Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Guns & the USA



It’s hard to wrap my mind around the extreme passions that have been stirred up by the suggestion that some form of gun control should be introduced in the USA as proposed by President Obama. Observing the situation from outside the USA, as I am doing in Australia, I have to admit I can’t even begin to understand where the proponents of laissez-faire gun control are coming from.

    As a member of the Writers Discussion Group (Google+), I was shocked to read the hate and venom expressed by so many contributors in response to someone recently posting President Obama’s speech on the subject. If I was living in the USA, I would be scared witless to know that these extremely angry people are in favor of a gun-toting society without any restrictions at all on who is allowed to have guns and the kind of weapons people can have in their possession.

   It seems to me that America has lost its way regarding the right to bear arms since the Second Amendment to the US Constitution was passed by Congress on December 15, 1791.

 It stated:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

   Now, a lot of water has flowed under the bridge since 1791 and those who hide behind the Second Amendment to justify no control over guns, should take breath and consider what arms the early settlers were talking about when the Amendment was passed, and compare them with what’s freely available now. We’ve gone from single shot muzzled loaded muskets and pistols to highly sophisticated and lethal automatic weapons that any idiot can access and wreak havoc with.

   Also, taming the wild frontier and threats from foreign armies are relics of a long-gone past. It’s time to put away the guns and leave them in the hands of the armed forces, law-enforcement officers, security personnel etc. It’s their job to deal with the bad guys.

   Also, the argument that Obama’s stance to tighten gun laws is an infringement of people’s rights strikes me as ridiculous. Governments are elected to govern and also to pass laws to protect the people. It seems to me that, after the terrible incident at Newtown (and elsewhere), Obama’s government would be derelict in its duty if it did not pass laws to address this issue.

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