The Truth About Gun Control

spectrum of weaponry

Gun control is a polarizing issue. The battle lines between “anti-gunners” and “gun nuts” have been drawn and redrawn for years, with neither side making much of an effort to find common ground.

Part of the problem is terminology. “Gun control” sounds like it refers to personal small arms, because that’s what the discussion usually is about. This really is misleading. What’s under discussion is not really “gun control,” it’s “weaponry restrictions.” If we reframe the debate in those terms, it instantly becomes clear that everybody believes in “weaponry restrictions” of some kind.

For example, although a staunch defender of the Second Amendment might insist that tanks and heavy artillery should be for sale on the open market, he would probably agree that nuclear and biological weapons should not be freely available to the general public. Uncomfortable though it may be to acknowledge, there IS a point at which the line of “allowable weaponry” should be drawn, and maybe – for our hypothetical gun advocate – that line is somewhere around surface-to-air missiles. A typical gun control advocate, on the other hand, simply draws the line much lower on the spectrum – somewhere in the range of handguns or semi-automatic rifles.

As you can see, the question is not a philosophical one, but one of degrees. This, then, is the truth about gun control: The question is not whether or not some weapons should be prohibited, but which weapons?

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