COLUMN: Retire the conversation on gun control

Noah Pearson


The only real solution to America’s gun problem is a universal ban on all firearms. Because this solution is unrealistic, the conversation serves us no purpose and should shift to a more productive conversation on prevention.

Every time there is a mass execution by firearm, the same tired calls for sensible gun control resurface only for no or little progress to be made. There has been stricter and stricter regulations on where one can have guns, who can have guns, and what kind of guns/accessories one can uses on their guns.

While on paper these solutions appear beneficial, if there are guns anywhere, there are guns everywhere. In 2015, the New York Times found that 50,000 guns used in crimes were transported illegally over state lines from states with loose laws to states with stricter laws. In New York and New Jersey, two states with some of the strictest gun laws, over two-thirds of all of the guns connected to crimes came from another states.

Additionally, much of the legislation proposed to end gun violence is stricter regulation on who gets to own a gun. However, historically legislation like this has been intentionally and unintentionally discriminatory against black and brown individuals.

It should be obvious that repeating the conversation calling for discriminatory gun legislation that does not even work should adapt and change, but that has yet to be the case. A federal ban on all firearms is the only solution, and so long as guns are legally trafficked anywhere in this country, they will be illegally trafficked everywhere.

Since we live in country where politicians are bought and laws that would regulate guns are written by the organizations that sell them, this solution is impossible.

The conversation now has to shift away from the stalemate we reach when talking about guns to a conversation about how to be preventative in a world where guns run rampant. We have lost that battle, and that will always be the case, so let's talk about how we can prevent children from dying en masse in the world we actually live in, not the gun free utopia we want.

For starters, let’s confront the fact that identity is often a motivator for many of these mass shooters—maybe fostering a more equitable culture where people are not motivated to murder other people on the basis of their race. Let’s continue the conversation about how we can support individuals in high risk environments instead of allowing their environment to lead them to create harmful decisions.

The pandering and foolishness in the mainstream conversation about guns has to end. Evidence supports the fact that guns are far stronger than any state legislation and that the law is determined by those who stand to make money from what it says.

The violence has to end as well, and that starts by moving past proposed solutions that just will not work, and putting in the time to have an honest conversation about what we actually have control over.