Mike has a keen interest in the effects of politics in our culture. He has a unique way of simplifying complex concepts.
I have written many articles and participated in many forums on gun control and the 2nd Amendment. And I have come to the conclusion that it is a complex and interactive issue involving many factors. Therefore, this article is an attempt to map the interconnections and interplay among the stakeholders and major elements in this highly controversial subject.
The diagram in the introduction is my attempt at connecting the major elements of the 2nd Amendment/gun control Issue. I will guide you through each of the elements, so as not to overwhelm you with the entire diagram at one time. The following are who I believe are the major stakeholders:
- Gun manufacturers
- Gun shows and the internet
I have tried to stay as objective as possible, but I have provided links to my articles for further reading.
It seems all of the controversy focuses on two main factors: The 2nd Amendment and gun control. Therefore, this is where I will start my discussion. Here is the 2nd Amendment.
One version was passed by the Congress, while another is found in the copies distributed to them and then ratified by them.
As passed by the Congress:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State:
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
See if you can find the differences in the two. Hint: It's in the capitalization and punctuation, not the wording. I really don't know what difference that makes or what their intent was.
The basic arguments for gun control center around the question on whether more or less guns make us safer. Those that argue for gun control believe that banning certain types of guns and high capacity magazines will make us safer. Those that argue against gun control believe that allowing everybody to have a gun will make us safer. Here is an article I wrote with more information on gun control and the 2nd Amendment.
Read More From Soapboxie
They manufacture all types of guns and supporting equipment. The major ones are:
- Rifles of all types
- Hand guns
- High Capacity magazines
- Machine guns
They also have a vested interest in the 2nd Amendment and gun control because it can affect their bottom line. Their main client is gun stores. There has always been much controversy over what constitutes an assault rifle and high capacity magazine.
The National Rifle Association (NRA)
The NRA was founded in 1871 and is an American nonprofit organization that promotes the following:
- Law enforcement training
- Firearm safety
- Hunting and self-defense training.
The NRA is affiliated with the following tax deductible groups and lobbying groups:
As one of the largest certifying organizations for firearm safety, the NRA provides firearm safety training and proficiency training courses for police departments, and recreational hunting, and child firearm safety. The NRA also publishes several magazines and sponsors marksmanship events featuring shooting skill and sports.
NRA's political activity is based on the premise that firearm ownership is a civil right protected by the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights. The group has a nearly century-long record of influencing as well as lobbying for or against proposed firearm legislation on behalf of its members. Observers and lawmakers consider the NRA as one of the top three most influential lobbying groups in Washington. NRA membership reached 4.5 million in 2013.
Congress on both sides of the aisle have a vested interests in the 2nd Amendment and gun control. One part of congress is up for re-election every two years. Therefore, they need money for their campaigns. Part of those funds come from NRA lobbyist via the gun manufacture lobbyist, with most of it encapsulated in Super PACs.
In 1994, congress enacted the ban on assault weapons with a sunset provision that in 10 years the ban was to be lifted, and it was.
Congress is also involved in deliberating for and against weapon bans and background checks. They also legislate federal and state law enforcement bills. The Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is under their control.
Although fear is not a stakeholder, it can be a great motivator and I don't mean this in a derogatory sense. There is a fear of anarchy, tyranny, and terrorism in this country that motivates people (stakeholders) to buy and sell guns of all types to protect themselves of all types of eventualities.
Gun Shows and the Internet
Gun shows and the internet provide a forum for transacting gun sales. These transactions may be legal or illegal. Many illegal gun sales are made in the parking lots of the gun shows.
Many straw purchases are conducted in an openly "suggestive" manner where two people walk into a gun store, one selects a firearm, and then the other uses identification for the purchase and pays for the gun. Or several underage people walk into a store and an adult with them makes the purchases. Both of these are illegal activities.
Criminals have a source for transactions where they can buy guns from legally licensed but corrupt at-home and commercial gun dealers.
There are web sites that allow private sellers to offer guns for sale to other private purchasers. Buyers can contact sellers via phone or email to set up the sale and avoid going through a federal background check or even leaving a paper trail. Such transactions are more anonymous than purchasing a weapon at a gun show, where people who can’t pass a background check can buy large quantities of guns.
Source: PBS Frontline
The Mentally Ill
I purposely left out the mentally ill to the end of this article because it is so difficult to assign cause, effect, and cure for them. There are those who say that criminals will not obey the law. If that is the case, why change any of the gun control laws?
But they are not the ones involved with mass shootings, it's the mentally ill. Yes, technically, the mentally ill are criminals as well. But in a sense, they are criminals after the fact, not before they have committed the crime.
But they are still the ones most involved in the mass shootings. They can obtain their weapons from any of the sources I have outlined. Preventing them from creating these crisis is a difficult as predicting when these crisis will occur. And yet the only way we know is when these crisis actually occur. What are your thoughts on this issue?
I hope this article has given you a new way of looking at this very controversial issue and thanks for taking the polls. As always, your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.
Here are a series of questions that are related to this subject. I would appreciate you answers so that we can measure everyone's opinions.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.