We're a hawk on the issues.

The Dichotomy of the Gun: Two Laws Take Different Approaches.

One of the fundamental problems in the gun control/gun rights argument is that the central item in the discussion, i.e. the gun, is seen as two completely different things from either side. For those who find themselves on the side of the spectrum that wants guns controlled (or banned outright) the gun is a terrifying death machine that ordinary citizens should not possess. For those on the side of the spectrum who prefers easy access to firearms (or mandatory ownership) the gun is the only real “protection” they trust.

Georgia lawmakers introduced a bill that would essentially protect Georgians from any future federal laws that would “nullify certain federal laws…which attempts to govern firearms manufactured” in Georgia. Democratic State Senator Vincent Fort, who last year tried to pass an assault weapons ban, believes the new law is dangerous. He told CL Atlanta, “it’s unfortunate that this right-wing crowd [is] making these kind of extremist, ideological statements,” rather than focusing on the poor or the economy.

The ideological opposite of this bill is the “bullet control” proposal in the Mississippi State Legislature calling for individuals purchasing ammunition to provide personal details such as their name, Driver’s License, and Social Security Number. Law enforcement and government officials wouldn’t be the only people to have access to this information, but the records would be also open to the public.

No two individual laws better embody the central disconnect between the two sides of this argument. For gun control advocates, the idea that the entire state of Georgia would ignore federal laws seems to validate their position that there is no such thing as a “responsible” gun advocate. For those in favor of gun rights, the idea that purchasing some rounds means that the public has access to their personal information seems to validate their belief that the system is stacked against them.

What is difficult to address in legislation or even legislative discussion is the dichotomy of the gun. The thing these two laws have in common is that both come from a view of guns that the other side not only doesn’t share but doesn’t understand. A victim of gun crime wouldn’t see these weapons as protection from predators (human and animal), a way to put food on the table, or harmless sport and vice versa. Until this is addressed, any attempts to either protect gun-owners’ rights or responsibly limit everyone else’s risk will be doomed to fail on the national level.

About the author

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. Along with news and current events, he writes about parenting, art, and personal stories. His serial fiction story "The Prophet Hustle" is available at JukePop.com and a forthcoming independent ebook about the cam-modeling industry "Dirty Little Windows" will be available later this summer.

  • Lynn-Marie Papi Nilson

    I read the first paragraph and couldn’t read anymore..clearly this article is bullshit..I am very much for gun control. I don’t however think of them as “death machines” nor would I want to see them “banned”..I just don’t think it should become like the old west..God, I have best friends that I wouldn’t want to see own a gun. My first marriage was very abusive, I don’t doubt for a minute my husband would have killed me if there was a gun in the house..Just a little common sense..

    • Joshua M. Patton

      Lynn thanks for reading Issue Hawk! I’d encourage you to give it another go. I was stating the extremes of the debate because that is what gets the most play in the news media, specifically on cable. Ultimately this piece is not meant to address the merits of the specific gun legislation mentioned but to examine one of the core problems of the debate. Thanks very much for sharing your opinion. Cheers!

    • stray123

      Lots of states have a very pro-gun approach. Open carry, assault weapons are OK, shall-issue conceal carry policy…where is the Wild West that anti-gun extremists keep talking about? Washington state has all the above, I have yet to see a Wild West shoot out. But let’s check Chicago’s stats….Don’t worry I’ll wait.

  • stray123

    Don’t forget the Obama voters (like myself) that are also AGAINST any new gun laws. We are the reason that new laws are in danger. I will vote against any candidate proposing knee-jerk legislation. I take it THAT serious.