‘Gun control’ doesn’t equal ‘disarmament’

I need help here.

I’m having trouble understanding how the term “gun control” has become synonymous to some Americans with “disarmament.” I am perplexed that the argument has become one of absolutes, that any form of gun control is seen by gun-rights advocates as code for “they’re coming to disarm law-abiding Americans.”


The universal background check legislation that failed in the U.S. Senate is the best example of the perversion of this debate. The background check is seen by foes of gun control as an intrusion. They say, accurately I’ll concede, that a thorough background check wouldn’t have prevented the Newtown, Conn., school massacre that left 20 children and six educators dead. It is true that the madman who did the deed took the guns from his mother – who had purchased them legally – and then killed her before embarking on his killing spree.

That argument, though, begs the bigger question. How do we stop other madmen from acquiring guns from, say, a private party or a gun dealer? Universal background checks to me seem like a reasonable option.

The gun lobby, though, has persuaded enough lawmakers that any form of tighter laws translates into some kind of Big Brother overreach into people’s homes, where they keep their guns. I believe I’ve heard the president himself say on many occasions that no one who owns a gun today will have that firearm taken away.

The intent is to seek to prevent future madmen from committing the kinds of tragic deeds that occurred in Newtown, Aurora, Blacksburg … wherever these kinds of massacres have occurred.

I see nothing in any of these proposals that translates to disarming lawful Americans.