So the US government is back… Congrats on that! Let’s talk about guns.
As you might know, I am quite critical of the US. Not very surprising considering the fact that I am a socialist even in Dutch terms (and no, that does not make me a communist, an anti-democrat or an anti-capitalist), but it can’t just be my political beliefs that make me wonder what the US government is thinking, can it? Sure, my opposition to the death penalty is pure political bias, but guns… can anyone explain to me what exactly the point of them is? You know… aside from being able to kill people…
Let’s start with an example. Last week there was a 15-year old boy from Portugal who decided to imitate the Columbine shooting. He had seen several of these massacres in the US on his TV and decided that he wanted to do the same thing. In fact, he created an elaborate plan in which he was going to kill at least 60 people so that he could “break the record,” before he would end his own life. After setting up the entire plan, he got to work and began his preparations. Except… one thing was missing…
He didn’t have a gun. Problematic, to say the least, if you want to break any records. But well, what are you gonna do? He lived in Portugal, so there was no way he could get his hands on a gun, meaning that instead, he just had to go and try with a knife. The result? Four wounded. No deaths. Welcome to Europe.
Now what if this boy lived in the US? Can you imagine what would have happened? He had truly planned this thing out, and except for that slight problem of not having a gun, his preparation was quite impressive. After all, he was 15 and still managed to stab one of his teachers and three classmates, which I’d say isn’t that bad considering it was probably a 25 against 1 fight.
Considering situations like this, you’d think the vote on gun control would be unanimous. After all, who in their right mind would still support gun ownership if you consider the well-known statistics? Everyone has the right to protect one-self, you might say, but do you think these students would have been able to protect themselves against a gun? Do you expect them to bring their own gun to class? Instead, how about we make sure that people don’t HAVE to protect themselves against guns? Would that really be such a bad idea?
Proof that it works is out there in abundance. In fact, murder still reaches the newspaper here in the Netherlands. Once every two days it happens, quite a contrast compared to the once every half an hour in the US. And sure, it’s a bigger country, but even per capita is still happens four times as often as it does in the Netherlands. Divide the current figure by four and you will see that if the US ended up with the same murder rate as Canada, Australia, most of Europe, most of Eastern Asia and yes, even the Middle East, 10.000 lives would be saved. Every year. That’s more than one life every hour.
Are those lives really not more valuable than that “entitlement” to a gun? Is being irrationally conservative really so much fun that it is worth sacrificing thousands of lives every year? I’d say it isn’t, so for the sake of all those lives, please… don’t be so conservative. There’s nothing wrong with a bit of progress.
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