I don’t like commenting on the US all the time. I’m not from the country nor is this blog about the US nor have I passed substantial time there. I’m sure some people from the US don’t like me talking about their country, especially where politics and US culture is concerned. Yet the country fascinates me, as it do the people. It’s so vast and polemic and difficult to comprehend, especially where you are born and raised in a small nation, like many other countries, so heavily influenced by the US, culturally and politically. But I think the one issue which the world watches on in horror (while scratching their head) is the gun problem.
I don’t understand guns. I’ve only ever fired one. It was a pistol and I used it to shoot at an empty Coca Cola can. I missed. While holding it, I felt a physical and psychological weight in my hand, a killing tool so to speak, an advantage over another person or living creature, which I can’t say I enjoyed. I’ve played paintball too, and also felt how dangerous the weapon could be, if in the hands of someone intent on causing harm. I’m from a background and culture in the UK that is anti-gun. I now live in a country where there are lots of guns, although I would still say the average Honduran is still largely anti-gun.
So, seeing these mass shootings and massacres in schools or public spaces shocks everyone across the world, but it doesn’t surprise us. I can’t begin to think how many shootings I’ve seen or heard of on the news, yet the reaction is almost monotonous, when it should provoke change or reform of some sort. Anger and prayers, digging information on the killer, family life, mental health, how he or she got their hands on weapons meant for war, not self-protection or hunting animals. Celebrities speak out, NRA deny responsibility, and then gun owners bellow their consistutional rights, then…nothing. It happens again a few months later, more family members and friends lost so violently, more polemic views on guns.
It is easy to tell that I am on the anti-gun side of this debate, but as I mentioned above: I don’t understand firearms, nor have I had the opportunity to use one for a worthwhile reason. Hunting or protection aren’t a great concern to me. I’m sure a gun would be if you lived in a poor neighbourhood or the US outback.
I invite people on both side of the debate to comment (with calm), especially gun owners. I don’t really need to know your consistutional rights, but more your personal reason for owning a gun. Do you own what could be described as a machine gun or assault rifle? Why? Why do you have it?
My second question about these assault weapons is whether the NRA should be doing more to prevent ownership of these tools, especially those which are against the law? I hear many of the atrocities caused are by semi-automatic guns that have been easy enough to get hold of. Bear in mind, I don’t know the US laws and legislation. Then again, I know that policy makers are reluctant to change. Why?
I’m open to clean debate. Feel free to make your comments.