Gun control in the US

5 Mar

The issue of gun control in America is very controversial.

Many democratized countries do not allow as many freedoms regarding weapons as the United States does.  Lets look at the facts.

 

According to the Washington Post The United States has the world’s highest gun ownership rate. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/nation/gun-homicides-ownership/table/  (much of this information can be verified through other sources as well including Wikipedia)

 

The United States also has the highest murder rate by use of a gun in the world as well.

(I would venture to say that in reality the United States is number two because China skews their data)

 

The state with the highest gun ownership rate is Kentucky.  Kentucky has 2.7 gun murders for every 100,000 people in the state.  The District of Colombia and Florida have the highest gun murders per 100,000 people it’s 21.8 and 10.2 respectively.

 

If there was a direct correlation between gun ownership rates and gun murders than the number two and three highest countries (and states) for gun ownership should also be the highest countries with murders by guns. But they are not.

 

The country that has the second highest murder rate with a gun is India, according to the Post article. India ranks 110th in the world as the country with the most gun ownership, 110 is nowhere near the top ten.

 

Switzerland is ranked number 3 as far as gun rate ownership but its ranked number 45 in the world as far as murders with a gun. 

 

Switzerland is a very different country than America.  It is more of a direct democracy than any other country in the world.  Furthermore all male citizens are required to serve in the military (you should be thinking, Switzerland is always neutral in wars why do they need an army? -for peace keeping missions and incase they do get invaded).  Females can chose whether or not to serve in the military.  If you served in the military in Switzerland by law you have to keep your gun that was issued by the military in your home.  That being said Switzerland was one of the only countries that wasn’t invaded during WWI and WWII.  What person in their right mind wants to invade a country in which every male citizen has guns?

 

 

America does have a big problem with violence.  Prisons and jails are a huge private business in this country and we imprison more of our population than most “civilized” countries. 

 

According to the NY Times “the U.S. has 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners” (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/23/world/americas/23iht-23prison.12253738.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 )

 

Why do we have the right to own a gun in the United States?  Think about it.  Our founding fathers rebelled against their initial government, overthrew it, and replaced it with one of their choosing.  The reason we overthrew the British government was because they we over taxing us and not letting the colonists participate in any real democracy. Our founding fathers called the British a ”Tyrannical Government”.  England was, and is, a Constitutional Monarchy but the colonists were not allowed to fully participate in that democracy making their relationship with England as a victim of tyranny.

 

The right to bear arms stems from this.  The reason the American people have the right to bear arms is to prevent tyranny and oppression from our government.

 

Shotguns, rifles, and handguns are allowed in America. Most European countries do not allow handguns at all.  Shotguns and rifles are allowed for hunting, sport and collecting but in many countries are very hard to get permits for. 

 

There were more limits on guns in the United States but those limits expired and now we are faced with the challenge of what to do regarding guns.  In theory we should be allowed to own any and all types of guns according to the 2nd amendment.  However the United States also has a huge problem with violence also.  We have the highest murder rate with a gun in the world.  Of course that statistic can’t be 100% accurate because China’s data isn’t as reliable as we want it to be, plus the fact that China has more state sponsored executions and those fall under a different category.  If we include the people that were executed by guns by the Chinese government as gun murder than China would have a big lead on the U.S. for number of gun murders a year.

 

According to data from the World Health Organization the United States is in the top four in the world for neuropsychiatric conditions, along with Brazil, Chile, and Argentina.  China follows not too far behind the top four.  This could help to explain our strong affinity towards violence and homicide.

 

We are not the only country that has citizens that go on awful murder sprees but it is more frequent in the United States than any other country.  Out of the worst 19 mass shooting sprees in the world America has 10 of those.  Finland, Norway, Azerbaijan, Germany, Australia, and England are on the list as well.  The list does not include the tragedy that happened in New Town, CT.  Although it does mention in 1996 in Scotland there was a similar situation to New Town, a man killed 43 people including 16 kindergartners.  This information can be found in an article from a New Jersey radio station, http://nj1015.com/a-look-at-the-deadliest-mass-shootings-worldwide/ .

 

Reading about these tragedies makes me want to do anything to prevent them.  Including banning most guns but this would be wrong.  The reason these mass shooting occur is because we do not take mental health seriously enough.  Most of the sickos that have gone on shooting rampages in the U.S. would most likely have found another way if there were no guns.  Meaning they would make a bomb or something just as horrifying.

 

We should however, definitely be more restrictive with who can own a firearm.  People with mental health issues and criminals should not be allowed to own a gun.  This is a violation of their second amendment right but the rights of the whole are always greater than the rights of the one in this country, and the same reason you can’t scream fire in a crowded movie theater.  Guns sold at gun shows and private owners would have to be held to the same restrictions and regulations as gun stores and retailers that sell firearms.  Background checks should be revised to be more thorough.  All of this only really affects the law-abiding people though.  Most criminals do not care what laws or punishments entail and although we want them to be a deterrent many times they are not.

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