Guns in France vs in the United States
Bad things happen, and bad people are out there using guns incorrectly, but if someone had to choose between having a gun to defend themselves in a situation that called for it and not having one…well, one would presume the choice to have a gun would have been chosen. Why? Because that person knows that if they had a gun they would have a better chance at survival.
It is the only such nation that has been impelled in recent years to agonize at length about its own disposition toward violence and to set up a commission to examine it, the only nation so attached to the supposed “right” to bear arms that its laws abet assassins, professional criminals, berserk murderers, and political terrorists at the expense of the orderly population—and yet it remains, and is apparently determined to remain, the most passive of all the major countries in the matter of gun control. Many otherwise intelligent Americans cling with pathetic stubbornness to the notion that the people’s right to bear arms is the greatest protection of their individual rights and a firm safeguard of democracy—without being in the slightest perturbed by the fact that no other democracy in the world observes any such “right” and that in some democracies in which citizens’ rights are rather better protected than in ours, such as England and the Scandinavian countries, our arms control policies would be considered laughable.
Of course, people purchasing weapons are supposed to undergo background checks–procedures ensuring they can be allowed to own firearms. Today, in order to buy a gun, a person needs to have no criminal records, mental illnesses, or a history of illegal drug abuse. If a person served in the army and left it because of dishonorable discharge, he or she cannot own weapons as well. Those who want to buy firearms must also be living on the territory of the United States legally, and have no restraint orders keeping them away from partners or children (The New York Times). However, in practice, it turns out that the system does not work as intended. Gun-controlling initiatives currently existing in the United States fail to fully ensure that a person purchasing a gun can be trusted with it. For example, a mass shooting in South Carolina in 2015, committed by a white racist in a church attended mostly by black visitors, could have been prevented. Due to the imperfections in the background checking system, not all of the information about the attacker could be retrieved in time (he had been arrested for using illegal drugs), and so he was able to buy a gun (The Guardian).
In a word, it is obvious that in the rapidly changing world, we need to find answers to the dynamically changing challenges we face. That will take time and patience. In the meantime, is there a gray area for compromise in the Guns and Violence issue? Yes, logically, from all the evidence presented, citizens should be encouraged to carry arms for self, family, and fellow citizen protection, and as a check on government, a right guaranteed by the Constitution and endowed by our God-given natural right. The challenges facing us are multifaceted.
Strasser, Ryan. “Second Amendment.” Legal Information Institute, 5 June 2017, www.law.cornell.edu/wex/second_amendment.
Younge, Gary. “Why Americans Won’t Give up Their Guns.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 6 Oct. 2017, www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/06/americans-guns-nra-las-vegas-shooting.
Beckett, Lois, and Sabrina Siddiqui. “Senate’s New Background-Check Gun Bill Simply Enforces Current Law.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 16 Nov. 2017, www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/16/senates-new-gun-law-reuses-old-ideas-and-stops-short-on-background-checks.
McCarthy, Tom. “What Gun Control Proposals Are Being Considered – and Will They Succeed?” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 27 Feb. 2018, www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/feb/27/gun-control-proposals-florida-school-shooting.