Reader Response Exercise: Six Leading Rationalizations for Doing Nothing About Gun Violence

The article’s title is “Six Leading Rationalizations for Doing Nothing About Gun Violence.” It was published in the New York magazine on March 23rd, 2021. The author of the article is Ed Kilgore, inspired by two horrendous gun massacre incidents in one week. He decided to uncover why no action had been taken by the relevant authorities on gun violence, even after the wake of brutal gun massacres. In response, he gave six rationalizations why the government took no action concerning gun violence.

Gun Violence
Gun Violence Essay

Gun violence?

The first rationalization is that new laws may not prevent gun violence. The second reason is that people are the ones who kill and not the guns. Thirdly, the real problem is mental illness and hatred and not guns. Fourthly, it takes a good person with a gun to stop a wrong person with a gun. The fifth one is the slope to gun confiscation is slippery, and lastly, guns protect our freedom.

I agree with the rationalizations given by Kilgore’s report. Gun laws are complicated, and implementing new ones is even more challenging. When laws against ownership of guns are formulated, criminals will still find ways to access them or alternative weapons; hence, violence will continue. Also, proposed gun laws tend to restrict ownership, but they are faced with stiff resistance from the stakeholders of the National Rifle Association. This association is remarkedly influential in the policymaking sector. Therefore, it is tricky for new laws to work against gun ownership.


I am impressed by the second rationalization, which states that guns do not kill; people kill. Even if gun laws were made strict, the few who could handle them have a probability of mishandling.  Guns cannot kill on their own, and keeping them away from people may not guarantee morality. The real issue concerns the killers and their motives or intentions. Dealing with individuals would make more sense than restricting ownership of guns. Hence, I agree with the article that the real problem is not guns, but the people with hatred and other issues such as radical beliefs of mental illnesses.

Many possible essay topics can come out of this reaction. Firstly, if nothing can be done about gun restriction, something should be done to people who are likely to mishandle them. This topic prompts a multidisciplinary collaboration in research to profile people who are likely to kill using guns and deny them firearm permits. For instance, psychology may help identify the link between aggressive behavior and gun violence. Another possible topic would be; should guns should be legalized indefinitely?

This is a challenging question to answer, especially on subjective grounds. The question prompts a critical debate that should be widely discussed because legalizing guns has both adverse and advantageous effects. For instance, gun ownership fosters personal security. It is important that critical concerns such as who should own a gun, at what time, and under which circumstances should are addressed. This is in line with the perception that it takes a good person with a gun to stop a wrong person with a gun (Kilgore par.12). Therefore, guns and violence is a broad topic that should be explored through various research questions.

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Work Cited

Kilgore, Ed. “Six Leading Rationalizations For Doing Nothing About Gun Violence.” New York Mag, 2021, p. 1, Accessed March 24th, 2021.