Posted by : Jonny Brighton Thursday, 7 November 2013
A bit of background:
Last night (6th November 2013) in a shooting at a Detroit barber shop, gunmen in Chevrolet Impalas shot ten people, killing two.
Lorne Carter, 48, a witness to the shooting stated that around “30-40 shots were fired” and that they “sounded rapid”.
The victims were rushed to multiple nearby hospitals, one arriving in critical condition.
"I can't even imagine what would cause this type of violence," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.
Neither can I. How, in a country where guns are readily available (you can open a bank account and get a free gun), would this kind of act be caused? In a country that has been in and out of conflicts over the last hundred years, whose constitution condones the creation of militias, and that allows the ownership of all kinds of arms, you’d expect better behavior really.
*Please note my sarcasm.
The Second Amendment is at fault for the deaths and injuries of these ten people. It is also responsible for the deaths of the children in the Connecticut Sandy Hook shootings, the Virginia Tech shootings of 2007, Columbine 1999… The list goes on. How can the largest, richest and most ‘developed’ country on the planet be so backward and stubborn?
As I understand, the Second Amendment was implemented at a time where guns were slow to use, inaccurate and generally poor pieces of equipment. They took a lifetime to reload and were therefore simply for use in times of severe distress or danger; i.e. they would protect a citizen from harm or danger (providing he was accurate). Now guns in the US are a well-established, $33 billion dollar industry that produces nearly 10 million guns yearly that are well-developed, designed and made killing machines.
Now of course not every American with a gun is going to massacre a school or start a fight in their local launderette, but the figures say a thousand words:
|Number of arms-related deaths by year in the USA|
Between 8,000 and 10,000 deaths per year by firearms? And the NRA endorse them? I’m not surprised they say ‘from my cold dead hands’ when referring to the loss of their guns with those kinds of figures.
Not only that, but according to an article by the Washington Post there has been almost one ‘mass shooting’ per month since 2009. Shootings aren’t supposed to be a common, monthly ordeal, they’re supposed to never happen – these figures are totally unacceptable for a country that tries to be the definition of civilized.
Furthermore the way shootings are reported makes them sound like natural disasters; as if they are just another terrible occurrence that happens every so often and can’t be stopped. But they CAN be stopped. Australia is the perfect case study. After Conservative Prime Minister John Howard called the banning of guns in 1996 (after a shooting in Port Arthur), there was an uproar from the gun owners and gun clubs about how it was ‘worse for society’ and meant that they could not protect themselves. However, they seemingly misunderstood the banning of all guns. All guns means everyone’s guns, not just theirs, thus meaning there was no one with a gun that they needed to protect themselves from (and funnily enough the government didn't suddenly turn on the people, massacring everybody) and since the banning of guns there hasn't been a single mass shooting in Australia. There were 13 mass shootings in the 18 years previous to this. This is no anomaly, America.
So wave your guns around and state that it’s your right to carry a fully-automatic assault rifle to protect yourself, but let’s get one thing clear: life without guns is wonderfully relaxing. You don’t have to worry about getting gunned-down after watching a Batman film, nor whether or not your classmate has his dad’s handgun aiming at your head with bullets he bought at a local grocery store, you can simply go out with the knowledge that the people around you almost certainly don’t have firearms, thus you don’t need to carry one either.
Here’s a great video from the Daily Show regarding the matter:
(For iPhone, iPad and other mobile device users, here's the link to the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pOiOhxujsE)
What’s your opinion? You can leave it in the comments below.