Thursday, May 29, 2014

request for response: "gun rights" = absurd excuse for tragic disaster

(I originally posted this on the Expository Composition course blog, but it relates to all of us.  You are welcome-- not obligated-- to participate in the discussion if you choose.)

Normally I refrain from offering opinions about politics and policy.  After all, I am in the business of helping you develop the skills to find, analyze, evaluate, and act on information in order to make up your own minds.

However, once in a while democracy demands that we stand and be counted.  The recent tragedy in Isla Vista could have and should have been avoided.  Apart from whatever fueled this young man's decision-making process, there is simply no reason for a college student to have guns in a dorm room or an apartment.  Just four days after last week's killings another UCSB student accidentally fired a handgun through a wall and the apartment next door.  He was in possession of seven weapons and over 1000 rounds of ammunition.

According to Richard Martinez, a Santa Maria attorney and father of one of the murder victims (his son Christopher graduated from San Luis Obispo High School), shootings such as this-- once considered shocking-- have become the new normal because of "craven politicians and the N.R.A."  The author of the article entitled "Christopher Michael-Martinez's Father Gets It Right" agrees, going on to say that every other country that had this problem (note the past tense) went on to enact laws that made everyone safer.  We, the United States of America, have not.

Your thoughts?  Please read the article and comment to this post.  (And, Please Note: This is not merely an exercise in rhetoric or expository composition.  Members of our own community lost friends and relatives in this tragedy.  Be mindful and base your arguments on facts and clear reasoning.)

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