America sure does love its guns.
Well, some of them don’t, but those are just the bleeding heart liberals that don’t understand the necessity of deadly force when an intruder comes for your loved ones. Could happen any minute now, so we gotta be prepared.
The simple, ‘violence begets more violence,’ never crossed anyones mind I guess.
The issue is complex and I don’t mean to make light. Many people have lost their lives due to America’s stubborn refusal to take a good hard look at not only why guns are such a problem in the US, but how they became one.
To state my position, I am on the extreme side of the gun control law. I think they should all be taken away, every single one.
Having lived in Japan for nearly six years now, a country where about 2 deaths occur annually due to gun violence (one of the lowest, if not THE lowest, in the world), I see how the policy of, “No one gets to have a gun. NO ONE.” really works. Not even the cops carry guns.
So, for my money, the answer is to take the guns away from everyone. And I mean, everyone. Take the hunting rifles and the game pistols, take the concealed carry weapons and full on machine guns. Take it all.
Why would that never happen? Because America has been raised in a state of constant violence and it’s all people see now. Thugs killing cops and cops brutally beating suspects, or even innocent civilians. School shootings, bar shootings, drive by shootings. The list could go on and on.
Americans just love to get riled up and shoot people.
The funny thing is, I actually thought I could be a cop for a minute. That was another in a long list of life decisions I did not think through to its conclusion. The reason I would have failed at that job is because I never could have pulled the trigger on an actual human being, and if I did, I would never have been able to live with myself. Regardless of the reason I would have killed the person, I still ended a life and that makes me a murderer.
I am sure a cop would say that I only say that because I am naive. I am and I shall remain that way. Guns and violence I leave to you then.
Here is the bottom line: Guns are a tool of death. Their only purpose a guns serves is to end the life of someone or something. While they may be used in practice just to hit targets, that is a warm up, a preparation, to deliver death more efficiently. I have shot a gun once and it terrified me. I am sure over a long enough time line I would grow numb to that feeling, but I don’t know that I would want to.
The truth is though, America established itself in the world through violence. The world wars put America on the map for good, and we’ve used war and our talent for it to propel ourselves to the ‘top of the heap,’ if you will.
Now look around. How many video games are all about shooting people, how many movies and television shows do we have where people get offed and we don’t blink, how many ads/films/television shows do we have glorifying the life of being a soldier. The reality is nothing like that though, but it sure looks cool in those ads, right?
Since moving to Japan I have never once seen an army/navy/air force/marine commercial. They have these things (albeit under a cute name that makes it seem like it’s not a ‘real’ armed force as per the agreement after the American occupation), but it’s not cool to be in it. Walking into a bar in this country and saying, ‘I’m a soldier,’ gets people to slowly shift to the other side of the room.
But America loves their soldiers. They love their war. They love ‘fighting for freedom.’ That wonderful idea that America cornered the market on, yet they are only one in a long list of countries that have freedom… yet most of those other countries don’t need to promote violence and its perpetuation nearly as much as the US does in order to ‘maintain’ it.
The reality for the United States is that it was a country founded on violence and has never gotten beyond that. They took their land violently (admittedly they didn’t corner the market on this either), then they built their reputation through the war machine (the very machine that saved them from financial ruin), and have since never put down the mantle of, “Greatest Armed Forces in the World!”
Perhaps there is something to that title and all the love of guns…
To point to a rather odd source though, and excuse me for the geek-out here, but Thor said it nicely in the first Avengers movie. By building larger weapons as a defence you are also calling out to those who would rise to such a challenge, telling them you are prepared for a higher form of battle.
So robbers in America know they need a gun. Why? Because the person they are going to rob likely has a gun. For every step we take to defend ourselves, those who would attack are going to take a step further. The question is, when will they allow people to install missile home defence systems?
The reality is, guns are big money and the whirlwind they create after someone uses them in a maniacal way only makes them all the more popular. The armed faction of the States rise up and shout that they need their weapons to defend their loved ones! To defend their homes! It’s not their fault that some other person used their gun in the wrong way, that isn’t what they are planning on doing! And so the guns linger, and more innocent people die.
Well, I have the answer for you all: move to Japan. You can go to a convenient store in Japan, get out of your car with it still running (keys obviously in the ignition) and the windows down, and you will never think twice about it. It would never get stolen. You think I’m kidding? I’ll take a video of it. People do it every day. They also put knee high fences around goods that are high priced and leave them out over night. Does crime still exist? Yes. They have the Yakuza and everyone knows to stay away from them. If you are stupid enough to confront them, especially with a weapon, sure, they will kill you. Still, they know that no one is going to come at them with a gun and as such the number of times they, or any person in Japan, has even threatened someone with a gun is almost zero.
So America can kick and scream and say, ‘it can’t work!’ all they want. It can… the question is about the kind of people your country produces. Sadly, the answer to that is not a fun one to think about in the end.