Usually, my blog posts would have some kind of structure and my title would be very concise and may involve some kind of word play. However, for this post, I need to just say what's on my mind in regards to the USA and their views on guns following the most recent shootings occurring last week.
There have been far too many incidents in the last few years in the USA where a gunman has walked into a school/college or wherever it may be and opened fire on people inside and almost always ended with them shooting themselves afterwards. To be honest, whilst these are sad occurrences, I actually feel more angry than sad because of the American reaction when this happens. I see plenty of stories in the news that are bleak or sad but they never really get to me because it's pretty much what I have come to expect from the news.
There are some Americans who use these incidents to call for tighter restrictions on gun laws and this latest incident has sparked a reaction from Barack Obama which is good. However, it also tends to remind me how many gun supporting American people exist and social media has only extended the ways in which you can hear these opinions. I am not even going to sugarcoat this at all so I will say, if you are an American and you don't think there is any need to change gun laws then you must be stupid. I usually wouldn't be that blunt with a statement like that but it's just how I really feel. There are opinions people may have on some topics that I would disagree with but I can accept their view. However, I can't with this.
Every time I read an article or comment that gives a "pro" of guns, it's always filled with the same kind of comments. Comments I have read so many times from people with blind faith in guns. They discuss freedom and protection mainly which is the ultimate irony. I read these comments and I feel like that have to be a parody or something satirical, much like an episode of South Park that feature stereotypical gun-toting rednecks.
Where else can you start other than the Constitution? This is the set of governing rules that includes the rule that says that Americans have the right to bear arms, to legally own a gun. This is a 200 year old rule that many Americans will quote blindly when a shooting incident occurs without taking into account that rules need to change to reflect the times. Maybe the rules were made in relation to hunting or in response to any British attempt to reclaim the USA as a territory. The hunting makes sense because at that time, a lot of the US was open space and they wouldn't have built thriving cities with sky high towers in the early years. Either way, the US is made up of well-built up towns and cities and I'm pretty sure they don't need to fight off a British invasion. The only change that seems to have been made to it is make it harder for people to get guns with background checks and waiting periods beforehand. In theory, that should help a lot, only giving dangerous weapons to dependable people but many of the shooters of recent years have been cleared with no history of mental illness.
Straying slightly away from the shootings, let's take a moment to talk about the US Police. Now, it makes sense that they always carry guns on them but they seem to be too reliant on them. If you look at British police, they are not given guns or even tasers unless they have a pre-planned mission to deal with a dangerous person or group of people. This means that the British police have to chase, catch and wrestle with these criminals, bringing them to justice without causing major bodily harm. In the US, it seems that using guns on criminals is the first instinct and while it can help 'encourage' criminals to freeze, it means the police will probably use little effort to catch a criminal if they decide to flee resorting to shooting them, often dead. The only kind of instances like this in places like the UK occurs is when the criminal has a weapon and can cause serious damage to the general public.
That brings me to my next point, the next argument for pro guns that I detest. Some will say that people in America will get guns even if they are banned, it won't stop them being used. To a certain extent, they are right. There is gun crime in Britain, Australia and other places where guns are banned because people have gone to great lengths to illegally acquire that gun. Anybody who goes to those lengths to acquire a gun is obviously planning to use it whether it is for murder or robbery but those are special instances. In America, you could legally own a gun and could one day decide to commit a crime. For example, if somebody with a clear past was struggling to feed their family, they may decide to commit an armed robbery. If they have the gun readily available to them, they can carry out the crime right away. Otherwise, they would have to illegally attain the gun in which time, they may decide that it is no longer worth the risk.
By banning guns, you won't stop gun crime but you would stop massacres. If somebody wanted to illegally attain a gun, there is a possibility their attempt may be intercepted by police. Banning guns would make it clear that anybody who then tries to get a gun is most likely acquiring it for criminal reasons and so if they were found out, they could be stopped. Instead, people have guns that they call upon at anytime. In the heat of arguments, fist fights may break out amongst people. While these can be fatal, these usually end with wounds and the fighters being apprehended. If you have a gun in the heat of the moment, you may call upon that to end the fight straight away but more than likely end a life. If people in the UK were allowed guns, these fist fights would probably descend into a shooting incident but because people don't have that option, these fights aren't often fatal. There was a recent article about a young boy shooting and killing a young girl with a shotgun simply because they had a disagreement. Without the gun being available, the boy would have probably resorted to hair pulling and may well have dealt physical abuse but surely not to that extent.
Finally, comes the argument that Americans need guns for their own protection......from people with guns. It's pretty much the same as countries with nuclear weapons. Top countries spend millions (probably billions) on improving their nuclear weapons which, in theory, they will never use. Countries keep their nuclear weapons to deter other countries from using their nuclear weapons. Right now, this actually works. It doesn't work in the USA though. Americans need guns in case they come across someone who has a gun, that should deter everybody from ever having to fire a gun by their logic. This has led to some ridiculous comments that guns need to be made more readily available to the American public in order to protect from guns with one suggestion from a pastor that the kids should have had guns. It's an endless, ludicrous cycle of guns being given as a means of stopping people with guns. Now, I'm sure there are instances of people breaking into houses only to be threatened by the homeowner with a gun which prevents the crime. However, if nobody is legally allowed to have a gun, then fewer people would have guns to attempt burglaries. Like I said, that won't stop people having guns or stop people committing crimes but these instances would occur less often and if a burglary did take place, it could at least not end with a fatality. The most determined criminals will find a way but give anyone a gun and they could readily use it for crime if they desired.
Ultimately, gun control won't mean that there is never another gun crime in the USA but if you compare the US with countries where guns are banned, you'll see a huge difference in the number of instances that take place. I find it very unlikely that the laws in the USA will change and I fear that any presidential candidate who supports the use of guns will be the more popular candidate among Americans rather than those who oppose it. I'm not going to end this in a very politically correct way. Instead, I'll repeat what I said earlier; if you are an American and you don't think there is any need to change gun laws then you must be stupid.