They say that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Well, no matter with what side of the political spectrum your ideologies align, a vast majority of Americans believe that gun violence warrants action. And in this divisive partisan climate, it is paramount that we commence political and social debates from a premise that opposing sides agree upon.
So with the premise that something needs to be done to substantially curb (and maybe even eradicate) gun violence, the next step is to determine what actions legislators and constituents need to undertake to accomplish this goal. Americans on the far right would most likely say that in order to combat gun violence, every upstanding citizen should be armed with military grade assault weapons. And the far left would most likely hold the antithetical view – that no one in this country should be permitted to own a firearm. The far right ascribes to the notion that the degradation of society coupled with the glamorization of violence is to blame, while the rival left would seem to fault the prevalence of and accessibility to firearms. Although these differing philosophies appear to be irreconcilable, the extreme left and extreme right comprises only a small minority in their respective parties.
Instead of focusing on what the most radical subsects of the Democratic and Republican Parties adhere to, it is better to focus on what a majority of Americans believe. According to the reputable polling website fivethirtyeight.com, a vast majority of Americans – over 75 percent, favor increasing the minimum age of gun ownership to 21, expanding background checks for all firearm purchases, and prohibiting firearm sales to people with a history of mental illness. Furthermore, over 60 percent of people approve of banning assault rifles and high capacity magazines. While these statistics might incite anger in some Pro Second Amendment partisans, they should find comfort in the fact that only 10 percent of American citizens favor banning all gun ownership outright. The vocal radical left who favor eradicating the Second Amendment do not speak for, or represent the mainstream of the Democratic Party.
Democrats do not want to abolish the Second Amendment anymore than Republicans want to see more firearm violence. It is long overdue that both parties recapture their voices from the very vocal, radical minorities that align themselves on opposite sides of the American political spectrum, so that the elected officials who represent us can clearly realize that bi-partisan gun reform is possible. If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result, then it is time for America to take her medicine and actually do something rather than nothing, to drastically curb the senseless gun violence that that plagues this great nation.