firearms in america
The shot heard round the world, one of the most known historical events in American history. In essence you could say Americas' beginning was founded on the action of people defending their rights using weapons that could cause death or injury. If those were not available at the time or the early citizens had followed the demands of the royal family, how would America be today? We have seen countries that have already instituted rules of gun ownership and how that has taken effect over long period of time. Society as a whole could just have a culture of violence but a way to defend ones safety should be a top priority. When a persons safety is threatened, a proper response is needed. Not everyone can overcome a person twice their size with intimidation but with weapons, it acts like an equalizer for anyone from an old lady living alone to a housewife that is pregnant trying to protect her family. There are solid arguments from both sides of the isle for gun control and against, but the only thing that will weigh the options are the cold hard facts. Certain political parties refuse to accept the facts because they feel their feelings are more valuable. But a saying that is heard a lot "facts don't care about your feelings". Following rules based on feelings can lead a country down a very slippery slope on how it will ruin itself.
Several countries have current control measures that have removed guns from the hands of civilians. Even though these measures have taken place, other problems have emerged from the change. In the United Kingdom, handguns were outlawed from civilian hands in 1996 after the Dunblane School massacre. Sporting rifles and shotguns were still allowed but under strict licensing. The problem with a ban and registration is that is exactly how the Nazis in World War II were able to track down the gun owners and execute them once they were in Poland. They knew exactly where to go and who owned what weapons. This is why America has always opposed a full gun registration. The United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and Australia have all take measure for gun control but have left themselves wide open. "Registration makes it easy for a tyrannical government to confiscate firearms and make prey of its subjects". ("Nazi Repression of Firearms Owners").
Is it possible that a culture issue is the reason why gun violence is so prevalent? "...enforcement and culture may also play important roles in preventing violence." ("Four countries with gun control-and what America could learn from them"). In todays' society we praise the killing of babies in the womb all the way up to birth, disrespect of the governmental authority, sex is everywhere in the media for the young to see, religion that teaches morals and values is looked down upon in the name of atheism, and the family unit isn't as strong as it once was. When the youth has no solid foundation of ethics and morals, the personality will develop however way it will based on its surroundings. Without order there is chaos and that could contribute to the issue of a culture that will destroy itself. Society has lost its value on life and do not treasure it like it should be. "Liberals argue that legal restrictions on gun ownership could save lives. Conservatives say that tougher gun laws would do nothing to change the behavior of violent criminals." ("Four countries with gun control-and what America could learn from them").
American cities have already implemented gun control laws but haven't completely eradicated gun violence. As of today this year, Chicago has some of the strictest gun control laws but there is still gun related crimes. "In Chicago, 424 people have been killed this year. That is 48 fewer than 2018" (chicagotribune.com). Like stated before it is not necessarily a law issue but a cultural one. You have to start at the foundation of why these problems occur. "The majority of the victims of homicide in Chicago are young, black men" (chicagotribune.com). The cities that do have the gun control measures in place are not separating that fact that suicides account for most of the deaths. They do not create a separation of the result, just that an even occurred with a gun. "Gun fatalities include homicides, accidents, and suicides" (Frohlich and Harrington).
When violence is the root of the issue, taking the guns away from ordinary citizens that follow the law will not solve the issue. Changing the rules on the law abiding citizens just makes them a sitting duck for the criminal. Criminals do not follow the law no matter what rules are set in place. Gun deaths have decreased in Great Britain since the hand gun ban in 1996 but violent crimes with knives have increased dramatically. This statistic should show that it is not a gun issue but a cultural or mental issue. Guns are not the problem but the people who use them are. "Knife-related homicides took 285 lives in England and Wales from March 2017 to March 2018 - a record since data collection began in 1946." (Hjelmgaard). You can see anywhere on the media that Great Britain is working to try to get knives off the street like guns but it shows to be difficult. People can be very creative when their mind is set on the destruction of another. Any means necessary becomes the idea when looking for a weapon to create violence. "Unlike the USA, where guns are tied to many deaths, only 4% of homicides here last year were from shootings; 39% were from "sharp instruments," the top weapon" (Hjelmgaard).
Citizens with no firearms make them vulnerable and unable to provide for self defense. At one time in the USA, gun safety was taught in schools for children to have an understanding and respect of firearms. In the 1950s, gun safety was taught in schools to children to help decrease their curiosity and the possibility of accidentally discharging the firearm and shooting themselves or a family member. The political left wants to do anything in order to "save the children" then this program should be reinstated to save as many as can be saved when they get curious with the parents weapon. If they have a true understanding of the repercussions of what a gun can do they will possibly be cautious on playing with their fathers gun. "The earlier a kid learns to respect a gun and what not to do with it the better chance natural curiosity won't get him in trouble." (Cosgrove).
