The shootings occurring in various schools within the United States took a wicked turn for the worst with most of the killings. Now the issue of gun control was a threat not only isolated communities, but to the multitudes of cultures, groups, and backgrounds that make up a college campus. The increased number of attacks within colleges seems to present the American public with a threat that is now very real and disturbing: today’s domestic killers display their rage not towards a specific group or within any specific context, but instead indiscriminately at all those within their range.
In the face of this violent shift in domestic murders, BBC News reported earlier on a car dealer whose promotion offered a unique choice: gasoline or a handgun. Mark Muller of Max Motors in Butler, Missouri offered, with each vehicle sold, either a new handgun or a 250 dollar gas card. His promotion saw a quadruple increase in sales with only two buyers deciding to take the gas card. When interviewed, Muller said: “We’re just damn glad to live in a free country where you can have a gun if you want to.”
This seems to illustrate the symbolism behind gun ownership: to bear arms is to be free. In spite of the constantly rising gas prices, American flag holsters, citizens of Butler, Missouri latched on to this symbol of sovereignty at the expense of their pocket books. But, in the wake of so many shootings in America, gun ownership is also a liability that seems to invite the loss of an American’s ultimate freedom: to life. Both sides of the gun control debate advocate for a very real and significant freedoms in America (historically for the pro-gun campaign and intrinsically in the increased security camp). Both sides work to derail the others argument, seemingly unaware that the debate is essentially a lost battle no matter the outcome.
Thus, we find the paradox behind the debate between those for and against stricter gun control laws. No matter whether the freedom lost is to choose to own a weapon or to choose to move towards increased security, American sovereignty will be sacrificed on some level. This is always a necessary part of protecting freedoms in the United States; there has to be some freedom sacrificed in order to protect another. This is the give and take of American governance that so often ignores moderation in favor of debate styled politics. However, this is the reality of the politics our current discourse exists in; to win one argument is to lose another.