Wednesday, August 1, 2012

America's Obsession With Guns.

Fuck guns.  Seriously.  Fuck them.  And if you own an assault weapon like the AK-47 pictured above (and you're not in the military), fuck you too.  It's unnecessary and a bit paranoid to own anything other than a handgun, a hunting rifle, or a shotgun for self-defense purposes.  You're not Rambo.

You're probably wondering why I'm so pissed off.  Well, I'm of the mindset that the tragedy in Aurora should have made us examine our culture, our rights, and our obsession with guns under a microscope.  But that was clearly wishful thinking.  Instead we banned costumes at movie theaters because, let's face it, that was the problem. 

For the last week or so, my Facebook has been flooded with "keep your hands off my guns" rhetoric, and I'm sick of it for the following reasons:

1.) It never makes sense.  Take this picture, for example.

Cars are not made to kill people.  They are made to transport individuals or groups of individuals from point A to point B.  Sure, a drunk driver turns that mode of transportation into a potential weapon but, guess what?  Guns are always weapons.  They have one single purpose: to kill.  That's what they are made for!

2.) Nobody is trying to take away your guns.  Nobody.  And that, to me, is more irritating than if they were.  The ban on automatic weapons was lifted several years ago.  This was a mistake.  Cite the Second Amendment all you want, but the Founding Fathers had no idea how far gun technology would advance.  Back then, you'd be lucky to get three shots off a minute.  Now you can get more than a hundred. 

3.) Some people are actually pushing for less restriction.  Justice Scalia recently said that personal RPG's could be considered fair game under the Second Amendment.  Not that they are, mind you, but that it will have to be decided whether or not they are permissible under the amendment.  My take?  Uh, no.  No, it won't have to be decided.  Personal rocket launchers should be a definitive "no" any day of the week.

4.) The Amendments were made to be amended.  They are there to be changed as society and technology move forward.  Of course every person has the right to defend themselves and bear arms, but we aren't in the musket ages anymore, people.  It's time to make some small changes.

 - - - - -

Here are some stats for you that hopefully won't be a big surprise.  The majority of Americans favor gun control.

86 percent believe in further background checks, regardless of where a gun is purchased  (January 2011 American ViewPoint/Momentum Analysis poll)
63 percent want a ban on high capacity clips (January 2011 CBS News poll)
69 percent want to limit the number of guns a citizen can buy in a period of time (April 2012 Ipsos/Reuters poll)
66 percent want a National gun registry (January 2011 American ViewPoint/Momentum Analysis poll)
88 percent want to prohibit those on the terror watch list from buying guns (January 2011 American ViewPoint/Momentum Analysis poll)

And I'd be an idiot not to include this lovely little piece of information: America has more gun-related homicides than most other countries in the world.  In 2009, there were 10,224 American deaths thanks to guns.  That same year, the U.K. had a whopping 63, and Germany only had approximately 381. 

Is that really the price of freedom?  Tens of thousands of deaths a year?  And that's only homicides.  I didn't include suicides or accidents.  I think now is a great time, election year or not, to talk about gun control.  Sound off in the comments below.

And yes, I know I'm a little late to this party, but it's been a rough couple of weeks up here in Maine.  I've haven't even had time to post to the wonderful Addicting Info.


Gra'ma Banana said...

Look at the steps one has to navigate to buy and operate an automobile, a "killing machine" if ever there was one. 1. Every driver is required to have a driver's license, 2. Every driver has to take a drivers test to prove they can operate a car safely, 3. Every car has to be registered, in your name, with the county and state in which it is garaged, 4. Every car owner has to provide proof of insurance, 5. Most states require certification that the car is safe to drive (ie: the horn, lights and brakes work), 6. If you sell your car you have to transfer your title into the name of the new owner and he has to register it with the county and state, 7. You have to pay taxes and purchase tags yearly for your car. That's all I can think of right off hand. There are a lot of requirements to operate this "killing machine".

