Thursday, November 5, 2015

Gun Violence: A Peculiarly American Obsession

An article in Daily Beast called "Yes, They Want To Take Your Guns Away" has an intriguing title, and is a lengthy explanation of how Americans will not ever accept a government order to take away the guns of citizens.

My wish is that at some point Americans (and it's mostly a national problem) could be persuaded that guns are a national quandary to solve, and impediments by themselves to a higher quality or standard of living, just as auto pollution and hate speech, as exemplified by the KKK are, as the writer, James Kirchick explains.

In a nutshell, Kirchick doesn't want to live with any more guns in America. But, he despairs, "If federal agents came to round up firearms, many gun owners would be prepared to shoot back."

Well, my view to that obstacle is: Maybe or maybe not. Why should Americans fear themselves so much? Isn't it even worth a try to combat guns with peaceful programs and the approval of federal officials who've been all too weak about mandating stricter gun control? Where's the courage and the conviction of Americans that they deserve to live safer and more secure lives and that this will only, ONLY, happen without guns?

America has a long way to go when it comes to safety and security for the populace, however, and it should be clear, although it oddly isn't to some extremist Americans, that guns come with a cost. That cost is alienating those who would otherwise be friends of America. I wish the government would just do what Australia did to achieve a safer country for all, and ask citizens to turn in their arms.

The truth is many foreigners wouldn't want their children to go to anyone's house in their own country if they owned a single gun. There are too many accidents where a gun has killed the wrong person by accident. This is also true for them in America. Many foreigners prefer not to socialize with gun owners, and generally don't have to.

A harmful and incorrect new argument I've recently heard circulating in favor of owning guns is that foreigners in foreign countries own guns, so why shouldn't Americans have them?

But this is grossly untrue of foreign countries. Guns are illegal in most countries. Probably there are pockets of gun owners in foreign countries, most likely those specifically at war. The point is that America hasn't ever aspired to mirror the very worst, most unattractive qualities of other countries. Shouldn't it aim for peace at home? America has supposedly been a land that tries to be better than other countries and have a higher standard of living.

Some Americans would be surprised to know that some foreigners won't visit America with its glut of guns (currently approximately one for every citizen according to the article) and lack of affordable healthcare, both of which decrease its attractiveness. Yet Americans don't have to worry about these dual concerns in other countries when they travel away themselves.

America may be the land of the free and home of the brave, but it should also ideally be an open nation abundant with peace and trust for all.


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