I doubt you have escaped the current cultural discussion surrounding guns. My ears and eyes have been filled with numerous stories and articles about pro and cons of guns and the “rights” that go with them.
Obviously, as an American living in the United States this debate has a huge impact on myself and those in my community. What has shocked/disappointed me the most is that people have becoming increasingly emotional and zealous about guns on both sides of the issue. What I want to do is approach the object of all this debate.
What is a gun?
: a weapon that shoots bullets or shells
(Definition taken from http://www.merriam-webster.com/)
This may be a oversimplification, but I want to understand the object in its most basic form. Now to look at what the gun consists of:
This is a basic revolver, but I think we can assume that most guns more or less conform to this format of: stock, hammer, trigger and barrel.
This object is purely for the purpose of pushing ammo out of the barrel into the air at a rapid velocity. While, it has been up for debate at where this bullet is supposed to go I am concerned with how this instrument is made specifically for this function.
We have made some incredibly innovations to guns with semi and fully automatic guns. The advent of the machine gun in 1884 fundamentally changed the usefulness of guns against infantry. I don’t want to delve too much into the history here, but simply put guns have always been meant to kill.
Americans love to dress up guns “patriotic rhetoric” and there has become an increasingly fanatical range of individuals, who defend the use of guns. The often quoted Second Amendment:
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, the first part of that line is about keeping a “regulated militia”. From my knowledge we do not keep a militia anymore in any state. The closest thing to a militia I can think of is the National Guard. I don’t here any of these “pro-gun” folks throwing a fit about that, though. Funny, that we’re selective about, which part of the amendment should be kept around or not used.
Most gun control groups are not about taking guns away, though I’m sure there are some out there. Guns can be used as tools as they are with hunting. The idea that guns are for “protection” leads to leading terminology. Guns in the home, if improperly stored or taken care of, leads to accidents. In fact: “Nearly 800 children under 14 were killed in gun accidents from 1999 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
Doesn’t sound like they add that much protection. Is there any real reason to have such a fanatical, if not, blinding loyalty to a single object?
In conclusion, a gun in an object with a single purpose. One that is to eject bullets from it’s muzzle at a target. I have shot guns before in my life and I received a moment of awe and respect for the tool, but it is not one that I would wish around my home or defend until I am blue in the face.
I think it is the other issues that are linked to the guns, themselves that provide numerous questions as to why these “gun rights” need to be untouchable in the USA. I’ll return to this issue soon to look at the rise of smart gun technology and discuss what is wrong with putting “gun rights” over civil rights.