Now the requirements for gun ownership... 1. Walk into a gun shop or show, pick out a firearm, and pay for it. 2. In some few states, there is a waiting period and a background check. (To my knowledge there are no requirements for the new gun owner to demonstrate that he has had a gun safety course and can safely discharge the firearm.)

When I bought my home there was an old gun laying on a shelf in a closet. I gave it to a friend who simply sold it at a gun show. No registration or ownership papers required. I really am tired of idiots that compare guns to anything else. That is the argument of the desperate.

A Sane Break said...

Wonderful insight, thank you, Gra'ma Banana! It's good to see that you're still swinging by after my month of laziness.

MisterB said...

Take guns out of the equation for a moment. Violence strongly correlates with socioeconomic and cultural factors, and not with number of legally owned guns. If we want to reduce violence then we change those factors.

Changes we can make are: stop the war on drugs, decriminalize drugs to eliminate the drug black markets and gangs dealing drugs, enforce the current gun laws to reduce the gun black market, improve education so people are more capable, and reform the entitlement programs so people can earn their living instead of being kept poor.

Your article contains some errors and misconceptions.

You wrote, "Nobody is trying to take away your guns." While this may have been true in August 2012, it is no longer true Jan 2013 with Sen. Feinstein proposing another gun ban.

You state, "The ban on automatic weapons was lifted several years ago." Technically, the 1994 ban was not for "automatic" weapons, and automatic weapons were practically banned in 1986. The ban was for guns that had appearances similar to military guns.

You said, "The Amendments were made to be amended." This is absolutely true, and until an amendment is ratified to change the second amendment, there should be no laws that contradict the second amendment. What part of "shall not be infringed" doesn't make sense to you?

You imply that gun control reduces gun-related homicide by using Germany and England gun-related murder rates. Conveniently, you left out Mexico. Mexico roughly has a third of the population of the US, its gun control laws are very strict, and yet, in 2010 the UNODC shows that it had 11,309 murders by guns. These stats show that gun control does not reduce or increase gun violence.

A Sane Break said...

Just a few things here. I'm going to number them to keep my own thoughts straight so I apologize if they seem confusing. First of all, thank you for taking the time to write an intelligent response. Your kindness warrants kindness and for that I will try not to be rude or insulting.

1.) I agree with you that society needs to change in order to stop gun violence. That being said, society takes years to change/develop. We can implement common sense measures now that will REDUCE gun violence. I'm not so naive as to think it will stop altogether. What I believe (and I may not have touched on in this post) is that your ideas and my ideas are completely compatible. In fact, I agree with everything you said before the bold text.

2.) Nobody is trying to take away your guns. Sen. Fenstein is proposing a gun ban, but he is not proposing (to my knowledge) that the police or military physically come to your house and take those banned weapons away by force. Those banned weapons - which I assume are assault weapons - may become illegal, but when has that stopped anyone from owning them? It will simply stop people from buying MORE of them. Again, I could be wrong here. I'm writing this on the fly and will take more time to educate myself shortly.

3.) The Second Amendment was written for the purpose of hunting and keeping a well-armed militia. We have one of those, by the way. It's called the National Guard. I wanted to play with these big guns, so I joined the Guard. After becoming more familiar with them, I firmly believe that many of those weapons should not be in the hands of civilians. Period.

3.5.) Also, under that train of thought, when the Second Amendment was written, all we had were muskets and flintlock pistols. Any American is more than welcome to stock up on these fine military devices. The Second Amendment needs to change, and you're right! It hasn't yet. So either it does or we need to stop bitching when school shootings occur. We have two choices: change our culture and our laws or get used to living in a society where armed citizens harm innocents.

4.) I did not "conveniently" do anything. I never looked at Mexico because Mexico is a country plagued by violence, crime, and drug cartels. I used Germany and Britain because they are, generally, more comparable to the U.S.

5.) I would enjoy continuing this conversation. Let's keep it civil.