Guns in America - An Expat's Thoughts

Another month. Another mass shooting. What’s going on? What do Americans think about it? How do Americans propose to deal with the situation?

We need more guns, Some People say. More good people with guns will stop more of the bad people with guns. Odd, isn’t it, that even with 300,000,000 guns in the US, it seems as though the good people are never around while the bad people are shooting? Wait a minute, Some People say. Good guys shot the bad guy at that Texas church, didn’t they? Well, yeah. After the bad guy killed 26, wounded 20 more, and decided to leave the church. OK, Some People say. That means we need more guns in churches. And that gives you a clue about the brand of Christianity espoused by Some People. Beat your swords into AK-47s.

OK, Some People say. How about the latest shooting in California? California has strict gun laws. That didn’t stop the shooter. But Some People forget that California’s gun laws are only as strict as the Supreme Court allows. And California is bordered by Arizona and Nevada, two of the least restrictive states in the country with no permits, no registration, and no magazine restrictions.

That’s really the story of the gun culture in the US. In order to justify their inordinate, almost religious love of firearms, the opponents of proposals to register and/or ban certain types of firearms and to prohibit certain classes of people from ownership are forced to wander farther and farther afield from logic and reason. They will say that the rifles of Revolutionary times were as far advanced from their predecessors as an assault rifle is from 18th Century technology and that the Founders understood this. As if the Founders had anticipated a guy walking into a church with a weapon capable of killing an entire congregation in the time that it would have taken them to fire one bullet and maybe have time to reload and fire one more. They will say that the Second Amendment guarantees an absolute right to firearm ownership when every other freedom guaranteed under the Bill of Rights has been limited in one way or another from the beginning and over time as circumstances have changed.

When it’s pointed out that cars are registered, inspected, and insured and their drivers tested and licensed, Some People reply that we don’t blame cars when there are fatal accidents, we blame the driver. Why should guns be different? But guns are different. Guns are different because, when used as designed, cars are not deadly weapons. When guns are used as designed, people die. And the more guns that there are, the more that people die. The most recent studies show that for every one percent increase in gun ownership there is a 0.9 percent increase in the rate of deaths by firearm.

At this point, Some People start throwing out statistics of their own, demonstrating that Some People are the Same People who find statistical anomalies to demonstrate that global warming isn’t really happening, much less that there is a degree of human liability. Some People insisted that global warming had paused since 1998, an outlier year that was hotter than blazes. At least, Some People were touting a global warming pause until the last four years proved to include three of the hottest ever recorded. Some People apparently do not live in Miami where downtown streets flood every time there’s an onshore breeze at high tide. Some People apparently don’t live in Houston where there have been twelve catastrophic flooding events in just the past three years.

Some People are like Those People who were tobacco executives and stood in front of Congress and raised their right hands and swore under oath that there was no proof that cigarettes cause cancer.

It’s time that we let Some People know that we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take any more of their pious rantings. The Constitution is not a suicide pact. And it certainly wasn’t meant to prevent us from considering the safety and well-being of our children who, by the way, are shooting each other with regularity because Some People can’t keep their guns out of their children’s hands.

More politics from my American perspective HERE.

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For me it’s not just about restricting the access to guns or the actual numbers of guns, it seems that many many people have lost the value of life and in addition most Americans just accept mass shootings as part of day to day life so until the general attitude changes these killings will go on and on.


Yes their attitude needs to change!
If Americans valued life itself rather than fake idealism there
would never have been a Trump in power.


Fake idealism/nationalism is not particular to America. It led to Brexit and feeds Le Pen and various movements in Europe as well.

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This article might explain part of the problem:

Depressing situation.

I’m sorry, but personalizing the problem through Trump is simplistic in the extreme. It’s like blaming pneumonia for causing the death of an AIDS patient. Without thee underlying disease, the pneumonia would not have been life threatening. Without a substantial portion of the population willing to vote for Trump (or LePen or a party that embraces Farage and Boris and Gove), the danger Trump poses is not nearly as existential.

Apparently 1,500 people a year get eaten by crocodiles.

Hello Ira

Thank you for putting your thoughts on here and letting us read an American’s viewpoint.

Of course it’s very easy for us in Europe to criticise the gun culture of the USA and how easy it appears to be to buy not just handguns but automatic weapons too. However you have lived within that culture and are strongly against it and your sound thoughts are welcome after some of the rhetoric that the media expounds.

Donald Trump is an idiot and much, much worse, but he was voted in by the majority ( a bit like us and Brexit ) and there seems to be a big lobby in the USA that mantains the right to bear arms, that is a surprise to a lot of us here after all the killings over there. As you say the Constitution wasn’t created in a time where weapons of mass destruction existed so it needs to be looked at.

Not all Americans are egoists and gun crazy idealists who live with a flag outside their house and pray for the lord to bless them so it’s time we stopped thinking otherwise and generalising a country by what the media reports !

I’m sorry that some people here are generalising, maybe THEIR attitude needs to change too ! I wonder how many of them have lived and worked in the USA.

Don’t be afraid to voice your thoughts Ira because some of us here are open minded and welcome a different point of view.

Continue to enjoy your life here in la belle France and I hope that where you live you can find people to debate with in a more civilized manner. :slight_smile:

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Ah ha Trevor, one might say that the odds are in our favour though …

Not in the US though as there are none except in zoos etc.

Hello Tim
What about Florida then ? :wink:

Oh, that makes guns OK then, Trevor?

Alligators not crocodiles.:wink:

Beg to differ Tim but a species known as Nile Crocodiles have been found in the swamps, wildlife experts are expressing concern …But I suppose if you are faced with one of these creatures you don’t hang around too
long to check :wink:

You’re quite right, I was just trying to make a point that crocodiles haven’t killed anyone in the US (yet).

If you listened to the whole program they mentioned mental illness, anger, rage in the population. I would add promoted by hate radio and TV. During my 13 years in the States I had the miss-fortune to have personal experience of gun-violence, maniac at 6pm, no alcohol involved, in a crowded city street . I’d go as far as to say that USA has a huge problem with mentally labil people, look at the statistics.

You’re quite right too Tim because all the fatalities in the USA have been by Alligators. I guess that makes us equal, although I’m sure that some of us are more equal than others :wink:

Hi Ann, just curious, what in this discussion did you find not civilized ?

As an American, how do you see things changing Ira? Can individual states ban or restrict weapons?

I don’t want to name the person but it was someone who was generalising too much about Americans ! In my opinion every country has a minority of people who come across as ‘crackpots’ to others. I would not judge a country and it’s people by some scare-mongering by the media. It’s akin to mass hysteria and not civilised :frowning: