Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Why Private Gun Ownership Is Generally Wrong

"The murders were the 27th and 28th this year in Toronto. Detroit, a far smaller U.S. city, had 184 murders by mid-July." Toronto's Globe and Mail, July 17, 2012

Americans can't deny that statistic. Most Americans have guns. Most Canadians do not. I happen to believe it's wrong for most people in America to have handguns in their homes.

Wait, please! Listen to what I have to say. I know what I'm talking about. I've lived in America for over thirty years, and I like it, and previously in Canada for about twenty.

Americans seem to deny any connection between the right to buy and store handguns in the house, and the larger prevalence of actual murders within their country. Other civilized countries around the world have lower crime rates than America, wherever citizens do not value gun ownership useful and desirable.

The larger issue I have against the average American's freedom to have guns, even for those who take lessons, register them, and keep them safely, is the reason behind buying them in the first place. The idea of having guns for so-called prudent self-defense is so deeply ingrained in the American psyche and supported by laws, that this post is as powerful as a soft gust of warm air, no doubt.

Most people only buy and keep possessions they use or else they store them.

Perhaps they just want to have guns to wave around and prove there is "freedom" to own them, just as they own jewelry and pictures, just to look at.

The difference is that guns are harmful if they take up space in living areas and shouldn't be. Restricting that right for others would restrict that same right for me, but I wouldn't mind that for a million personal reasons. The supposed constitutional right to bear arms was written by a few old white American men hundreds of years ago when times were different.

Here's why guns should be restricted: probably their owners will use their guns, and guns will cause harm. To whom? Kids, old people, themselves. I read about it every day. A gun in the city has no other purpose than to kill a human. Animal control officers kill nuisance animals in suburban and urban areas. If they're used for self-defense in the city, then I don't think they're useful.

Americans don't care about gun ownership as long as they're all right in every way, and yet they don't see the larger connection between being all right and not having guns. They think that personal security is assured if they have guns, or more assured than if they don't have guns. 

Every study out there disproves this. It's a bad idea. It's cowardly and uneducated to lean on guns to save you when every study in the world says that guns are certain to be used in ways harmful to owners.

If guns are used to kill predatory animals, then I can see how they're useful, but the need to kill predatory animals should account for a tiny percentage of gun sales in America. 

Americans use a gun as a status symbol, as proof of their supposed freedom. Here's a news flash: it isn't either to some of us. It's simply a symbol of the degradation of the human condition. It's just not nice to own guns. It's usually harmful, and it's certainly not necessary. So I say, guns are generally, for most prudent Americans, a waste of space, money, and time. Everyone else around the world seems to understand guns inspire crimes, yet some Americans listen to the NRA and haven't got the message.

Being against guns is not my idea of a combative stance, as some Americans insist, but a view with peace as the ultimate goal. If peacefulness doesn't interest you as a value, I believe you may find a more aggressive set of lies (for this is how you must view my points) in favor of guns at the mighty National Rifle Association (NRA), and at the same time, you're welcome to buzz off my site, as far as I'm concerned, because I won't want to read your comments. Peace is one of the values of this site, as my sidebar indicates.

UPDATE: A podcast (linked here) of a Radio Times segment on National Public Radio (NPR) gives the reason violence is under-reported and not followed through in Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware. By extension, the same problems occur throughout inner cities of America. Youths have to be kept busy and occupied or else they  resort to mischief and worse...

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