All That Remains’ Phil Labonte on ‘Frustrating’ Gun Debate: ‘Just Passing a Law to Pass a Law Isn’t a Good Idea’
The public outcry has been deafening after the Parkland school shooting last week. Many Americans seem to agree that something needs to be done to change gun control laws. But what that "something" is has been on Phil Labonte's mind, and the All That Remains singer feels that there are no easy answers.
The vocalist addresses the topic in the video above, and while he understands the public outcry, he delves a little deeper and explains why many of the suggestions tossed out so far still fail to take care of the problems.
“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," says the singer.
He continues, "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."
The exasperated singer adds, “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 added. “It’s not gonna happen. You’re not gonna get people to turn in their guns."
The vocalist also posits, "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."
Labonte says he doesn't have the answer, but he does feel that there are people out there with ideas that are good and worth listening to, and most of those people "understand guns a little bit."
He continues, "A semi-auto is a semi-auto. 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."
He later adds, "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, it’s not a popular opinion.”
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