Just thought I'd throw this into the debate.
I am from the UK, and so I've been brought up in a society that is unshakably anti-gun. I think guns are dangerous murder weapons, but I understand in America it seems like you have some morbid fascination with them, and that's fine. Even if I get exasperated every time I see a news story about gun crime, or a school shooting in the US, I just shake my head and dismiss it as a natural up shot of the situation you have put yourself in over there.
But I've got some interesting data to throw into the mix. I have family in New Zealand, where guns are legal, and they have been named (one of) the most peaceful countries on earth. Their gun Homicide rate is extremely low New Zealand (0.9) / United States (4.8) / United Kingdom (1.2) *defined as deaths per 100,000 population. So it's even lower than the UK which has a blanket ban on pretty much all firearms, with very few exceptions for gun clubs or antique weaponry. To be completely honest, New Zealand has some gun problems, but if you look at the country as a whole compared to the rest of the world, they measure up extremely well.
However, in New Zealand, they also have very high Restrictions on all firearms, especially the more 'military style' firearms.
In order to own weapons in New Zealand, you have to go through a series of rigorous qualifiers. For starters, owning or using firearms requires a firearms licence from the police, applicants have to prove they have a secure storage space for firearms, attend a safety lecture and pass a written safety test. The police will also interview the applicant and two referees (one must be a close relative and the other not related) to determine whether the applicant is "fit and proper" to have a firearm. The applicant's residence is also visited to check that they have appropriate storage for firearms and ammunition. Having criminal associations or a history of domestic violence almost always leads to a licence being declined. This is only for acquiring a licence that allows the citizen to own "category A firearms" (New Zealand has a couple of different categories ranging from A (the majority of firearms), B (pistols licence), C, D (dealers licence), E (Military Style Semi-Automatics (M.S.S.A), F (dealers staff licence).
This all seems like a lot more reasonable than buying a gun in WalMart.
Like I said, I'm from the UK and I'm no expert on American gun restriction policy, but I'm 99% sure it's no way near as rigorous as this. Although I'd love to be given more evidence.
So my argument to Americans would be this, keep your guns, I know that they make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but just have tighter restrictions like these. For those pro gun people please bare in mind I don't even think any politicians are even saying that they want to take all your guns away, Obama even said "I believe in the 2nd amendment that guarantees an individual's right to bear arms", even though the NRA love to exaggerate and discredit everything Obama says. New Zealand shows that where you have responsible, heavily regulated ownership, you have a safer society. I am massively in favour of making it harder to own a gun unless you are willing to prove you are educated and trained in how to use them. That to me seems like a sensible move forward.
Although I eagerly await your responses! xox
At 1/15/13 07:04 PM, LemonCrush wrote:
A) An unarmed society has never existed. Ever.
YES there have. There have been loads. Do some research into Hinduism Societys that have existed in India for centuries before you make unfounded claims like that.
B) Let me ask you something. I am being robbed on the street, or at an ATM. How do you suppose I stop him?
You don't. You aren't Kurt Russell. You give him your money, and you report it to the police. It's only material possessions at the end of the day and the really valuable thing you should be worried about is your life. You aren't doing yourself a favour by risking getting into a confrontation because if you carry a gun you are more likely to get killed yourself. I've been mugged before, and it wasn't nice, but I reported it and in the the police and in the end they managed to find the guy and I got my phone back.