The Blog

US Gun Control

For many years now we have been watching aghast at the US gun laws. Granted we here in the UK only tend to hear the more alarmist examples of multiple murder. Almost as if a single life is somewhat less valuable because it didn't make the news! Tell that to the relatives. I hear (I imagine) many Americans saying, "You're from Britain, it's none of your business, and what do you know about guns anyway". Well yes I am from Britain, but does that mean when I can see such outrageous loss of life for barely no more than a commercial reason, as the gun trade in the US amounts to Billions of dollars. In reality I know very little about guns. I have used a shotgun. I have had a friend and fellow Officer murdered with a handgun. That aside what does one actually need to know about guns to decide whether they should be banned or not? Do I need to know that they are designed to kill? Do I need to know that there is no other purpose for them?

I have many 'Face Book' friends, the social spectrum ranges are no different to any other group of people, probably anywhere in the world. The Internet has brought many people together from varying cultures. The main difference I have found in the gun debate is that those who are (not all) pro gun are often very aggressive, accusing those who want to get rid of, or amend the 2nd amendment of being un-American. Seriously? Is this fair? No of course it isn't. When attempting to debate the issue of gun ownership, I have found that very quickly the debate is no longer a debate, but now just a torrent of abuse coming from those who do not want to/will not give up their guns. Now how much of this is rhetoric, and I hope it is. The common used phrase, made famous by Charlton Heston in a speech to the NRA (National Rifle Association) in May 2000.

"So as we set out this year to defeat the divisive forces that would take freedom away, I want to say those words again for everyone within the sound of my voice to hear and to heed, and especially for you, Mr. Gore: From my cold dead hands!"

There are not many things people would actually die for, the only one that really springs to mind is ones children. So to encourage a movement of people to lay down their lives in their determination to be able to keep their guns, isn't that rather odd? In most societies, IF that phrase had never been heard, and someone at a dinner party had said that, and apparently meant it, then frankly I think once the party had ended, then the first phone call would be to the Police and maybe a mental health unit. Just to see if they had a missing patient. I guess those who are pro guns are now thinking I'm just being glib and cocky. The fact is I am not being either. Giving up ones life for an inanimate object is insane.

Okay lets say it is perceived loss of freedom. Freedom to do what? Shoot someone? Shoot a target? Shoot for the sake of shooting? None of these arguments hold up in any way. To get a handle on public opinion is really quite difficult as it will often depend on when or where a particular poll has been taken, ie soon after a mass shooting, or in a small town that was subject to a mass shooting, or even as a result of a particular president who has/had been elected. The latter of these reasons is nothing more than a political dislike of someone. So this goes to show how difficult it is to get a decent grasp on the numbers. From the best I could make out the numbers are roughly (VERY roughly) 50/50.

The 'Self Defence' argument is probably the most common, as the pro gun lobby don't like to shout too loudly the argument for rising up against their oppressive governments as that teeters on the brink of a terrorist position, but of course on the internet you still hear it from time to time. Getting back to self defence, and I apologise in advance if this sounds like plagiarism of Jim Jeffries comedy stand up routine, but it has occurred to me and millions of others, who are you scared of? Is America that genuinely dangerous that you need all these guns to protect yourselves. If it is, your tourist industry may well take a hit if you admit to this.

Then the "Bad people kill people, NOT (nearly always shouted) guns". This I find is one of the more ridiculous arguments, for more than one reason. Firstly the Police in the US are armed and often have to use their guns, and often as a result end up killing people. Are these the bad people you talk about? Of course the debate can widen as America loses a huge amount of officers killed in the line of duty due to firearms. Of course then there are those in the armed forces who project American power around the world. Are your soldiers bad people? Of course there will be a small minority that are, by the law of averages, but on the whole the answer is a resounding, NO. But of course the NRA love to keep creating hundreds possibly thousands of 'memes' on behalf of those who want to keep their assault rifles.

The question that should be asked is, how many murders we have in our 65 million people of the UK? The answer is roughly 700 a year. So the Meme is really nonsense. in 2013 America had 14,200 murders. The US is 5 times larger by population and so by adjusting our figures that would mean with a population the same size our amount of murders for the year would be 3,500. So effectively a quarter of the murders that the US has! Now tell me what relevance this meme has? None of course. Time and again when a new more relevant argument comes up to change the 2nd amendment a new meme, poorly thought out arrives as counter argument. The next most common argument is the lovely phrase "Who is going to stop a bad person with a gun? A good person with a gun". As we have already covered the Good person bad person argument, you can see this is nothing more than a re-hashed position to defend yet another mass shooting.

Probably most reading this will think that I am opposed to hunting. Well providing it is hunting for food, as opposed to just hunting because it's a "good crack", then no I'm all for it, and IF I lived in the US, I would also probably hunt for food, as there is no healthier way of living.

Frankly I could go on and on and on debunking these ridiculous and frankly many times childish excuses for not amending the second amendment, but instead I'll try to be more constructive, unlike the NRA, or the Republican party.

I once took a drug which was prescribed for me to give up smoking. There were roughly 45 side effects. Now, I have taken the usual drugs one gets from the doctors, antibiotics etc and never suffered any side effects. This was the first ever psychotropic drug I had taken. WOW, once I realised what was going on, I read the leaflet that showed what the side effects might be. Amongst them were, anger, paranoia and suicidal thoughts. I didn't have the last one but along with the first 2, I had roughly 25 out of the 45 symptoms that were on the list. Now bearing this in mind along with those who suffer depression and you have a cocktail for disaster. IF they stopped anyone buying a firearm who had either suffered with depression, taken some form of psychotropic drug, that would at least be a start. We keep hearing this mentally ill person had an arsenal of weapons, or that one showed signs from an early age of mental disorder. So come on then man up, do the responsible thing and start making sensible regulations that can protect your citizens whilst maintaining your current 2nd amendment rights.

Also, what is wrong with keeping your assault rifles at the gun club? Seriously, what is wrong with that? You're not going hunting with you assault rifle and so what earthly reason could you have for keeping it in your home?

These two small measures without blinking, would save so many lives and there isn't a 'meme' that will convince any right minded person otherwise. Of course we all know the real reason nothing will change. The mighty Dollar. Billions invested in this industry of death and this is the ONLY reason restrictions will not be brought in. The NRA in conjunction with the weapons manufacturers have more influence than could be deemed reasonable, and that is why those of you who have lost your young children, get accused of being un-American because you have called for restrictions in gun laws. Frankly how dare they call you this, when you may have just lost your only child.

Even as I write this, the Republican party nominee Bobby Jindal, will look to blame anything other than the gun, now turning the blame, rightly or wrongly on the father of the gunman. That's gonna work?! Just pour a bit more fuel on that fire of hatred!

The civilised world laughs at your crazy gun laws which many of those in favour, react to like children, "We don't give a f...k what the rest of the world thinks. This is the land of the free". Hmm, land of the free, when you don't even know if your Officer husband or wife is going to return home after their shift. When yet another mass shooting at a school takes place. I think maybe, most people would suggest that you are not as free as you think you actually are!