It is always sad to read about another mass shooting. It is impossible to hear about one of these tragedies and not imagine ourselves or our loved ones in similar situations, but the most dangerous thing to do in a tragedy is to blindly suggest solutions based on emotion.
When something happens to a loved one, it is unavoidable that we react with fear, anger, and hatred towards the perceived cause. In this emotional state, it is virtually impossible that an adult will make rational decisions, and this is the reason we have a system of due process.
In the United States, we don't let victims define legal outcomes for crimes. We don't let any amount of insistence on guilt sway us into blindly applying justice to the innocent. Instead, we put our justice system in the hands of the community with the hope that cool heads will look at evidence and consider it rationally. We are so dedicated to this that, should a crime be particularly heinous, it won't even be tried in the area where it was committed in order to avoid a completely biased jury. We don't let the victim mentality frame innocence or guilt for a very good reason: Victims get it wrong.
What is happening right now, unfortunately, is that victims are being painted as the voice of reason. Children, who we don't let make decisions about their own lives until they are 18 (or 21), are at the forefront of a culture of victimhood demanding that we all see our collective rights as 'The Murderer.'
Ostensibly, adults are more-rational than children. One thing that guarantees parental irrationality, though, is a threat to their kids. This doesn't need to be a credible threat in order to justify drastic action in their minds, and if you can get parents to frame their children as inevitable victims, they will rally against whoever they are told the would-be murderer is. This is natural, and in most cases serves to keep kids safe even if it is an irrational impulse. ...In most cases, but not in this one.
In this case, the media is suggesting that we equate tool and criminal, and blame guns. Our very rights, are being painted as the aggressor. In all other areas of life, we see people as the danger... People behind the wheel... Drunk people...Hackers...The Mentally ill. We don't blame the tools they use to harm for the crimes they commit. We don't blame the laws that allow them to own those tools. We blame the individuals who commit them. This is consistent in our society, and we have never been pushed to frame our own rights as 'murderer.'
Right now, that is exactly what is happening. It is provably irrational, and even a moment's consideration of the data will show this to be true. The people pushing for this are not considering data, though. They are latching onto solutions proposed by an anti-gun elite, and they are being told to say two things:
1. Nobody (NOBODY) wants to take your guns.
2. We just want 'Common Sense Legislation.'
The problem with this is that, when questioned, these victims can't define 'Common Sense Legislation,' and more often than not, don't want your definition. These people are completely ignorant about the topic, and to them a revolver is worlds away from an AR-15. It has been framed for them that there are 'safe' guns and 'unsafe' guns, and that we must get rid of the 'unsafe' ones.
If you are the owner of one or more of the 99.997% of firearms that won't be used to commit murder, you know full well that each of your weapons is as dangerous as the others. Gun owners treat their weapons equally because they all present the same consequences if you don't have respect for their potential.
So, back to 'Common Sense': These victims are being told that the murderer is an AR-15. When they say that 'nobody wants your guns,' they actually mean that they do want some of your guns. Specifically, they want 'semi-automatic rifles,' with the erroneous logic that these are the dangerous weapons in our society.
The truth, of course, is that ALL rifles (including the smaller subset of 'semi-automatic rifles') are responsible for fewer than 300 murders per years. More than three times this number are stabbed to death every year. More than 100 times are killed (accidentally) by cars. Furthermore, these 300 murders represent a mere 1.6% of all murders by firearm. Handguns, which "nobody" wants to take, are responsible for over 6000 murders per year. Just this single stat changes 'common sense' into 'reactionary lunacy.'
What would the 'nobody wants your guns' crowd say if they knew this? Would they still call it 'common sense'? Would they still insist that these were the only firearms they want eliminated?
Next is the issue of framing 'semi-automatics' as the danger. Aside from most shotguns and single-shot rifles, this is ALL GUNS IN AMERICA. Anyone saying 'not all guns' and also saying 'just the semi-automatics' is saying 'all guns' without knowing it. They don't remember Virginia Tech, the most deadly school shooting in our history. They don't remember that it was carried out solely with hand guns. If they did, though, they would demand that those weapons be eliminated too, and still insist that 'nobody wants your guns.'
If they were informed, they might admit that they DO want to eliminate all guns, and why not? If children are dying at the rate of 35 per year in school shootings, why don't we just give up these tools of murder?
This is why:
While it is true that there are 19,000+ murders with firearms every year, this is only a small part of the story. In 2013, Obama tasked the CDC with funding a $10 million study of gun violence data, and what came out was surprising. This study showed that there were at least as many defensive uses of firearms as there were offensive, and that this number is huge: 500,000-3,000,000.
In many cases, these 'defensive uses' amounted to nothing more than bradishing a weapon which shows that a good guy with a gun can at least keep himself safe. If guns are made illegal, though, millions of 'good guys' will become 'bad guys' overnight because they value their rights, and all the good guys who turn their firearms in will be at-risk from the criminals who kept their weapons for nefarious purposes.
So what now? Well, currently the U.S. government is upholding our rights, but we need to be incredibly vigilant. Many of these kids walking out of school to protest their rights will be of voting age in the next election, and they will vote because it will be trendy to do so. They will vote against their rights unless we make them understand these facts. Who knows how many more shootings there will be between now and then, but if there are 500,000 defensive uses (even if there were only 50,000), we need to absolutely protect our rights.