The dichotomy between the thinking of Gun rights activists, and gun control activists is extremely severe. I have little doubt that either group will ever see eye to eye. This is largely due to the avenue of thought each group takes. Those who support the right to bear arms argue that their right to defend themselves outweighs any perceived threat to other citizens. For those who want to limit the use of guns in America, they argue that a citizen’s right to feel safe in public is more important. I do acknowledge that there are many people that fall into the grey area in-between, but in the current political climate only the polar opposites are coming though.
First let’s look behind the thinking of a gun rights activist. To them the second amendment is a right they hold just as dearly as their right to free speech, or their right to religious freedom. Any law that is passed that limits the right to bear arms would be the equivalent to banning religions or limiting speech in their eyes. The best way I can explain it would be in relation to a quote form Edward Snowden. He stated that “Arguing that you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide s no different than saying you don’t care about free speech because you have nothing to say”. To those who vehemently defend their right to bear arms, apathy toward these laws would be just as absurd as what Snowden said about privacy. Then there is the argument that the laws are useless in the first place because criminals will not follow them. I’ve never heard of a criminal buying lower capacity magazines so their illegally possessed firearm could be state compliant, but I digress.
To those that support gun control the idea of safety over individual rights seems to be the goal overall. Many gun control groups like to state that “This is about the right to life of people who are killed by mass murderers”. So to someone who supports gun control, regulating firearms is something that needs to be done for the public good. To many of them the right to bear arms should not be a right. It should be a privilege. They would prefer a world where the government was able to protect every citizen. One where only police and soldiers had guns. A world where firearms are controlled and kept out of the hands of criminals. They want to make this a reality though legislation, and reform. Most of which ends up being halfhearted and ineffective.
So here lies the problem. Pro gunners live in a time that has long past, and anti-gunners live in a utopian dream that will never become a reality. Pro gunners want the ability to make their own decisions in terms of self defense, while anti-gunners want to create a system where the government is everywhere and always watching. One assumes that violence is bound to happen and cannot be prevented. The other assumes that people will be willing to allow a “Big Brother” to be watching over their daily life and take charge of their security.