Earlier today, we published a message written by Lamb of God frontman Randy Blythe about how there needs to be some form of gun control passed, in light of the recent high school shooting in Florida that left 17 people killed.
In the interest of sharing both sides of the perspective, All That Remains frontman, and avid gun enthusiast, Phil Labonte posted his own video message in recent days discussing the gun control debate. Blabbermouth were nice enough to transcribe, and essentially Labonte's argument is, even if you ban the AR-15, there would still be shootings. Here's an excerpt:
"The debate's frustrating, at least on the Internet, because you've got people that don't know what they're talking about saying, 'Do something.' Well, what is the 'something'? If it's just to pass laws, what are you gonna do? What's the law? So people say, 'Well, ban the AR-15 [assault rifle].' Well, [the gunman in the] Virginia Tech [shooting], he used handguns, and there was an assault weapons ban when Columbine was done, and those are just two right off the top of my head that I know they didn't use an AR-15. So then people say, 'Well, [ban the] semiautomatics. No one needs a rifle. They're for the military.' Well, most of your handguns are semiautomatic — most of the modern handguns. Sure, there are revolvers out there, but the vast majority of handguns that people carry or have in their home for self-defense, they're semiauto. And again, Virginia Tech and Coumbine — semiautomatic handguns. A semiautomatic pistol is gonna be able to do the same thing that a semiautomatic rifle is gonna be able to do. So you try to talk about it and explain that to people, and the only thing they wanna hear is, 'Okay, we're gonna do something.' But what is that something? If the 'something' is you wanna ban a certain type of gun, it's not gonna fix anything, it's not gonna stop the problems that we have with people attacking soft-target schools and stuff."
While the shootings at schools that used handguns would still have taken place, it would still prevent a whole hell of a lot of other shootings. The NRA even calls the AR-15 the "most popular rifle in America" with over 8 million in the States.
Labonte goes on to say that beyond the gun control debate, there was plenty of other room for error in this shooting:
"One of the things that drives me nuts about [the latest Florida shooting] is everything failed. The FBI failed, and there was a police officer who was armed on the campus. He wasn't there. The kid got his guns legally. What do you do when everything goes wrong?
"I don't know that this is gonna help anyone, help their opinion, but if you're talking about doing something, look, if you're serious about it, you're gonna have to be able to amend the Constitution, you're gonna have to get rid of the Second Amendment, you're probably gonna have to get rid of 350 million guns," he continued. "It's not gonna happen. You're not gonna get people to turn in their guns. People talk about Australia and their confiscation, their buyback, whatever the program… you wanna call it. I think it's something like two-thirds of the people in Australia just kept their guns and kept quiet about it. I suppose if they go and shoot, they go out in the outback, in the desert or whatever, if they do. I don't know how they get their ammo or whatever, but they're still out there. And in America, where there's way more people and there's way more guns, you're gonna have results that you're less than happy with.
"I'm not saying that I know the answer, 'cause I don't," he added. "But I do know that there are people out there that have ideas that are good and worth listening to, and they're usually people that understand guns a little bit, there's people that are actually looking for a solution and understand. A semiauto is a semiauto. If you ban an AR-15, it's not gonna do anything. And just passing a law just to pass a law isn't a good idea, especially one that weakens the Bill Of Rights. I think the Bill Of Rights is important. The government has been doing too many things that infringe on people's rights, and that's not just about the Second Amendment.
"I'm sure if you follow me on Twitter or on Facebook, you've seen me talk about civil asset forfeiture and how horrible I think that program is. I'm not a fan of the Patriot Act. I don't like the NSA spying. I don't like the idea of the federal government being able to just snatch up people without due process. And I don't think that empowering the government to just confiscate guns just because is a good idea. And I understand that nowadays, or specifically now, although it's not a popular opinion."
I admire that Labonte at least admits that while he doesn't think banning guns is the solution, he's not sure what is. We have to start somewhere. At the very least, there need to be more checks put in place before you can buy a gun. There is this misconception that "gun control" = "take away everybody's gun." Why not start slow and perhaps put more checks in place to ensure the person buying a gun doesn't have any mental illness? This is something the Trump administration put a stop to.
There is a big problem with guns in this country (as well as mental health) and change has to start somewhere.