Recently in the ongoing political news in Washington is the issue of gun control. Sparked by the Newtown tragedy, it is now gaining fire through President Obama taking advantage of this tragedy to push through gun legislation. Because of this, America is now divided into two factions: one for gun control and one against it. Here is a cartoon that is sort of representative of this situation.
First of all, let me make clear that I am all for gun control. Yet, I still like this anti-gun control cartoon, because it is true in certain cases.
What This Cartoon Got Right: Notice the last quote: “You shot him? We’ve got to do something about guns!” as opposed to the other situations, where the blame fell on the murderer himself. The fact that the cartoonist drew the same characters in the same positions but with just different weapons emphasizes this fact. And it is very true- I do think that society does place too much emphasis on the guns. I mean, I just go on the Yahoo! Politics Page and all it talks about is guns, guns, and guns. No mention of mental illness at all, at most rarely. What we need to understand is that mental illness is perhaps an even more important cause of shootings than the guns themselves. Those shooters are victims of mental illness themselves, so if we cure or treat mental illness, we can perhaps eliminate a large percentage of shootings from happening.
What This Cartoon Got Wrong: I feel as if the cartoonist is saying that guns are just like knives, strings, and sticks; we should just let guns be what they were. Essentially, I interpret this cartoon as trying to tell me that the people who shoot are the only problems behind these shootings. That is definitely wrong. Although mental illness is a more important problem, guns still contribute to this shooting epidemic. The best solution to prevent these shootings from happening is to focus on guns and mental illness at the same time. This solution cannot be just a black-or-white solution, but rather a mixture. What Obama is doing right now is giving the guns more time, and what the conservatives are doing is opposing many gun restrictions. Both, in my opinion, are wrong; what should be happening is an equal amount of attention concentrated on mental illness and guns. I also think that the analogy between guns and knives/strings/sticks is an unfair analogy. Think about it: compare a maniac barging onto a school campus with a knife with a maniac barging onto campus with a semi-automatic gun. More than likely is the latter maniac going to kill more people. Knives are easy to fend against; all you need to do is just run away. Whereas with guns, running away won’t help because you can still get shot. Basically, guns cannot be compared to knives because guns definitely do cause more deaths. Think about World War 1 and 2- they were the first technological wars, and they sure resulted in a lot more deaths than previous wars fought with swords and no guns.
Well, guns or no guns, at least we are still working towards a solution on trying to prevent future shootings like the one in Newtown. There may be a lot of disagreements, but as long as we are moving in the right direction, then we can all hope for the best.