LET’S DISCUSS IT: The executive vice-president of the National Rifle Association served notice to America on Saturday that “we will never surrender our guns.” In an address to the annual NRA Convention, Wayne LaPierre characterized his organization’s opposition to any kind of gun control, or even background checks on potential gun purchasers, as a flight against “elites.”

“Mr. President, you can give all the speeches you want. You can conjure up all the polls you can and call NRA members all the nasty names you can think of, but your gun control legislation won’t stop one criminal, wouldn’t make anyone safer anywhere,” LaPierre told the convention on Saturday.¬†LaPierre and the NRA propose, instead, that current laws be enforced, that schools include armed guards, that the government rebuild a “broken mental health system,” and “for God’s sake, leave the rest of us alone!”, a CNN story on the NRA Convention reported.

What do you think? Do you believe that background checks on potential gun buyers, and other kinds of gun control measures — such as limits on the sale of¬† high capacity magazines that allow a gun to shoot multiple rounds in seconds — would be good for America, or do you believe this would be a violation of a sacred right, that all humans should have, to “keep and bear arms”?




Please Note: The mission of The Global Conversation website is to generate an ongoing sharing of thoughts, ideas, and opinions at this internet location in an interchange that we hope will produce an ongoing and expanding conversation ultimately generating wider benefit for our world. For this reason, links that draw people away from this site will be removed from our Comments Section, a process which may delay publication of your post. If you wish to include in your Comment the point of view of someone other than yourself, please feel free to report those views in full (and even reprint them) here.
Click here to acknowledge and remove this note:
  • Michael L

    Hi Neale,

    When you ask the question about the solution to this
    problem, as suicides, taking companions with them to the other side.
    Then we have something to talk about.

    Why are folks so lonely
    that they have to kill themselves with company? Where have we as a
    society not understood that each of us needs a hug sometimes. Why is the
    discussion about the external signs of violence and not the root causes
    of the trouble. Feeling unworthy, to even live.

    Just my thought on it.

  • Marko

    I don’t understand, why would anybody be against background checks?

  • Therese

    I believe people have the sacred right to feel safe enough to lay down arms.
    I believe that “keep(ing) and bear(ing) arms” is the anthesis of what is our sacred “right”. I believe the thought that there is ever a “righteous” killing should be erased from our consciousness.
    I believe we should thank and honor the dead for revealing to us there is no honor in murder, whether we call it justified by war or self defense.
    I believe we have violated every sacred right by simply thinking we have a sacred right to kill one another.

  • Carly

    I believe that background checks and certain purchase limits are not only reasonable but necessary in our society today. Clearly, our current national experiences in places like Colorado, Connecticut and Boston demonstrate that we are lacking with respect to regulation(s). I think it is fair to say that when the second amendment was written, there was no way for anyone to know how technologically advanced our weapons would become or the complex psychological and sociological issues we would be facing. If I am not mistaken, the second amendment was more along the lines of seeking to protect the people against the government. The aim of the gun control legislation is to protect our people from senseless massacres like the ones that will forever be burned into our hearts and memories; to get sophisticated weapons which are designed to kill masses of people out of the hands of mentally unstable individuals; and to be able to do background checks on the people who are purchasing what are essentially killing machines. When looking objectively at these goals, are they really so unreasonable? No one is trying to take away Americans right to bear arms, that has never been something that was on the table. Ironically, that seems to always be the argument against legislation “we have the right to bear arms”, yet no one is proposing that we take away that right. Americans are still entitled to have guns to protect themselves. But do everyday Americans need the same kind of semi automatic weapons that are similar to what our military uses during wartime combat? I can think of several reasons why we do not need those kinds of weapons at our fingertips – and by reasons I mean I can think of hundreds of innocent lives lost by the bullets from these weapons. Can anyone raise a good argument as to why these weapons are so important to everyday Americans like you and I? It seems to me like the only arguments against the legislation are power based, and raised simply for purposes of opposition and confrontation with an opposing political party. In my experience, people who cannot debate or discuss with facts but simply raise their voice the loudest and refuse to compromise do so only because they have no legitimate argument. In this case, the stakes are high, and arguing for arguments sake just to oppose the opposing political party seems childish. The same buzzword arguments seem to circulate over and over again through the media outlets but it never goes deeper to really provide substance to the point of view. How would we not be any safer if mentally ill people could not easily get their hands on weapons? That just seems like common sense that no one could argue with, yet, people still make the argument somehow. Sure people could still get guns on the black-market but it would certainly be less easy than walking into any store and purchasing anything you could dream up. Why not make some kind of effort to make it more difficult for the people who dream up walking into a movie theatre or a child’s classroom to murder innocent people? Why do people automatically assume that everyone knows how to buy things off the black market? My thought is that the safety and the lives of our children and our citizens should be a priority over everything really, especially over a power trip. It seems to me in an enlightened society, there would never be an argument on how to protect a civilization from themselves and people actually advocating for the means of killing each other. Why is there so much passion behind violence and so much resistance to ending violence? That is the real question to ponder, because it says so much about the society that we are living in, and the collective consciousness.

    • Michael L

      May I add one thought Carly,

      What legislation have you heard of that would keep the guns out of the hands of the mentally ill? Which is the case on Colorado and Connecticut, Boston was religious.

      Because someone would have to research an effective way of curtailing folks freedom. Not easy in this freedom loving land.

      When you can show that taking away your freedom will make you safer, you may win the argument.

      • Carly


        Thank you for your comment and your feedback. My thoughts were that, ideally, background checks could be expanded to include some kind of mental illness check. But then that opens up a whole new door that I myself am not comfortable with: Such as, what is defined as mental illness (i.e. are we talking prescribed medication, or institutionalization) and what mental illnesses would qualify (i.e. paranoid schizophrenia and sociopathy, etc.)? Aside from the fact that it would not be practical, I just can’t see where the line would be drawn – it can get very tedious.

        But that is getting away from my original point, which is that restrictions on what kinds of guns could be bought or sold (legally) in the United States would in no way impact peoples “freedom” to own a gun – for hunting or protection – it would just limit the type of gun(s) they would be able to obtain.

        I think, to your point, Americans already give up certain freedoms in the name of safety (personal and collective). For instance, we are not allowed to buy or sell illegal drugs – which is a personal freedom (i.e. the freedom to ingest into our bodies what we please) – in the name of our personal (health &) safety. Additionally, there are of course the civil liberties and freedoms (of privacy) that we have given up in the name of the collective safety with the Patriot Act of 2001.

        With that said, I think in certain circumstances, we are willing to put our freedoms on the shelf in the name of safety. I find it difficult to understand why legislation to restrict guns would be any different, given the tragedies we have experienced in this country.

  • Dear Neale

    Guns in the hands of people who are hurting will hurt others.

    Guns in the hands of people who seek to protect the way of they life, are dangerous.

    Guns are dangerous in any body hands, but if everybody has one, the danger is eliminated
    to greater extent then if only Inquisition and robbers had them in they hands.

    But the most dangerous thing for humanity is in our Holy Books instructions how the
    humans need to behave to please God of FEAR and everlasting punishments in