With the spate of shootings across the USA over the recent years the laws surrounding the ease of avaliability and the use of weapons has been called into question multiple times. But why is it that after so much violence that the country refuses to make any changes to their gun control laws?
America’s love of the gun is most probably seen the best through their long history, from their war of independence to the Wild West to the shooting ranges of the modern era.
The right to bear arms or the right to bear arms?
The biggest defence in not changing gun laws is that the right to own them is protected through the second amendment in the declaration of independence.
The ‘right to bear arms’ has been the biggest challenge to advocates who say that the laws of the 1700’s need updating in 21st century society. Those with power, who support this right, say that the law does not need to change because if it did then they would be giving up their power and therefore be showing their “weakness” through their association that power comes with holding a deadly weapon.
If one state has stricter gun laws and a neighboring state doesn’t, people will just get their guns from there.
— Dan Shive (@dantheshive) July 5, 2015
However, this has not stopped them from doing it in the past. In 1933 the 18th amendment, that prohibited ‘the manufacturing or sale of alcohol within the United States’, was repealed so that only ‘[t]he transportation or importation […] of intoxicating liquors’ was made illegal so that alcohol was allowed to be created throughout the country.
If they have changed an amendment before then they can do it again. But, it may rob them of their perceived idea of “power” through their association of being masculine with firing guns like the cowboys did in the Wild West. And their insecurities of giving up this power causes them to force themselves more, which causes the advocates for gun control to force themselves more so it becomes an endless spiral until one big event breaks the spiral. But with so much gun crime lately, is that cycle close to ending?
Chances are no.
Guns don’t kill people, people kill people
With the recent gun crime in America, the most recent being the Charleston shootings in South Carolina, becoming more common (or at least given more media coverage) it is causing organisations such as the NRA (National Rifle Association) to become more outspoken as to their belief that the country should become more armed in order for people to protect themselves. However, with more weapons becoming available than it is only more likely that gun related violence will increase.
This is easily seen from looking at statistics about gun crime in America, where it is legal to carry guns, and other countries like the UK, where it is illegal to carry guns. The Brady Campaign, an organisation formed to help prevent gun violence in America, conducted a study and found that ‘31 Americans are murdered with guns every day and 151 are treated for a gun assault in an emergency room.’ While in the UK, the Office for National Statistics found that ‘handguns were fired in 9% of the 2,130 offences in which they were used (197 offences).’
Do you think that it’s possible that they overlooked that if guns become strictly controlled than gun crime would drop as it would become a lot harder for anyone to obtain a gun?
— Jake Adelstein/中本哲史 (@jakeadelstein) June 29, 2015
America, we love you, but sometimes you make it very hard for us to do so. Just use some common sense once in a while, and see that some of the things that you do don’t make much sense.