America is obsessed with guns, and that fixation isn’t going away any time soon. The only reasonable and morally responsible thing to do is to address the issue as it presently exists.
All too often, TV viewers tune in to their favorite news anchor and learn of yet another shooting at a school, at a shopping mall or at a movie theater, and then go about their day. Political pundits and activists on both sides regurgitate facts and figures, but nothing ever gets done.
A favorite among gun control activists is citing the United Kingdom’s rigid gun laws and its relatively low gun violence reputation. For example, in 2011, there were 146 deaths by firearm in the United Kingdom and 32,351 in the United States.
No thinking person would deny this statistic or what it implies. The fewer guns we have, the less gun violence we will have. It’s simple math. But what this fact and its implied political plan fails to do is recognize the lengthy process of overturning America’s culture of guns.
Until we can largely eradicate America’s love of guns, we need laws in place that allow responsible, law abiding gun owners a means to protect themselves without having to break the law.
A criminal will carry a firearm, whether legally or illegally obtained, regardless of his or her state’s gun possession laws. A law-abiding citizen, on the other hand, will most likely not carry an illegal firearm.
In the event of an active shooter in any setting, unarmed innocents are left to run, hide and beg with little hope of survival.
We can reach for the Second Amendment right to bear arms to strengthen this argument, but is it not just a basic human right to act autonomously, especially in defense?
In the space of time between now and the hopeful future with a distaste for firearms, we need laws in place that allow people the means to defend themselves while simultaneously making it harder for criminals to obtain firearms.
In an article published in the database Opposing Viewpoints, author Alex Seitz-Wald cites a study which states, “Guns are used to threaten and intimidate far more often than they are used in self-defense.”
While that statement was made to defend gun control, it inadvertently bolsters the anti-gun control movement.
The very fact that guns are used more to “threaten and intimidate” than to defend oneself is because those who are being threatened often aren’t armed unless they are in their home or in a state that allows open-carry.
If civilians of all states were allowed to carry their legally purchased firearm, this statement couldn’t ring true.
The American government needs to put into place a system which allows responsible adults to be autonomous agents in a country with a gun fetish to rightfully defend themselves and others.
The process of changing the gun culture of America will be a lengthy and difficult process. Until we reach that goal, we need a good guy with a gun.