President Obama came down hard on gun-control laws during today’s Tumblr Q&A. See the president’s full response on gun control here.
What he fails to mention is that most of these school shootings and other mass shootings took place in states that already have extremely strict gun laws. Making things illegal does not stop people from doing them.
People are reblogging this like hotcakes and honestly it makes me kind of sad that so many people will listen to someone just because they’re in a place of authority. Just because someone is elected to be a leader doesn’t mean that they’re going to be honest 100% of the time or educated on an issue.
The United States is a massive country when you compare it to the rest of the developed world. It is almost entirely an immigrant nation, built on colonial ideas and a frontier mentality. Contrary to the belief of many, much of the United States is still a frontier, and most states only have a few dense urban centers with a population of over two million. Both inside and outside of these cities, many people are incredibly poor and lack reliable access to education. As time has shown, being in poverty and not having the needed skills or job training to escape that situation drives people to crime. This is why Detroit, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City are all incredibly violent places - because despite the glamorous lives of the upper class, millions of people live in what are practically slums. I lived just outside of Compton for a few years, and Police response times with in the half-hour range between a call and when the cops showed up. Young people without an education who live in poverty are far more likely to be driven into criminal lifestyles just to provide for themselves. There are over ten thousand firearms homicides in the United States yearly, but the media or the government rarely focuses on those in poor parts of the country. Only when a rich white neighborhood is targeted by a spree killer does the media go into a frenzy, and a few days later, the media attention leads to copycat killers. Interestingly, the majority of publicized mass shootings have occurred in states with strict firearms regulations, in gun-free zones. Every single time a shooting occurs, there is a knee-jerk call for more gun control, not a sensible review of why the laws in place (AND TRUST ME THERE ARE A LOT OF GUN LAWS IN THE UNITED STATES) didn’t stop the shooter.
When you compare the United States to Europe at large or Australia, you are forgetting that America isn’t Australia or Europe. These are radically different cultures - Most European states are quite small, with low crimes rates overall, greater income equality, and ready access to affordable or state-funded education. Even then, only a few European countries have taken the British or Australian route; The French can own semi-autos, Slovenians can own semi-autos, Finns can own semi-autos, Swiss can own semi-autos, Germans can own semi-autos, along with a host of other peoples. The Swiss government even funds shooting competitions and gives former soldiers their service weapons. Outside of Europe, New Zealanders are legally allowed to own machine guns with the right licensing, and semi-automatic military rifles are commonly used for sport-shooting events. Canada’s gun control legislation is some of the most lax in the Western world. None of these countries see common mass shootings, or mass violence in general.
When you compare these countries to those that have immeasurably strict gun laws, or have banned firearms outright, you won’t see a sizable difference in gun crime, if the other country is developed. However, many poorer countries have enacted strict gun control laws, for example, Mexico, Brazil, and Russia all have near outright bans on ownership for some, if not all firearms. Despite this, the violent crime rate, including those committed with guns, is immeasurably high. While you may argue that Japan, Australia, and the United Kingdom are all essentially gun-free zones and lack widespread firearms violence, if it were the laws in place that truly prevented ownership, why isn’t Brazil a crimeless utopia?
You can outlaw guns in the United States if you’d like. You can outlaw assault weapons, or semi-autos, like back in 1994. But I can guarantee you, it will not stop spree killers, or common criminals. Until the people of the United States and elsewhere decide to stop praising gun control as the be-all-end-all solution to gun violence, and start taking on the real issues of poverty, lack of education, and in some cases, mental health, America will retain it’s violence problem, but the law abiding will simply have to rely on the Police to protect them. And we all know how well the Police protected Rodney King.