Tuesday, 18 December 2012

The Right to Own a Firearm?

As a father of two children my thoughts and condolences have been with the parents of those children that were savagely and unbelievably shot and killed by a deranged young man in America on Friday. The grief that the community of Newtown, Connecticut is currently experiencing is simply unimaginable. It is the type of terrible occurrence that will be hard ever to come to terms with.

The bravery of the children and there teachers, some so young, will be remembered for ever and the actions of these teachers undoubtably saved the lives of many others you will be forever grateful.

This incident, the second worse of its kind, in American history has once again sparked the gun debate. It is over issues such as gun ownership and religion that reveals how polarised the political opinions of the American people really are.

It makes me question who actually runs the country. It was suggested on the radio that the NRA (National Rifle Association) wields so much lobbying power that to cross this particular group would result in political suicide. For a president seeking reelection this would give pause for thought. Obama is now in his second term, what has he to lose? Well, he still has 4 years. 4 years to try and implement changes that he believes in. Upsetting a policies lobbying group may well prevent him achieving what he sees as important work. So, who runs America?

http://hereandnow.wbur.org/files/2012/12/1217_gun-control-624x416.jpg


Many Americans own a gun, some of these are simple single shot hand guns but a growing number of residents are upgrading to semi automatics and assault rifles. Why the hell would you want an assault rifle? To shoot people that might threaten your family? Does that happen often to families in their own homes, perhaps if everyone owns a gun.

The NRA say that guns don't kill people, people kill people. They also claim how the mentally ill are treated is the major issue, that 'normal' citizens don't kill others. I guess they have a bit of a point. However, the issue is that society will always contain a few people who will flip and attempt to do acts so unimaginable, but clearly if they have easy access to a gun then the chances of them succeeding is so much greater.

People do kill people but to do lots of killing a weapon is needed.

For me the issue is cut and dried. The right to own a firearm should be scrapped, or at least more tightly controlled. It won't stop all these incidents but it should dramatically reduce them.

The trouble for America is two fold;

  1. The rights of the American are very important to the average person. Removing one of these rights has the potential to be very damaging for the fabric of society.
  2. There are just so many guns, mostly legally owned, just how do you get them out of circulation? Ordinary people in ordinary neighbourhoods have spent hard earned cash to buy these - why should they be forced to given them up.
Being brave and instigating tighter gun controls might be the easy thing. Finding a way to apply it is we're it gets harder.

Come on America - do the right thing.

 

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