An article I read recently has helped me admit the truth in regards to gun control. There is truly no tragedy bad enough for us to reform our gun laws. So be it. It is a tiresome debate to be sure, and so I wanted to approach it from a different perspective. In fact accepting the fact that people want their guns in this country has helped me ask questions that I might never have asked. So let’s begin.
Let us accept as fact that guns are the best way to ensure safety in the U.S. today, which is full of criminals and people who want to hurt you. Or in other words there are bad guys with guns; you need to be a good guy with a gun. I don’t deny that there are far more good guys with guns than bad. Okay, so you need this gun, whether it is to protect the people you love at home, or you might have to stop a bad guy with a gun in a public place. I hope that it is not too much of an assumption to say that neither side of the gun control debate wants to have crazy people invading their homes or pointing guns in public places wanting to cause harm to others. If you feel you need a gun in the world we live in now, that’s fine, but wouldn’t you like the world to get better? Wouldn’t it be nice to be in a world where you didn’t need that gun? Because let’s face it, a crazy person with a gun wanting to harm people is a stressful situation. Somebody is likely to get hurt anyway before that person can be stopped, and the fright of a crazy person with a gun breaking into your home and being shot in your living room is an ugly sight to all who live there and can be traumatic, even if you were to just scare the intruder away with your gun. So would it be safe to say that all would like to live in a safer world in which a gun wasn’t necessary? It seems reasonable. Again nobody physically wants to take your gun away. I personally have no problems with guns staying in boxes in the corner of your basement, collecting dust because there is never an occasion to use it. Even soldiers at war look forward to a time when they can lay down their weapons and not have to use them again.
Let us also accept the fact that there will always be criminals. This is probably true also. But is it true that crime levels are the same everywhere? Of course it isn’t. There are places with less crime, less homicides, and in some cases a stunningly low amount of guns. Now if we removed the U.S., which is a statistical outlier in terms of gun ownership, we might find that some of the countries with higher gun ownership (still less than half of the U.S. average gun ownership) have low crime. If such societies exist then it seems that we would want to learn about what that society has done to lower crime, especially violent crime, so much. Perhaps it is non-restrictive gun laws, but if gun ownership is 20-30 per 100 people, there are still a large number of people unarmed who could be taken advantage of by a bad guy with a gun, so the answer to their lower crime can’t be entirely gun ownership. And this is aligned with what gun rights activists say, which is that gun control is not a means to make society safe. So given that there are other countries that are safer, shouldn’t we be trying to achieve this type of society and trying to understand why they are safe?
What we’d probably find is that such societies have low economic inequality, good health care, emphasize education and have a high degree of education equality in all of its schools and universities. Non-
restrictive gun ownership laws are likely to be only a partial answer to the solution. The NRA lobbies to make sure gun ownership laws remain unrestricted. They see it as sensible to make sure society is safe. That being said, why isn’t the NRA also one of the biggest lobbies for quality education? Why are they not helping schools in low income areas getting better equipment and teachers to help people in those communities raise themselves out of their poverty? Why aren’t they pushing for more funding to universities to lower tuition and public debt? Why aren’t they using their vast wealth from supporters to create research grants for more research into mental illness? Why aren’t they pushing for educational programs in schools that might help people recognize the signs early of mentally and emotionally unwell children, who when these problems go unaddressed, grow up into teens or adults who have the potential for violent behavior? Why aren’t they pushing for better education about drug use and alcohol while decriminalizing, at the very least, marijuana which gives so much of the population a criminal record impacting their chance for future economic stability? Don’t we want to live in a country where guns are not necessary? Do we want our Generals in the military to be busy, or would we rather live in times of peace?
What seems strange to me is that it is mostly us naïve liberals who are constantly pushing for more money to education, health care, decriminalization of drugs (particularly marijuana), increased money to social services which help at risk youth, etc. So I would like to formally say that I am willing to never speak of gun control again, if those who most vehemently support the 2nd amendment also take up the cause to live in a safer society. You can still have your guns for when the government turns on you to attack you. But just because society is unsafe, doesn’t mean we can’t strive for something better. And there is better out there so let’s fight for that, instead of fighting over gun control. Sound fair?
8 thoughts on “Striving for a better world where you can keep your guns”
I was going to comment that the solution is to move to Australia or Canada; and then I read that you ARE Canadian….. 🙂
You have hit the nail on the head when you reasoned it is economic and social inequalities that drive crime rates up. It never ceases to amaze me when I read of Americans having to fight for healthcare and welfare that is as of right here in Australia. Sadly our current government wants to take all that good and undo it.
Thank you for your kind words and compliment on the post. I have been able to talk a bit with a number of people from Australia since starting my blog and it is remarkable some of the parallels between the U.S. and Australia in a lot of ways. Especially in terms of racism. And now it indeed seems like a lot of the direction they are going in politically is also mirroring the U.S. which I don’t understand because I’d hardly say we are the bench mark for a nation going in the right direction right now!
Interesting Swarn that Australia is mirroring the U.S. There are plenty of countries whom have a greater economic and health value than the US. e.g. Portugal and their drug laws – which cares and works for the people. Denmark…. monetarily even across the board without extreme poverty or the opposite direction, although there are incredibly rich everywhere. Sweden, France to name a few… still kicking myself for not moving back to Europe when much younger as that I grew up in Europe. Making the best of what I have and what I can…..And I, like you Swarn are Canadian, just hatched on Miami Beach lol :~) Cheers Nice to hear you occasionally!
Thank you for your comments as always MicheleElys. I hope you are doing well! I have been away from my blog a lot as I’ve a 6 month old is a bit exhausting even though I think he is probably easier than some. It’s rewarding though! I’ll be able to blog a bit more once the semester starts and I’m not longer a stay at home dad! 🙂
Happy Good being with your son!!
Hello Swarn, I wondered why I had not heard from you!! Great blog on Gun Control. And this gun issue has me in a psychological quandary! I have never studied those who carry guns around Home Depot and recent restaurants, I saw this as extremely childish and know most children would not carry a loaded gun into a public place. Maybe it is the only internal power they feel of self authority.
I wish we were a gun free society, however if this meant losing constitutional rights, then there would be an uproar on all rights, freedom of speech for one. We seem to have a senseless egotistical brain when enacting a degree of personal power, for some. Watching the NRA interviews via Jon Stewart show shows how beleaguered the thought process has lowered itself in running the NRA.
However they are not part of educational values, listen to the interviews. this becomes sadly apparent.
The end result are that many who are less education (whether academia or streets smarts) utilize guns for a degree of power or protection. if there were no guns what would we be protecting ourselves against?
Someone coming into our house. I have a dog, not one wishes to bother with her. No one gets hurt. But a trigger happy, fearsome person would pull out a gun and shoot. this is where everything goes array.
The phrase is “how uncommon common sense is?”
And then there are the situations where children shoot up other children out of extreme rage. This is anguish in our society.
I was a military child, my father had a gun in a drawer and I knew never to touch it. He was a commander – with the red phone by the bed side and saw several wars, never uttering a word.
I could see the hidden angst in his eyes, but he hid this from the family and most likely wished to forget what occurred in those wars.
Once you spill another person’s blood, it is something one never forgets! (for the integral person)
I think we would have to sit and have a discussion with those who feel they need a gun to carry around, and why? But I am not interested in speaking to such an individual, my time is more valuable helping those recovering from trauma.
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