The focus on gun control lately is a good thing. Sure there are people that want as many guns as possible everywhere, and in trained hands, they say. Who knows? If we were all trained and lived in a nation where everyone was forced to serve in the military, then we may be better off. IDK. But we're not, and in the US our constitution states military service is voluntary, so that is not something that will likely ever come to fruition. The people that purchase guns legally in this nation are obliged to train themselves to whatever extent they choose, if they decide to do so at all, beyond the meager amount of training currently required for licenses.
Of course we always hear from pro-gun folks that people that have mental instability issues should not be licensed. However, there is no way to tell whether or not most people that apply for firearms licenses have been evaluated ever or diagnosed with any mental disorder necessarily. To do so properly would necessitate psychiatric evaluations of every person applying for licenses, as we have no other way of telling currently. Pro-gun advocates decry this as an intrusion on their civil liberties.
Gun advocates also point to nations that have lower crime rates in terms of firearms availability as examples that we should have more armed citizens. One country, outside of our own, many pro-gun advocates point to is Sweden; a nation with massive amounts of guns and low gun related crimes. Yet, when they mention these two facts, Sweden has a lot of people that own guns and a low numbers of gun related crimes, they fail to mention some key additional facts.
For instance, the main reason for the ubiquity of guns in Sweden is not self defense, but for hunting. You cannot walk around with your gun wherever you go as a normal gun owner. When not hunting guns are to be locked up, and are explicitly not for self defense for the most part. This is backed up by the fact that when people there have shoot an intruder in their homes, they often go to jail. So guess what? Home intruders in Sweden are not afraid of getting shot. There are no concealed weapons permits for those other than law enforcement, or employees of security companies.
People also neglect to point out that up until 2010 military service in Sweden was compulsory for all its citizens. So in terms of training, the vast majority of Swedish gun owners are well trained by their own military. So ubiquity alone doesn't always give us all we need to know regarding weapons statistics, nation to nation, when we dig just a little into the facts.
There should be some controls on what people are allowed to own legally, and the vast majority of Americans agree with that one hundred percent. In the wake of what happened in my home state of Connecticut, people are one hundred percent in agreement on that. The shooting in Newton was a reminder of just how dangerous legally owned guns can be, and the need for better supervision controls. The fact a child got a hold of an assault rifle is terrible, I mean this isn't Mogadishu or some war ravaged sector of Sierra Leone. There is no reason a child that young should have access to assault rifles.
The fact that the child was mentally disturbed is even worse, and there are no laws preventing the parent of a mentally unstable child from owning a gun right now. How do we know the mother was not suffering from some mental illness herself? People can seem to function just perfectly until we find out they have been allowing their mentally unstable children access to the assault rifles the parent bought in preparation for the Armageddon she believes is just around the corner. Where were psychiatric tests for her to decide whether or not she should have owned those weapons?
Shooting rampages bring the issue to the forefront and get the issues into the mainstream media's rotation of whatever five stories from around the world they will choose to make an issue out on any given week. But every day in America the biggest and most prevalent problem with guns isn't something occurring in suburban schools, office spaces or malls, though those are always tragic and no loss of life is better or worse in the end. The majority of shooting deaths occur in our inner cities and they rarely get addressed. The stories hardly ever get the proper scrutiny, no matter how gripping they are. As to why this is, only media outlets and politicians themselves would know.
We are always hearing about people that fell on hard times, and that are in need of help, but we rarely hear about such cases as they relate to the inner city, and trying to help people get out of the cycle of violence that typically occurs there. Take the recent shooting of Atlanta, Ga teen, Orentheal Childs. News One reported, "Childs was a member of a new street gang, the Young Mob, which is a subset of the gang Goodfellas. [...] the teen informed his fellow gang members he wanted out. […] the kid said, "Hey, look, I want to go straight, be law-abiding," and these were not the words that the gang members reportedly wanted to hear. So [the gang] allegedly riddled Childs' body with bullets on February 15th. [… ] after gang members thought they had executed the teen, they left him on the street." (http://newsone.com/2254248/atlanta-teen-survives-gang-shooting-orentheal...) They shot him fifteen times. When he recovers there is every chance they could find him and it could happen again.
Now there is a kid that needs help, and was willing to risk life and limb to try and break the cycle. He deserves a try. He deserves to be relocated, or helped. He took 15 bullets to do the right thing.
How often has Vice President Joe Biden made trips to inner city war zones before the rampage killings in Newton instead of after? Why? Why not? Don't the people that live there deserve the help as much? Or is there something less deserving about them? Why do we hear about how it's high time to curb what people can legally own, and never about stepped up searching of shipping containers in our ports?
That's where they are coming in. Why don't members of Congress move to stop the guns there? Criminals aren't buying guns legally to commit crimes within the majority of cases. Self defense against would be attackers and criminals is the main reason Americans want handguns and assault rifles. Not to stop any dangerous animals they might encounter in the woods, but dangerous humans they encounter in the everyday world.
Could it be that gun manufacturers in the defense industry are making huge amounts of dollars from those illegal black market weapons? You know, the guns that aren't stolen from factories then sold on the streets. The ones that are bought legally by licensed dealers wholesale that then ship them overseas, only to file off the serial numbers then ship them back here. If they stopped that process, all those profits for that sector of the defense industry would dry.
They ensure guns stay on the market and in people's hands by donating to the NRA, Democrats and Republicans. People think it's just the NRA and Republicans, but it's all of them. In fact, President Obama received more donations for his 2012 campaign from the defense industry than Mitt Romney did.
People like Orentheal Childs and no doubt his family, along with those that suffered in Newton, deserve attention to their cause, and real steps to ensure assault rifles stay out of kids hands all across this great nation; that goes for firearms that are legally purchased, and those that are illegally bought. We could be a more peaceful nation no doubt. But it would take real work and real sacrifice.
To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.