Hate crimes call for reform in gun control laws

There are problems within every country, but a large problem the United States has been dealing with in recent years is gun control. In the United States anyone with a permit is permitted to own a gun; that includes law officials, hunters and also everyday citizens. With everyone able to possess such deadly weapons, it was only a matter of time until a problem occurred. But is it so much the gun that causes these crimes to be horrific, or is it how people react to the news? 

The gun control problem became a viral phenomenon in the spring of 2015 when Michael Brown, an African American U.S. citizen, was shot and killed by a white policeman in Ferguson, Mo.  The city then rioted due to the suspicion that this was a hate crime and guns were only used because Brown was African American. The city then revolted by burning down buildings and looting stores.

ferguson riots

Police gathered in Ferguson, Mo. to try to control violent riots that broke out. (Creative Commons)

Fast forward to summer 2016, when a nightclub in Florida was shot up. When 29-year-old Omar Mateen shot up Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., he killed 49 people instantly and critically injured 53 others. The reaction this time throughout the United States was not to riot, but to protest peacefully and graciously pay homage to those who lost their lives all too soon. This act was considered a hate crime as well because Omar Mateen was a straight male who deliberately attacked a gay nightclub.

One of many impromptu memorials that could be found throughout Orlando. (Creative Commons)

So, why were people rioting and looting stores a year ago, but this summer they protested and remembered those lost peacefully? Both shootings are considered hate crimes, what changed?

Like most things in life, people evolve. Are shootings happening so often that people are being forced to evolve in how they react? According to the Social Science Research Network, a single mass shooting leads to a 15 percent increase in the number of firearm bills introduced within a state that year.

The United States has been shaken up within the past two years, and is now forced to make a choice. Change control laws or change the way we see others who are different than us. The choice is ours.


2 Responses to Hate crimes call for reform in gun control laws

  1. Bill Inac September 6, 2016 at 6:11 pm #

    FTA: “In the United States anyone with a permit is permitted to own a gun…”

    Actually, like here in AZ we need no such thing. Completely anonymous firearms ownership is the norm. Are you really ‘free’ if you have to ask the government for ‘permission’?

  2. jdberger September 7, 2016 at 12:25 pm #

    Yikes. So much wrong with this article.

    First, the Federal Government doesn’t require people to get a permit to own a gun. Neither do the vast majority of the States (currently I think that only 4 do).

    2) People have been agitating for “gun control” since the 1920s. The last big successful national push was in the early ’90s and culminated with the passing of the Brady Bill and the Clinton Assault Weapons Ban. The latter has since expired.

    3) The unrest in Ferguson had nothing to do with guns and everything to do with police and their relationship with their communities.

    4) The Ferguson incident was not a “hate crime” in any sense of the phrase.

    5) People rioted in Ferguson because they were protesting the government. They didn’t riot in Orlando because they didn’t hold the government accountable for the actions of the shooter.

    6) The final sentence of the article is a non-sequitur that doesn’t make any sense. Gun control laws have nothing to do with people getting along with each other.