Guns? Gun laws and how they could be improved. Pros and cons. A brief synopsis of why you feel as you do about them in which ever country you live in. The view from the U.S. side of things is understandably terrifying. My opinion of that.
I cannot even begin to understand the attitude of many Americans towards guns. I have read about how the Constitution says that citizens have the right to bear arms. I looked up the actual wording.
“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.”US Constitution Second Amendment
I understand that this can be interpreted in many ways. I decided to look up the word Militia, as I felt that was the key to what was intended. I do know what the word means but went to Merriam- Webster for confirmation. This is what their site said.
1a: a part of the organized armed forces of a country liable to call only in emergency. “The militia was called to quell the riot.”
b: a body of citizens organized for military service
2: the whole body of able-bodied male citizens declared by law as being subject to call to military service
3: a private group of armed individuals that operates as a paramilitary force and is typically motivated by a political or religious ideology specifically: such a group that aims to defend individual rights against government authority that is perceived as oppressivehttps://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/militia
For the purpose of 1 & 2, I can see why the Founding Fathers would have advocated the right to bear arms. I’m not at all sure about the last one and that seems to be what certain groups seem to be using to justify rioting and treason today.
However, this is over 200 years later, you have well equipped armies and police forces. How likely is it that the government would ask the citizens to arm themselves for service?
I am sure that the men who wrote that document could not envisage the weapons that are available today. It has become like many laws from the past that just don’t make sense now.
In Australia we have strict gun control laws as you know. The Port Arthur Massacre in 1996 when 35 people were killed at a popular tourist site was the catalyst for change. Of course, there have been shootings since then but not with the frequency that they happen in the USA.
I think the hardest thing for me to get my head round is the way that guns are perceived in the USA by many people. I grew up never even seeing a gun until I saw my stepfather’s no longer used rifle in my mid-teens. I remember being shocked to see armed guards at the airport in Hong Kong the first time I went overseas. The South Australian police wore concealed weapons in those days if they carried guns. Later, when they changed to another model, they started carrying them openly. I recall being at a Neighbourhood Watch meeting where a police officer showed us his gun. I grew up in a world where I believed the police were there to help us and it was their job to deal with burglars. My job was to stay safe and call for help. We didn’t have a phone in the house until the late 70s so not sure how I would have done that.
It would never have occurred to me to have a gun under my pillow or in my bedside table drawer in case of a home invasion. I would not want to walk around town with a loaded weapon in my handbag. To me that’s just an accident waiting to happen like leaving matches out where there are small children. It’s dangerous and stupid. Obviously, if you own a gun and store it correctly, unloaded and locked up with the ammo in a different place it’s not going to be much good to you in a home invasion scenario anyway so why bother? I know I could never shoot a person anyway. I am just mentioning all of this so that you can see where I am coming from. I don’t agree with guns for personal defence. IMHO guns should only be for military, police, security and other professions where you may need one. I understand that people like to hunt. Personally, I don’t agree with hunting unless you intend to eat what you kill. I can’t imagine you can eat anything shot by an assault weapon.
So, how could things be improved?
- Better background checks before you buy a gun.
- A requirement could be that you belong to a sporting gun club to get a licence.
- Guns and ammunition must be stored safely and separately
- Gun laws are a federal responsibility, not different in every state.
- Assault weapons should NEVER be sold to private citizens
Last, but not least, somehow people have to get over the idea that guns are the answer to everything. I do believe that more support for mental health issues is part of this but there are a lot of perfectly nice people who truly believe they are entitled to carry guns and use them and it has to stop. Taking the law into your own hands usually doesn’t end well for anyone.
I realise that for me this is a long and opinionated post. Maybe some of you won’t agree with me. That’s OK but it’s how I feel.