Guns to an average US American are like chocolates to a fat kid. Weird analogy — but 100% true! The US America is the only country in the world that stands out when we look at the gun violence. Yet, you will find a large number of the US Americans advocating in favour of having a firearm. Not only that, they put forth an argument that there should rather be more.
The Guns of America
Wild Wild West
This fixation with firearms of a US American has its roots much deeper than we can imagine. They grow even deeper than The Wild Wild West or Clint Eastwood. They probably begin with the lack of governance in the early days when the land was vast and people were lesser. It was a time when the only defence against an armed intruder to your town was you and your gun.
Things are not the same now. The police force in the US is probably one of the most efficient police forces in the world. Their response time is pretty good in the high priority cases.
Armed Against The Government
Another rhetoric that I come across often is the be prepared against the government. Most people I spoke with who support guns, often put forward this as one of the reasons to own a gun. They often cite the examples of how the government took away the guns from Indians which left them defenceless. As a result, when the government captured their land and livestock, the Indians were not in a position to defend themselves.
Do the US Americans really think that their government is going to do what the previous governments did to the natives back in the days?
National Rifle Association (NRA)
NRA, just like any other business, thrives by selling its products. In this case, Guns! Just like any other company, they work across many platforms to gain maximum profits. They hold shows, they advertise, they promote their products and last but not the least, they have an NRA TV.
Couldn’t have said it better than John Oliver on Last Week Tonight (HBO). The NRA not only spends large figures funding the political campaigns for some politicians, it plays an active role in propagating its business. Using an age old technique of mas brainwashing, it makes people feel threatened and that they must own weapons if they really care about their family. Playing on the fear of gullible minds, it has gained a lot of power over minds of the common man.
Armed And Empowered
As kids, I remember, when we got into fights, a kid even though smaller in size, if picked a rock, the bigger guys would back off. They would not dare to mess with him as now he has a weapon. Good for self defence! That was the end of the story; fight over! Then I grew older and found some kids carrying blades or knives in their pockets. They would say if anyone tried to hit them, they would cut him. Same logic applies for guns as well.
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Armed And A Threat
Now let us look at the scenario where a person loses his mind and decides to do something crazy. As we have seen, many mass shootings in the US of America were conducted by random people without any history of mental illness. This establishes a fact that we can only determine the current state of mind of any person. We are practically incapable of judging a person’s future state of mind. According to this logic, every person is a potential threat. We will never be able to tell when someone might get off their rocker and shoot down a bunch of innocent people.
Let us try to compare a rock and a knife to a firearm, we can clearly understand (if we wish to) the magnitude of damage a gun can cause in comparison to a rock or a knife.
- If I throw my rock at someone, I am disarmed.
- When I have a knife, people can throw things at me from a distance, I have no option but to back out.
- If I am carrying a gun, AR-15 let’s assume, even though people are running away and trying to find cover, I will still be able to get them. As we know the bullets fly faster than we can run.
What’s Not A Solution
Whenever there is a mass shooting, some politician gets on the podium in front of a bunch of mikes and expresses deep sympathy. That is not a solution. They send prayers for the family of the dead. That doesn’t do any good either. We hear them say, if someone there had a gun, this could have been avoided. I’ve heard it way too many times. It doesn’t make sense! None of it does.
What is the solution then?
Loading people with guns is not something that would prevent gun violence. “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun,” LaPierre, Executive Vice President NRA said. There are many researches to prove that the increase in the number of guns just increases the number of firearm deaths.
The US of America should take example from other countries. Argentina, Australia and Brazil initiated a gun buyback program which was a great success. Along with that, they put a ban to own certain categories of guns. The firearm violence has been drastically reduced in these countries. Not only that, since Australia accomplished this program, there has been no mass shooting since then. The firearms which were bought back were later destroyed.
This successful policy has not only reduced the homicides, it also reduced other crimes like robbery and car theft etc. It is about time that the US Congress stopped playing puppets in the hands of NRA and ran a similar program and eventually ban the guns.