Friday, January 08, 2010

At the busstop...

...I came to a new understanding of my position on gun ownership. The gentleman across the way seemingly has a direct line to the heart of crime in the area, and consistently reports about the newest incidents. Today's news was regarding 3 nonfatal gunshot injuries at a local school, and it immediately got my dander up.

It's not too hard to figure out why: I have a 7-year-old attending a local school. The thing that is hard to determine is why the hobby of a portion of Americans is given precedence over the safety of the rest of Americans. According to a national survey by the National Institute of Justice, ~25% of adult Americans own guns; presumably only a portion of those owners actually engage in the sport of hunting.

Notably, hunting is NOT a necessity. We have plenty of shops to handle our food needs. In comparison, the other major source of deaths in America outside of medical conditions, is from trauma due to car accidents. I think that we need to consider the risk of getting into a car accident acceptable, considering the benefits we obtain, most notably in transporting us to work and school. However, the benefits of allowing a portion of Americans to own guns are unclear at best, while the risks are obvious and significant. A report from the CDC's National Center on Health Statistics described 721 accidental deaths by firearms, 17,348 suicides, and 12,129 homicides in 2006 alone.

Let me put it another way. There will inevitably be crazed people in the world. An insane person with a knife can damage and possibly kill 2-3 people, while that same person with a gun easily gets into the double digits with their homicides. The intensity of crime when guns are involved is so much more amped than those without. Which brings me to the other classical reason for gun ownership: for self-defense. Well, in a world without gun availability, there would not be the same level of concern for self defense. And frankly, there are plenty of other methods to put someone down without killing them, thereby allowing you to find safety and call law enforcement.

Guns accessiblity needs to be controlled. How about the creation of areas where guns could be borrowed for the day for on-site hunting? The goal is not to suppress those who enjoy that sport, only promote the safety of the rest of us.

2 comments: said...

Becky, you make some great points here. I'm not a gun owner nor do I understand the fascination that gun-owners have for their "hobby". But I don't believe a ban on guns or a repeal of the 2nd amendment is the right solution to gun crimes. That seems like a band-aid applied to a much bigger underlying problem. That is... we've lost touch with our neighbors and even our own families and children. We've become so introverted over the past 30 years and so disconnected from each other — thanks in large part to technology — that many of us have lost that sense of common decency and civility we once had for each other. We all need take a lesson from our grandparents and learn to value and depend on each other. Until America takes care of the larger social problem, people are going to find ways to kill — whether it be a gun or an explosive or running people down with our cars.

Great post though. I hope more people share their thoughts on this.

Chintan Brahmbhatt said...

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