Saturday, March 15, 2014

Guns in the United States

A writer writes!

In the past decade there have been numerous incidents of shootings in schools in the United States. These events have occurred in all levels of educational institutions, from elementary school to colleges level.  Students, teachers and administrative staff have been murdered by people armed with guns.  There is no reason why innocent people should have to die due to the mental instabilities of others.  There have been charges that the mental health system has failed and that policies preventing access to guns by those mentally ill have also failed.   It is definitely a major mistake to allow those with mental instabilities the access to purchase guns.  Hopefully it will not take another serious of killings before such access is ended.  But, in some instances guns used in these violent acts have been the property of parents of those who have committed the acts of terror.

The freedom to bear arms has long been a valued right in the United States of America.  When there is a call for guns to be banned, the sales of guns and ammunition increases rapidly. People fear not being able to purchase and own guns.  The right to defend oneself through the use of guns is a right people do not want to give up.

The basic premise behind having a right to protect oneself through the use of guns is based on lack of trust in governmental units to keep us safe.  Plus, there is no guarantee that those who work in governmental units are stable and will not misuse their authority to harm individuals.  It is a fact that police departments are designed to respond to emergencies.  Prevention of crime is not the purpose of police departments.  Yes, police do stand guard and are present at a number of public and private events.  Their presence is supposed to be a deterrent to those who want to commit violent acts.  But, there were security people stationed at the airline gates boarded by 911 terrorists. That presence did not stop the events of that day.

So with no reliable deterrent available, people rely on themselves for protection.  We purchase guns for "home defense".  Just in case someone attempts to break in and do harm to our family.  Another reason why people purchase "home defense" weapons may be due to a lack of trust in the ability of police and other agencies to protect them from harm.  Then there is always apprehension that the agency designated to protect it's citizens may one day turn against the people they are sworn to protect.  Fears of "big brother"  governments overstepping their authority even today is a fear in the United States of America.

In the event that "all goes wrong", and there is no police force to protect citizens, the belief may be that we have to protect and defend ourselves.  Our response is to arm ourselves with "home defense" weapons of various calibers and power to do serious harm to invaders of our domains.

I do not foresee guns becoming obsolete until other social factors change that eliminate fears that we are unsafe without home protection.  Until then, those who possess guns will need to govern their use of them in a responsible manner.

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