American Gun Culture: The New American Religion
Rights For All, Or Just Gun Owners?
On December 15, 1791, the Second Amendment was adopted along with the Bill of Rights to our Constitution. Since then, gun enthusiasts have had a hay day with the interpretation of this amendment.
Just like what theists have done with the bible, the NRA and gun advocates everywhere had intentionally twisted the intention of the Second Amendment to mean that every person, mentally sound or not, should have a right to own a gun, citing "responsible ownership" as their biggest defense. Sadly, the evidence shows that there really is no such thing as "responsible gun ownership," when just about anyone can obtain a gun, and more than half of all mass murders in the past few decades were carried out by supposed "responsible gun owners." The most recent case, the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut where 20 children, ages 6 and 7, were slaughtered, along with 7 adults, by a man who had access to a "responsible gun owner's" arsenal begs the question, where do your "rights" to own a gun end, and my rights to be safe begin?
Members of the NRA Who Recently Committed Mass Murder with a Gun
Despite the facts, gun advocates get defensive and cry, "You can't take away my rights!" whenever the issue of gun control is brought up. Sounds strikingly similar to what theists cry any time anyone mentions separation of church and state. Just like stubborn theists, they refuse to look at the facts or examples of other countries that have chosen a better way for fear that their guns will be taken away. Just like religious fanatics, they feed on fear and cling to it to perpetuate their gun culture.Gun advocates claim that it's mental health, and not the guns, that are the problem. You are quite right. People that believe that their right to own a gun supersedes society's right to live without the fear of being killed in a crazed lunatic's killing spree are in desperate need of mental health care. So I suggest that you put your guns down and walk to the nearest mental health care facility and check yourselves in.
So, What Are the Facts?
The first misconception among gun advocates is the gun related crime is the same thing as gun related deaths. These are not the same. In countries where a gun ban has been issued, gun crime may have temporarily escalated, but gun related deaths have dramatically dropped. The United Kingdom is a perfect example. There are several sources to verify this, such as this one here, and this one here, but basically, the UK has recorded about an 18% reduction in gun related deaths since the gun ban. But the UK is not the only example.
Japan is another example of how a gun ban can almost eliminate gun related deaths. According to this report, Japan has nearly 0 gun related deaths per year. I find it hard to believe that this is not possible here in the United States. If it isn't, it's because of hardheaded, fundamental, gun fanatics citing the Second Amendment as "their right."
Australia, whose culture and society is perhaps more close to ours, also cites a dramatic drop in gun related deaths due to stricter gun control. According to this report here, and contrary to what Australian gun clubs would like to report, tighter gun control has been very beneficial. So my question remains. Why are gun advocates' rights more important than mine? The only answer is that gun advocates have become an untouchable group, just like all religions in this country. Their beliefs that their rights are unquestionable and more important than mine parallel theists claims that their beliefs are unquestionable and protected under the Bill of Rights, as well.
This Says It All
This is a pretty recent and comprehensive report on US statistics. It's no surprise, though, that the US has an obscenely high gun related death rate in comparison to other modern countries. Below is a chart that confirms that gun ownership correlates to a higher gun related death rate. Clearly, "responsible gun ownership" is not a precautionary measure. If anything, it just makes it easier for anyone to obtain a gun.
The facts speak for themselves. What is becoming increasingly clear is that gun advocates ignore them. They come down hard on anyone who brings this topic up, especially if it is after an incident such as the one in Connecticut. They yell, "This is not the time to talk about gun control!" Well, then when is? Gun advocates want to avoid talking about it, because they know that the facts are not in their favor, and talking about it will inevitably bring about an end to their free reign on terror. You simply cannot cling to an 18th century law and twist it to mean whatever you want it to in the 21st century. It is unethical to imply that the drafters of the Bill of Rights had an unregulated populace with access to guns in mind. Clinging to fear and perpetuating it in order to make your case is also unethical. If other modern countries can cite a dramatic drop in gun related deaths after tighter gun control, there is absolutely no reason for us not to do the same.
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