Guns in America

For the history of the world, violence has been a means for people to get what they want.  That is not to say that it has been THE means; it has simply been a means.  If people desire something, they're capable of making it a reality by the use of weaponry and personal violence.

Perhaps the United States of America is the best example of this.  After all, we fought without rules during our own Revolution (not unlike how we are being fought against in the Middle East) and are still the only country in the world to drop a single devastating bomb or two on a country with which we are engaged in war.  America has turned to violence and our own development of weaponry to get what we need no matter the moral standing of our needs.  America is not unlike the rest of human history.

In America we enable even our citizens to have weapons.  We limit the weapons they're able to have, sure, but our Constitution enables all American citizens to own and possess weapons.  Most popularly: guns.  There are many arguments for why this is a good thing.  Personal freedom, self defense, hunting and protection against tyranny are just a few of the arguments.

After all, gun violence is the reason we escaped British oppression in the first place.  It's too bad we didn't enable the American slaves on our plantations to own guns; they might have been able to free themselves from their oppression which was far worse than the way we had been oppressed by the British.  We might not even remember President Lincoln if that had been the case.

Personal guns are the one defense that Americans have to fight the armies of our government when tyranny inevitably hits.  There are many making this argument on a daily basis now as our President begins his campaign on preventing tragedies like Newtown, CT from ever happening again.  When the government needs to take over the people and remove personal liberties, they say, they'll take away the guns.  That's how it will start.  Once the guns are lost, we are defenseless.

This is a main pro-gun argument and it is likely the best one.  After all, there are many historical precedents.  The fear of the ruling force above oneself creates a need for personal protection through weaponry.  It is a pervasive and constant fear among many in the world and even though we are SO comparatively safe in America, it is a fear among Americans.  The ruling force above you will come to get you and if you are defenseless, you will die: this is the fear.

But hasn't America reached a new age?  Hasn't America reached a point where if the ruling body above us wanted to overtake its citizens it could do so without much fight back at all? While an AR-15 can do a ton of damage to a defenseless class of 6 year olds, it can do little against a SWAT team.  The government has more toys than we do.  The ruling force is stronger than the civilians. We are at risk of being overtaken at all times no matter our defense.

Even given our new reality, America's obsession with stockpiling ourselves with guns in order to defend against the least tyrannical government in the world is growing. Since Newtown, gun and self protection class enrollment has skyrocketed.  Many gun ranges are teaching public school teachers to use a handgun for free.  The argument now for guns, both from the NRA and the general public, is not protection against a tyrannical government; it is not even protection in a personal home.  The argument for guns in America now is that the only person who can stop a bad guy with one is a good guy with one.

So America will fight hard against Presidential leadership to maintain its right to possess whatever kind of firearm its citizens desire. And we will likely end up with many more people carrying weapons around, all the time, ready to fight back if needed.  This means that that car accident that was your fault: the other individual is more likely to possess a firearm in their anger.  That Black Friday shopping argument: the other person is far more likely to have a gun. And training to be able to use it.

When societies are constantly living in fear of one another, community is lost.  When societies live within that fear and lack of community are armed with weapons, love is less present.  When love is less present and societies have weapons, we are far more likely to use them.  When more people have weapons, fear is present and love is not, more people are likely to use their weapons.

America is no longer a community.  It's not that we don't just trust the foreigner anymore; we don't trust each other.  That's true of me and you.  But your way of dealing with not trusting me is to arm yourself with weaponry.  My way of dealing with not trusting you is to try to trust you in love. This is a monumental shift in thinking, but it's a far more peaceful one and one I'd recommend to America in this time.

Please forgive me for thinking that more people using their weapons is a bad thing.