Keeping Emotionalism Out Of The Gun Debate (12/11/07)
Following last week's mass killing at an Omaha mall, public discussion predictably returned to the same old debate over whether gun laws should be strengthened or done away with entirely.
There's no simple answer. But it's troubling that people seem to only get really revved up over the issue when something so extraordinary occurs - which makes the conversation far too emotional and poorly focused.
The fact is, guns are mostly used in far more mundane circumstances -- a man shoots his wife during a domestic dispute; a father takes his son hunting; someone pulls a pistol in a fit of road rage; or a shopkeeper defends himself against a holdup. Right or wrong, these are the ways people use guns every day. And they should be our main focus as we discuss how - or if - we should regulate their use.
Tragedies such as Omaha's make headlines. But in the big picture, they're not just atypical in nature, but represent only a tiny percentage of the country's gun-related incidents. So is it really smart to debate the wisdom of gun laws based strictly on our emotional reaction to such anomalies?
But what are your thoughts? Call and let us know.
I'm Bill Lamb, and that's my Point of View.