Teaching about gun safety in the home makes the home safer and when the young become adults they understand how they can defend themselves. There is a respect given to the weapon and when used in self defense, thought is given to what actions it is they are taking. Citizens with personal firearms have the opportunity to defend themselves or their loved ones no matter what the size of the offender. "The "good guy with a gun" does indeed exist, whether that good guy be law enforcement officers or armed civilians who exercise their natural right of self-defense when law enforcement can't be there quick enough to intervene" (Swearer and Smith). It is not always guaranteed that law enforcement can be there in time to stop the offender. People using the argument that we do not need guns in the hands of civilians because we have the police is like saying we don't need fire extinguishers because we have fireman. It is a precautionary measure that we would rather have and not need it then need it and not have it. A citizen exercising their second amendment right, gives them an equalizer in the case of an attack. No concealed carrier wants to use their weapon but is happy it's there when they need it. "The Rev. Allen Henderson, 64, was found unresponsive outside St. Paul Lutheran Church in Fort Dodge on Wednesday night. He was pronounced dead at a hospital with injuries consistent with an assault." (Mathews)
Does it seem like there is a political agenda on the gun control issue? America has been a country that has cherished its rights for over 200 years and suddenly people are wanting to put great restrictions on what you can do with them. Recently even a presidential candidate stated on a debate he was going to "come for your AR15 and AK47" all in the name of safety. This is a blatant disregard for constitutional rights. Ben Franklin has a famous quote that states, "those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
It would seem there is an agenda to implicate reasons on why your guns should be taken. If anyone is to do the simple research and see that the statistics for gun violence are not separated to the action it would seem like it is a major problem. Gun statistics are skewed and do not distinguish between homicide and suicide."It's used to manipulate people's opinions about firearm homicide by including firearm suicide in the data without making that inclusion explicitly clear" (Campbell). Why would you not want to know about a firearm being used for self harm and violence on another person. Maybe because it would show that with suicide, the major problem is mental health. This would cause the public to have to take responsibility for their own actions instead of blaming it on an inanimate object.
Can we say there is a reason why politicians are pushing so much for a control measure that is as strict as the Nazis were with the Jews? It may never come out to the public but it does give suspicion on what the political elites are up to. Maybe they want to take the guns because what they want to do will get them shot. When the masses become unarmed, the leaders have nothing to fear. "The left of center media is standing on a pile of dead professional aged men, who took their own lives, and is using their deaths to push a rifle agenda completely unrelated to their deaths" (Campbell).
Even though guns may be a tool used for suicide, that is not the reason for the suicide. If we were to put more into mental health of the general public we could possibly prevent many deaths from occurring. Suicide deaths by firearms by far out number firearm violence such as murders and assaults."Though they tend to get less attention than gun-related murders, suicides have long accounted for the majority of U.S. gun deaths" (Gramlich). If we have a situation of great proportions, why haven't we addressed the issue instead of ignoring it. If you try to take away the gun just as the brits did, other weapons will be formed. Firearms are not the only way to end life, and certainly there are other ways that are just as quick. Maybe it would be harder to make the general public take responsibility for their actions instead of blaming others.
Alcohol always plays a part as well for suicides. Alcohol is available to the general public and a great contributor for suicide but it is not a thought to recreate prohibition because it would be a multi million dollar industry brought to an immediate hault. "Mental disorders and harmful use of alcohol contribute to many suicides around the world" (Who.int).
Personal responsibility seems to be the root of the issue so why is there never programs or something to help improve what is happening. Maybe because it is about what is the easiest route to take. It's almost like putting a band aid on a broken arm.
The gun issue will always be a sensitive subject on the media front. There will always be those that would rather keep their guns in the name of safety and those that would proudly have them taken away for a more utopian environment. It is very hard to pry the guns away from a country that was founded on the idea that is has all the freedoms to defend itself from evil when the need would come. Society as a whole needs to help reinforce a better environment where we value life, we value each other. In the past, society as a whole had a greater value for life, the trivial things of today were big back then. Society was a little happier and kinder to each other. People rethought about harm or violence more to one another. There is a reason why people always reminisce of old times of how it use to be. A time when people were a little bit happier, a little bit kinder and willing to help each other more. We didn't have cellphones to start recording violence, instead we stepped up to help the one in trouble.
Campbell, BJ. "The Left Is Making the Wrong Case on Gun Deaths. Here's a Better Case." Medium
Cosgrove, Ben, "Portraits of Schoolkids Learning Firearm Safety in Rural Indiana, 1956" Time
"Four countries with gun control - and what America could learn from them" Purdue University
Frohlich, Thomas and Harrington, John. "States with the most (and least) gun violence. See where your state stacks up." USA Today
Gramlich, John. "What the data says about gun deaths in the U.S." Pew Research Center
Halbrook, Stephen, "Nazi Repression of Firearms Owners." Independent Institute
Hjelmgaard, Kim. "Britain's 'pervasive horror of knife crime' reaches recorder number of stabbing homicides" USA Today
Mathews, David. nydailynews
The Chicago Tribune. "Tracking Chicago Homicide Victims" The Chicago Tribune, 21 October 2019
World Health Organiation. "10 Facts on Mental Health"