GUNS: A Tool For The Weak?
Gun-related homicides have slightly increased each year since 2002. People between the ages of 15 and 24 are most likely to be targeted by gun violence as opposed to other forms of violence. Intimate partner violence can be fatal when a gun is involved – from 1990 to 2005, two-thirds of spouse and ex-spouse homicide victims were killed by guns* (usdoj.gov).
In a 2002 crime study* (UN/OCJS) the United States ranked #4 (behind South Africa, Colombia & Thailand) in gun-related homicides [#8 per capita].
Let’s compare that with our neighbor to the north, Canada.
United States- 9,369 ¤ Canada- 144
In Detroit, a US city fairly well-known for its crime, recorded 308 criminal homicides in 2010 (a 15.4% drop from 2009) (DN). However, a tweet from director Michael Moore alerted me to the fact that Detroit’s city across the river, Windsor, had a total of ZERO gun-related homicides. Whether you are a fan of Moore or not, you have to ask yourself a question, what is it about us that drives us to kill one another? Is it because of our gun laws? How about our access to guns? Is it just our American nature?
I posted a video on my facebook page on Monday that featured musician Henry Rollins in a 1994 MTV ad on violence (the video). In this clip, Rollins proclaims, “…The strong don’t need guns. Guns are tools of the weak.” I got a fair amount of comments on this video, and I’m glad it attracted the attention it did. This topic has gone on time and time again, and yet, gun-related homicides continue to rise.
My (personal) stance on guns?
Guns serve little purpose in today’s society other than: getting people hurt, creating accidents (many-times harmful and fatal ones), and killing or maiming innocent animals for sport (which I’ve always been against). Guns, to me, are relics of a by-gone era. While I understand that our military and law enforcement may need the protection of a ballistic weapon, our “every-day-citizen” does not.
What about my Second Amendment right?
Yes. This Constitutional amendment “protects” the right of the people to bear arms. But with this, I think back to the words of comedian Chris Rock that said, “You could drive a car with your feet if you WANT to, that don’t make a it a good &%# idea!” What are we scared of that we need a gun around for? Le révolution?
Ok. I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. So there’s a revolution.
My next question would be, “Who do you think you are?” Am I trying to be funny by asking this question? Well, yes AND no. While it may be exciting to think that we’re a Clint Eastwood character, it’s humorous to believe you’re going to “Make someone’s day” without first getting yourself killed. Your best bet will be to drill for oil/”juice” and barricade yourself in your fort (see film, The Road Warrior).
What about hunting?
Too cruel for me, but if that’s what you enjoy doing…and if you’re like Dexter and you need to exercise that need to kill something (or you’ll just blow your top), then go right ahead. I can’t stop you. But why not try to wrestle an elk down with your bare hands? Why not learn to spear fish? Give the poor animal a fighting chance, by God! Don’t just dangle its food source in front of him with a hidden spike in it! Wow, you out-smarted a fish! Wow, you sniped a deer as it was walking through a meadow (which was probably the only natural clearing available with all the nearby freeways). I might be impressed if you smeared yourself with dung, crept within range and used a slingshot or bow and arrow to bring the animal down, but that’s just my opinion. Whatever you do though, don’t display the animal’s head on your wall and grin with pride. How barbaric… but then again, somewhere inside of you you must feel that it is too.
If you do plan on owning a gun, make sure it is stored in a safe place and you educate yourself properly on the care, use and handling of the firearm. Understand the state laws and keep in mind that injuring and/or killing (even a criminal or attacker) may like hold with it a prison sentence for you.
Suggested Reading: “Facing Violence” by: Rory Miller.
We’d love to you what you, our readers, feel on the subject.
The underlining question IS, however, “Are guns needed” and “Are guns the biggest problem with America (when it comes to violence)?”
United States Department of Justice, The Eighth United Nations Survey on Crime Trends &, Operations of Criminal Justice Systems (2002), The Detroit News. January 2010 (Hunter)