Following the horrific shooting in the Newtown which killed 20 little children and 6 adults, gun control has become a raging issue in the states. A testament to this is the fact that the National Rifle Association (NRA) has seen their membership numbers spike massively since the tragedy. Even Obama has taken a stance and is seen to be taking the NRA head on. His proposals include universal background checks as well as bans on assault weapons and ammunition clips that hold more than 10 bullets. It seems that Gun Control laws are in the pipeline.
But all of this debate has lead to a fundamental question being asked. Is the gun the problem or the person who wield the gun?
There are 2 different flip sides to this question. A gun can be used for good if it is wielded by a police officer or law enforcement officer. However the gun can also be used for harm if wielded by a thug, a gangster, a crazy person or someone with misguided ideals. However possession of the gun can make a previously sane person change their perspective to something more sinister. Possession of a gun can make people feel safe and secure but can lead to vigilantism. A gun lying around can be used kill a person just as much as a gun locked in a safe can also kill a person (if the person wielding it is determined).
Personally, I believe the gun is not the problem. The individual is. Guns are used all over the world by policemen and women safely and for the “ right” (that’s another big debate) reasons. It takes an mentally disturbed individual to justify killing innocent people and use such a dangerous tool to get a specific message across ( kind of like terrorism). Ultimately the individual believes that human lives can be used as collateral or a a bargaining tool. Or some shootings are not premeditated and are done at the spur of the moment which is just as bad. American cannot stop guns being made, bought illegally or people owning guns because of the Constitution. Just like in South Africa. Education about guns is important but so is responable possession. This includes locking it away, teaching people how to use the gun in case of an emergency, etc.
Just as a parting shot, William S Boroughs said a particular apt quote that echoes so true in this era “After a shooting spree, they always want to take the guns away from the people who didn’t do it. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to live in a society where the only people allowed guns are the police and the military. “ However on the other side Rick Perry once said “In the myopic world of the liberals, guns are responsible for evil instead of the perpetrator of evil. But criminals are not bound by our laws. That’s what makes them criminals. “
What do you think of Gun Control? In America or South Africa? Leave a comment and let me know. I’d like to hear from you!
Watch this space for regular updates in the Opinion category on Running Wolf’s Rant.