Wednesday, January 02, 2013

License to Kill

I see Facebook posts about gun rights.  I see Facebook posts about gun control.  Most of the time, you are either pro-gun rights or pro-gun control.  There doesn't seem to be a middle ground.  Maybe it's the media that gives a lop-sided picture of what most Americans want insofar as the gun situation in the US is concerned.   Maybe most of them DO want a middle ground that would make it safer for the innocents.

In my eyes, I see the history of America playing a huge part in why guns are so prevalent & so close to the hearts of so many Americans.  At the same time, I also wonder at why so much emphasis is placed on keeping true to the Second Amendment which was written over two centuries ago.  Indeed, it seems like many Americans still wish to live like they did back in the Wild Wild West, when everyone carried a gun.

I write from the viewpoint of someone growing up in a country where guns are only carried by police officers or soldiers, and where gunshot injuries or deaths are rare incidents (so rare that I think it is safe to say that the majority of doctors who have trained & practiced there have never seen nor treated a gun shot injury, accidental or otherwise).

I cannot understand this love affair with these deadly weapons.  I cannot understand why people hunt.  I cannot understand why gun lovers refuse to see that there HAS to be better gun control to keep these weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of lunatics.  

Sadly, the gun culture in the USA is so deeply entrenched, and criminals probably possess arsenals of these weapons illegally, that it would be impossible to outright ban guns altogether.  I hate reading the proposals from the gun rights people to allow ordinary citizens to carry concealed weapons for protection.  I would feel terrified that someone who may be having a bad day, or suffering from road rage, or suffering from mental illness, could be in possession of such a weapon, and start shooting innocent folks who may be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If gun rights advocates feel so strongly about being able to "bear arms", they should also accept that such arms in the hands of the wrong people can do so much harm.  Much like how doctors go through years of training & certification before they are given the privilege & license to practise medicine (which, like guns, if used wrongly, can kill many in one fell stroke), I don't see why those who want to bear arms should not go through rigorous training & certification to ensure that only those who are fit to do so, are allowed to do so.

Ultimately, we ALL want to keep our children & families safe....don't we?

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