THE BLOG

It Starts With a Change in Culture

28/08/2015 17:09 BST | Updated 26/08/2016 10:59 BST

Another day ...Another brutal shooting in the USA.

It's both sad and distressing that this kind of news is no longer surprising for us on the other side of the world. I have had strong views about gun control for a long time, and feel compelled to share them with you today.

I believe that until the legislation changes, these terrible incidents will continue to occur regularly in America. Innocent people will keep having their lives needlessly taken because of some wording in the Second Amendment (written 224 years ago) that 'protects the rights of U.S Citizens to bear arms'.

The scary thing is that despite the frequency of mass murders, there are millions of Americans who will tell you that it is essential for people to have the right to own guns.

"Why?" - You may ask them.

"For protection against other people with guns".

At least that's the most common answer I receive when I ask this question. Interestingly, many highly educated people with college degrees and executive jobs hold this view.

If I had a dollar for the amount of times I have heard the line "Guns don't kill people - People kill people", I would be a very wealthy man.

While it is certainly true that people kill people, it is also undeniable that the legislation in America makes it much easier for this to happen by allowing relatively simple access to firearms.

It's taken me some time, but I have come to realise that guns are a significant part of U.S culture that many citizens simply don't want to give up. For some reason either the astonishing statistics aren't registering, or they simply don't want to pay attention.

If you look at global figures, the numbers of mass shootings in a country are directly linked to the prevalence of firearm ownership in that place. When it comes to gun ownership across the planet, the USA sits on top of the list by a significant margin and the data tells us everything we need to know.

Some Americans believe that their legislation should not change because "even if firearm purchases are prohibited, the criminals will still find a way to get guns".

This mentality is absurd.

Yes there will always be people, who get their hands on firearms illegally, but it's a numbers game - and lowering the supply will certainly reduce the number of fatalities. Once again this statement is backed up by the statistics.

One only needs to look at traffic laws as a comparative example. Did the introduction of speed limits on roads completely stop motor vehicle accidents? - Of course not.

Have they reduced them? - Absolutely.

If everybody drove as fast as they wanted, our roads would be in a state of anarchy.

I know there will be many people reading this, shaking their heads and thinking 'these mass murders are a mental health problem not a gun problem' - but the two are not mutually exclusive.

I have no doubt that more needs to be done in the way of addressing mental health issues both in the USA and around the world. That however, does not mean governments should avoid taking the necessary measures required to reduce the accessibility of weapons that are used in these horrific incidents.

Would such a change be realistic?

I don't see why it can't be.

Some will say this is impossible because guns are a part of life in America. I don't buy that view. There was a time when slavery was a part of life in America too. Thankfully the powers that be had the common sense to implement changes back then - so why can't they be implemented now?

You have to start somewhere.

The equation is remarkably simple.

Less guns = Less deaths

Peace out.