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With the controversy about gun rights in mind it’s important to ask: Do people actually know well enough to not use guns at the wrong time for the wrong reasons?

Gun control has been a hot issue of debate in the U.S. recently. On one side, we have those who want stricter gun laws in order to help prevent gun violence and save lives. On the other side, we have those who feel such laws violate the 2nd amendment, and push for freedom to own as many guns as they want and carry them as they want. It’s understandable that the latter group is afraid for their amendment rights, but we just might lose them anyway if we keep abusing them.

One can argue that people should be allowed to carry guns for self-defense; the problem with this is not everyone understands what “self-defense” is. Does a person glaring and yelling at you as if he wants to hurt you count as a threat to your well being? If you’re unsure how to answer that, I encourage you to do some research before carrying around a projectile weapon. There’s also the issue of people acting out of irrational fear. It’s not difficult to imagine someone shooting and killing suspicious-looking person who happened to be walking in his direction; a life would be lost simply because the victim looked scary or suspicious to the shooter.

Even cops have this problem. The video posted above shows now former police officer Sean Groubert shooting an unarmed man during a traffic stop. Groubert pulled up beside Levar Edward Jones’ vehicle as he got out and asked for his license. As Jones reached back in his vehicle to get it, Groubert panicked, assuming he was reaching for a gun, and shot Jones multiple times. Fortunately, Jones survived. This illustrates that even police officers, who are supposed to have special training for what they do, don’t necessarily know when to not use a gun, and/or are way too inclined to hide behind them when faced with a perceived threat. How well do you think an average citizen would handle a similar situation?

We all have a right to defend ourselves from danger, but it’s a shame that so many of us see danger where there is none. Ending someone’s life is no light matter, so before we’re allowed to wield such force, we need to have the judgment and common sense to not use it incorrectly.