found that citizens have a right to bear arms for personal self-defense with no connection to a state militia. This argument seems to go for the gun enthusiasts.
Another very intriguing argument made by gun control advocates is using other countries as a standard. One of the gold standards used is the United Kingdom. Gun control advocates often cite how their crime rates are lower and that in many areas police officers don’t even carry firearms because it is so hard for criminals to obtain firearms in the first place. This is surely a good call for stringent gun control, right?
The truth is, that this isn’t the case. If one wants to start comparing countries, one can start with Switzerland. In this country every young man eventually enters the military and receives training in marksmanship. After a certain age they leave the military, yet have the right to keep their firearms in home. This country has a large amount of guns, military issued, that are given to citizens and required by law to be kept and maintained for years during service and after. Obviously, gun control and crime don’t really play a major role, as Switzerland is known as one of the more peaceful countries to live in. Again, is this another check mark in the victory column of gun enthusiasts?
The fact of the matter is that no, it isn’t. People who believe in gun control and gun enthusiasts seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. However, deep down, they believe in the same things. They believe that people have a right to be protected, and live their lives in peace. The major issue is that they have different ideas about the best way to provide that peace. It takes a casual observer with no serious beliefs on either side to see this. BOTH sides have the same goal, yet constantly scratch and tear at each other to prove they are right. This fight is what makes the issue clouded and insures that no real progress is made.
So, what is the answer? The answer is to actually stop TALKING, and listen to the concerns of other individuals. Believe it or not, this country was founded on people with differing views coming together to talk out their differences. Instead of clinging to a platform’s beliefs, open minds and ears can go a lot further to find solutions to real problems. This is advice that should be taken not only at the highest levels of government, but also at a Sunday evening cookout. It will help solve problems and it will help find solutions.
Thomas Crawford is co-founder and co-editor-in-chief of TricycleOffense.com.
Previously from Thomas Crawford: