The 2nd Amendment, or the right to bear Arms, is not something that I have grown up with, or had deeply ingrained into my identity. I was not born here and the UK has a very different attitude to guns and their uses… so … this incident at San Bernardino has raised some stark questions.
I understand that for some, it is a very important part of who they are as an American. I also understand that the 80 million or so people who own guns legally here have the right to have them. I also understand that many people do think there needs to be some reform on gun control – and that some think it should not be changed.
I am curious to hear from anyone on this – so please share your thoughts, especially if you own a gun, what do you think about gun control reform?
I have lived and worked in some of the dodgiest areas of London, but never once felt fearful of going somewhere where I may get shot. Here, after the 353 mass shootings this year (that number as of December 3rd 2015) has me feeling really concerned. It is not going to stop me from going out and doing my normal everyday stuff, but how can you not be affected by that number? Let it sink in for a second … 353 mass shootings (meaning a single shooting incident that results in the deaths or injury of four or more people, including the attacker) in 337 days of the year so far … (numbers provided by Shooting Tracker).
That is just mass shootings, not numbers related to gun violence in general.
So I have a few questions that I am hoping to find some answers to, or at least a bit of information on it all to add to my reading around this subject:
Why has there been no gun control reform yet? Why not something like increased background checks or making assault rifles unobtainable?
What is a .223 calibre rifle, that can piece walls and body armour, like the ones used by the couple who did the recent mass shooting in San Bernardino, California used for? Should these types of guns be readily available with the current checks or outlawed? Are these guns best in the hands of the military that use them and not your everyday American?
I am not criticising the right to bear Arms, I am trying to understand it more as this is the third mass shooting I have watched unfold via the news and social media in October alone. Is it time for a change, or shall we just let a website keep track and do nothing about it?
The law that allows those on a terrorism ‘no fly list’ to still buy guns, and that President Obama, mentions in the above CBS News slot – does that need to be changed? Is the NRA’s blocking of a proposed law that would stop a person on the list from getting a firearm backed by all their members or is there something else at play?
Also, when the 2nd Amendment came into effect in 1791, it was a very different world then, and the need to fend off the British helped create the idea that citizens have the right to bear Arms and support the security of a free state. We do not live in those times anymore. The nature and usage of guns has changed immeasurably since then, so is it time to bring a law/amendment up-to-date to reflect todays issues? Does a law or amendment need to reflect the world we live in today? I know a law and an amendment are different, as an amendment is so ingrained as part of the freedoms of this nations people – but so are the laws. They are there to protect its people. Does it now need to change to do a better job and reflect what the people are facing?
What are your thoughts?