Animation by Kayelle Allen at The Author's Secret

Saturday, February 16, 2013

And now for something completely different - The Gun Debate with Two Top Writers

This is a complete departure for this blog, but when two of my favourite writers asked me if I would be interested in hosting a debate about the controversial issue of gun control, I couldn't resist.  These writers are Tara Fox Hall, author of the acclaimed Promise Me and Lash series, not to mention numerous excellent short stories in a variety of anthologies and Jenny Twist, loved for the wonderful Domingo's Angel, All in the Mind, her delightful new best-seller Away With the Fairies as well as a large number of equally brilliant short stories. 

Anti-gun sculpture at the U.N.
As writers their styles are quite different, so it hardly comes as a surprise that their opinions about guns and the right to bear arms should also differ.  Tara's natural acceptance of arms is evidenced in several of her stories, while Jenny's objections are highlighted largely (but not entirely) by the absence of weapons in hers.  But their views are not quite as straightforward as that and in a short series of blog posts, both writers are going to explain their opinions and how these affect their writing.

The right of Americans to bear arms is a significant part of America's constitution and we all know that.  But then increasingly we seem to hear of gun-related atrocities of such stunning proportions that rock not just America but the rest of the world.  Britain is not exempt from such tragic events, of course, but the more rigid rules about gun ownership do make these senseless massacres somewhat rarer and usually on a smaller scale.  But does that make the UK's laws right and America's wrong?  Will President Obama's new gun-laws prove acceptable to a people whose history is rooted in the belief in their right to bear arms? 

I don't know the answer, and I don't think my two guest writers claim to do so either, but over the next few days, I've offered my blog as their platform to air their opposing views in peaceful debate.  I think it will be exciting and I hope readers will contribute their own opinions in this discussion.  So watch this space because in just a few hours, Tara Fox Hall will start off the debate, hotly followed by Jenny Twist.


Anonymous said...

When I look at the many gun deaths that happen each year in America and look at the gun deaths in the UK notice I wrote the UK as England is just one of four country's that make up the UK and as such when it comes to our gun laws they are the same for three of the country's England, Scotland, Wales, with Northern Ireland having a slightly different law regarding guns because of the troubles, I have to say that the gun laws work.

11,000 gun deaths a year in America compared with just 65 in the UK in the same period you have to say it works.

We brought in these gun laws in 1997 when we had a shooting quite like what happened the other month in your school. The difference though is that when we brought in these gun laws in 1997 America had in the same year two shootings in a school and did nothing to try and combat it and since then there have been 65 school shootings all across America accumulating with the one in Sandy.

Now there is some debate as to the actual weapons semi automatic and fully automatic. the fully automatic weapons are supposed to be banned in America since I think the late 30s. However it is quite easy to use a semi automatic which means you squeeze the trigger each time you take a shot as a fully automatic one without any alteration to that weapon what so ever just a simple action and the weapon becomes a fully automatic weapon. So that argument fly's right out of the window.

America has a big problem with guns, a problem made worse by the 2 amendment that allows you to be armed. Its a problem that you must get over before going forward in life.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Looking forward to the debate! I think I know what Jenny's gonna say from her comments on my blog after I wrote about my shooting class.

Keta Diablo said...

Looking forward to the debate. I'm not a gun owner . . . yet, but seriously considering it. When I read about the mom who shot the intruder (to protect her children) I thought long and hard about the world we now live in. I would have no problem doing the same if I owned a gun and if my children's lives were at risk. I shudder to think of what might happened had she not had the gun. The second thing that really concerns me is trampling our on Constitution, and I'm grow weary of this Administration doing exactly that. What will that take away from us next. I think the populace should turn in their guns just as soon as the politicians turn in theirs. How about that?

Jenny Twist said...

Very small sample, but it looks like English people are anti-gun and American pro-gun so far. Is this a culture thing, I wonder?

Mary L. Ball said...

I'm always sadden by shootings. It' sickens me that there are people in our world who think nothing about pulling a trigger at another.

Is there a fix for this problem, Yes, but only if the individuals who kill have a change of heart and value life more. The president or congress will not change people by making it harder to have guns.

I'm neither for or against. My husband hunts, therefore there are guns in my house. Do I shoot? No, but I won't dispute the legality of firearms.

It's simple, honest people do what's right, criminals don't. Whether we have guns legally or not makes no difference, if people want to shoot someone, they will find a way to get a gun.

This entire situation is the same as saying we need to outlaw pizza because its make people fat. It isn't the things we posses that harm others, it's how we live with those objects that makes the difference.

We all (yes even the president and congress) need to follow the Lord, that demolishes hate. Hard hearts kill.

Tara Fox Hall said...

It looks like the comments run the gamut so far :) I will address Anonymous's comments about semiauto vs auto. For auto, you can hold down the trigger and the rounds will keep shooting until the clip is empty. For semiauto, the trigger must be pulled to fire each round, and released before firing each round. (

Jenny Twist said...

Hi Mary
Actually, I don't agree with prohibition either as a general rule. The government has no right to tell us what to do, even if it is 'for our own good'. It is the government's job to inform, not prevent. We have a Nanny state in England and I'm sure the day is fast approaching when certain foodstuffs will be outlawed. I am still smarting at the almighty cheek of imposing anti-smoking laws even in places where the proprietors don't agree, their customers don't agree and every measure is taken to ensure the comfort of non-smokers. But I digress. I WOULD advocate a ban on assault weapons and strict licensing controls on guns and other dangerous weapons. I think lethal weapons come into a different category. The government does have a duty to protect the community against criminal activity and should, I believe, not only punish those who attack and kill other people, but do what they can to prevent it happening in the first place.

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