As an Australian, the United States of America’s gun laws have always bothered me and I have never been in support of the way that USA utilises such deadly weapons. The number of unnecessary deaths that have occurred as a result of America’s gun policies irk me quite a bit and having to read about American children accidentally shooting someone with a gun on such a regular basis is saddening. Today, I was browsing the news and I came across this news story on the Sydney Morning Herald Website:
And this is nowhere near the first time that such an incident has occurred but such instances get me riled up and I thought, why not channel all this anger and disturbance into a blog post.
Opponents of gun control laws argue that Americans have the right to bear arms. They say that gun control laws would prevent individuals from defending themselves and their property lawfully. They also support the rights of hunters, sport shooters and recreational gunmen. One of the most common laws that these groups cite is the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. This 27-word passage includes the famous phrase “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” The fundamental argument that gun control opponents make is that the right to own and use weapons is an undeniable personal freedom guaranteed by the Constitution.
However, as a non-American who is living in a country with strict gun control regulations where people do not get accidentally shot on an almost daily basis, I am not one for support of USA’s gun laws. If guns make us safer, then America should be the safest place on earth. The nation has more guns per capita than any other place in the world, but are clearly not the safest country on earth.
Handgun possession should be strictly limited, because they are made solely to kill people, they have increased the murder rate in the U.S., and they have even allowed children to easily kill other children.
Handguns should be outlawed for ordinary citizens as their main purpose is simply to kill other human beings. Why would a country allow its citizens to have the right to own an object that is deadly? The US government seems to want to protect its people. For example, seatbelt laws and motorcycle helmet laws were created to protect their lives. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforces pollution laws to keep the residents safe and healthy. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) inspects food and tests drugs to make sure American citizens are not harmed by nasty food and dangerous drugs. Yet, the government allows just about anybody to own and walk around with guns. It does not appear that the American government really cares about the safety of its people. If it did, handguns would be outlawed for the general public, because their only purpose is to kill people.
Furthermore, the possession of handguns and crime rates in the United States of America are directly related. The homicide and robbery rate in the U.S. is much greater than in Canada where there are stricter handgun laws. From 1987 to 1996, 52% of all homicides in the U.S. involved handguns while only 14% of all homicides in Canada involved handguns. Also, between 1987 and 1996, firearm homicide rates increased by 2% in the United States but decreased by 7% in Canada. Furthermore, handgun homicide rates in the U.S. are 15.3 times higher than in Canada. Finally, firearm robbery rates in the U.S. are 3.5 times higher than in Canada. Obviously, homicide and robbery rates involving handguns are higher in the U.S. where handgun laws are not as strict as in Canada. USA’s high crime rate is another reason handguns should be banned.
The third and maybe biggest reason that citizens should not possess handguns is because handguns can easily get into the hands of little children. An example of this is the death of 3 year old Manal Abdelaziz who took a hold of his father’s 9mm handgun and accidentally shot himself. But this is only one of many incidents involving handguns and children, and such incidents almost always result in fatalities. This has happened all over the country, like at Columbine High School and many other places. Although it is unfortunate that such occurrences take place, but it is not shocking judging by the lack of gun control in the United States of America.