America’s Unique Gun Problem

Following the latest mass shooting in Newton, Connecticut, the discussion around gun control has re-emerged. Unfortunately, throughout the discourse, we tend to lump all of America’s issues with guns into one realm. However, that is just not the case.

In this country we have two distinct problems with gun violence. For the sake of this post, the two problems that I have identified are titled the “Connecticut Problem” and the “Chicago Problem”.  The “Connecticut Problem” refers to the frequently occurring mass shootings. The majority of these shootings are happening in what we have traditionally viewed as relatively safe locations, such as schools, malls, and universities. The shootings are mostly being executed with semi-automatic assault style weapons with large ammunition magazines.

In contrast, we have the “Chicago Problem”, most widely identified by the violence in Chicago. Although Chicago is the city currently experiencing rampant gun violence, cities like New Orleans, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, DC have all been at the forefront of gun violence dialogues in this country. The “Chicago Problem” of gun violence has mainly happened in urban areas with illegal handguns and is often correlated to various issues that plague inner city communities like drug trade, gang culture, and neighborhood altercations. Both the “Chicago Problem” and the “Connecticut Problem” must be addressed, but the solutions are starkly different.

In the wake of the of the Connecticut shooting, sensible gun control measures have been suggested such as limiting high capacity magazine clips, banning assault style semi-automatic weapons, comprehensive background checks and waiting periods for all gun purchases. All of these policies seem to be reasonable responses to curb mass shooting incidents. However, because one of the main driving forces behind the “Chicago Problem” is unlawful gun usage, it seems to be a far more difficult and complex issue to address. Urban violence must be addressed in a comprehensive way, which includes effective policies which speak to the socioeconomic, educational and cultural problems that contribute to an atmosphere of violence in these neighborhoods.

That we have a gun problem in America is unquestionable, but as these incidences indicate, we are facing two distinctly different problems with various root causes that require complex solutions and the collective will of the American people to significantly reduce gun violence in our country.

One thought on “America’s Unique Gun Problem

  1. What you consider sensible solutions for the Connecticut problem is the exact rhetoric that has always been used by people who over react and rely on emotions to a situation as opposed to tackling the problem based on facts. Sir, guns are not the problem and gun control is not the answer. It is however, a convenient option for people like you who want to appear to be caring and compassionate towards the victims. In reality what you offer is not a viable solution. The people committing these heinous acts are mentally deranged. They, in almost each case, were seen as troubled but because of liberal ideology not to address mental health issues, these people’s needs went untreated or their needs un-addressed. The very solutions that you offer now, maybe with the exception of multiple rounds, have been addressed in Federal and state laws, yet, the mayhem occurred.See Columbine as an example. Interestingly at a time when Police chiefs in several major metro areas are telling their citizens that the police will be unable to respond quickly to acts of violence and that citizens will need to be able to protect themselves, people like you and other liberals and progressives are advocating that people disarm themselves and allow themselves to be at the mercy of criminals. The bottom line is that legislating this issue by violating peoples Second Amendment rights has not been nor will it ever be the answer no matter how “reasonable” you may say it sounds.Addressing what is the common theme, mental health, violence in games, music and movies and correcting America’s moral decline are what drives both the Chicago and Connecticut issues. Although I cite games, music etc as causes, I believe that other constitutional protections afford people the right to generate this material. No, morally the solution is that these people must self regulate and parents and people who influence and control kids who have access to these items must act like parents and impose controls. As for Chicago’s unique issue, unfortunately that city represents the aftermath of a generation of liberal/progressive policies that literally have destroyed families, values and morals. It will take a generation to solve this problem but like all things, you have to start somewhere. During the interim, funds should be diverted to affording people living in these areas with protection while simultaneously fixing America’s economy which will provide people with jobs along with modifying our welfare system that will incentivize people to become employed.

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