I’m going to weigh in on the gun question.
I do this in the secure knowledge that I, more than likely, am completely wrong in many ways, which some people will go to great lengths to point out.
So before I start, may I draw your attention to my disclaimer here and repeat once more, I’m just thinking aloud.
I’m not trying to solve anything, sell anything, change anything or promote anything. I’m just pondering, in public, out loud.
Stop and listen, go about your business, it’s up to you.
I welcome all/any comments, but understand this, my response to all questions will be,
‘You’re probably right’,
so feel free to ponder aloud yourselves, but don’t expect anything other than,
‘You’re probably right’
As far as I can tell, there’s one big argument that the second amendment gives the citizens a right to bear arms.
The wording is:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Now the way I read this is, in the context of a well regulated militia, people have the right to bear arms.
Let’s put the definition of militia to the side, I think the important bit is right there.
If you can honestly argue that gun sales in the US are well regulated, you can have this argument.
If you don’t, hand on heart, think it is well regulated, untwist your knickers and let the lawmakers properly debate it, what have you got to lose, the NRA owns most of them anyway. But at least then, you can see where the politicians stand and you can vote accordingly at the next opportunity.
If you believe in the second amendment so fiercely, you should be applauding all attempts to regulate the sale of arms, not throwing a hissy fit if anyone so much as mentions background checks…
But beyond this and ignoring this for a moment, instead of thinking about the what, I want to ponder for a moment on the why?
Why would you write this into the basic rules for your society?
It shows an unhealthy preoccupation with violence
It shows an unhealthy distrust of what is supposedly a democratic system.
Now, a few things immediately pop up in my mind.
It’s almost as if they designed a system they thought was foolproof (the constitution) and then they noticed that people were somehow cheating the system, so they panicked and added some extra bits (the amendments). Just in case this government gets out of hand, let’s just make sure we can stop them.
Could it be that the very nature of the creation of this society led to where they are now? Maybe Americans are more violent by nature and nurture? Now we could go through an entire colonialism discussion, but I’m going to bypass that and show empathy with the pilgrims and those who followed in their footsteps.
People with a history of persecution arrive in a country, find the current inhabitants scary and so react in fear. The sort of people who venture out into the unknown carrying everything they have, protecting their entire world from the indigenous animals and inhospitable terrain/climate they encounter along the way. Remember, only the fiercest survived.
Our ancestors’ ability to survive is the one thing that links every person alive on the earth today.
Is it any wonder that one of the first things they looked at, once the important stuff was over, was,
‘right, we need an army to make sure no-one can persecute us again’.
However, societies must adapt and evolve.
Clinging onto an old idea, simply because sitting down and thinking about something new is just too hard, that’s no way to go about things.
If the right to bear arms is so vitally important to life these days, how is it that many, many, many countries don’t need it?
Why is it that people who don’t insist that everyone is entitled to be armed actually turn out to be a lot safer than those who do?
Firearms per 100 People (2007)
Council on Foreign Relations (Data: Small Arms Survey)
Firearm Homicides per 100,000 People (2013)
Jonathan Masters and Julia Ro (Data: gunpolicy.org, University of Sydney)
You can start an argument about statistics, but come on…do you honestly think there is no correlation here?
No other rich western country comes close
Shown are Western countries that have G.D.P. per capita over $25,000 and that make statistics on gun homicides available.
Sources: Small Arms Survey (2007–12 average); World Bank
So, instead of focusing on what the second amendment says, how about addressing the other possible underlying why? The distrust of a democratic system that they designed. Get a system you can trust, so you don’t have to feel safe by having a gun in the bedside cabinet. Sort out your ‘democracy’ so that you’re not afraid the government are going to kill you all in your beds one day!
Maybe I’m naïve.
How this system should look? I have no thoughts on that, absolutely no idea, that’s for another day.
Now, I only recently read up on the Australian model of gun control
(some info below:
and I wondered, could that work in the USA if everyone unclenched and thought rationally about it for a minute?
Surely you can’t let this go on?
I want to step briefly to address the mental health side of things; no solution to this can be found by withdrawing funding.
So, dear toddler-in-chief, if you truly believe addressing mental health issues is the key to stopping these incidents, don’t slash the funding and don’t make it easier for them to buy guns.