Another day, another shooting. Good morning, America.
It's not gang related, it's not a paid hit. It's another psychopath shooting at a college. It was only the other day some freak with orange hair got his hands on a gun and ran rampage in a cinema, and yet another person who should not have had access to a gun managed to have his way and kill nine innocent people in the process. It should not be this easy. America, WAKE UP. You are enabling these tragedies.
Let's look at the facts, comparatively.
According to Nationmaster, America rates 669 times higher for 'murder with firearms' than the UK. Ah wait, I hear you rationalists shout. 'That's because there's more people in America!' And you would be right, so let's look at another statistic.
'Murders by firearm per million people.' America is 138 times higher than the UK.
And this is where the Republican's cry, 'if you're going to kill someone, you'll do it regardless of if you have a gun or not! The gun doesn't make someone a killer!' Let's think about this. Someone is pissing me off, mega. I am furious. I have a gun in my hand. It will take one split-second of red rage and for me to lose my senses and rationale to lift that gun, pull the trigger, and kill them without even getting my hands dirty. The gun has done all the hard work. Thank you, 'Murica.
Now let's look at the UK scenario. I'm pissed me off. There's a knife on the kitchen counter. I have to actively grab a knife, run over to the victim, use physical force to stab them, and literally put enough force in to feel their life seep away under my hands until they die. Sounds a bit harder, right? It takes longer, requires more physical excursion and a real desire to make that happen. Mens Rea, if you will.
Now don't get me wrong, Britons kill too unfortunately. But again, let's look at the statistics. 'Violent crime murders per million people'. The UK ranks in 94th, the USA 43rd. 4 times higher than the UK. Is that because people in America have more anger and a tendency to snap? Doubt it. Is it because they have access to guns and it's easier mentally to kill using a gun than a knife? More likely.
Not to mention, a gun can kill a host of people in rapid succession, as we're seeing now from all these horrific mass-shootings that are happening. I can think of one school mass-shooting in the UK off the top of my head in history. Just one. You can't mass-kill with a knife unless you're the freaking Hulk. And of course there are guns in the UK as well, but they are mission impossible to get a hold of unless you're a part of the Underworld or involved in Gang Culture. You get 5 years in prison for even being caught carrying a gun - a good deterrent. And yes, shootings happen in Britain, of course they do. Unfortunately they're increasingly common in London, with the local paper listing off young teenage boys killed in gang-related shootings nearly every month. But the point is - they are MUCH less common than the US.
We have guns, but shootings and murders are less common because of our strict control and laws related to holding a fire arm. This is where America is lacking. Why have these young men (often clearly with psychiatric troubles, see Elliot Rodger) been able to get a gun and bullets SO DAMN EASILY??
Enter, the right wing Republican argument. "We have the right to bare arms in the Constitution! We need them to defend ourselves!' The fact that most right-wingers who come out with this trash are often conservative Christians as well absolutely gobsmacks me. You think God is okay with you killing someone in self-defence?! Mate, I didn't read that bit of the Bible.
Who are you to decide when something is 'self-defence?' A burglar is in your home, so you shoot him 'in self-defence'. Was he going to shoot you? Maybe, but maybe not. What gives you the right to decide that a situation has put you in so much danger that you can end someone else's life? Who are you to play God and decide who can live and who should die? It's such a twisted way of thinking, planting the idea into society that violence can be resolved with more violence. This disgusting mind-set is probably what's leading to these tragic shootings of young black men that we are seeing time and time again by the Police, who have it in their heads that they have the right to shoot in order to end the 'dangerous situation' that they perceive themselves to be in. Even though 99% of the time nobody is in any danger at all.
To conclude, there is absolutely nothing anybody can say to me to make me change my stand that gun control in America is a joke, and that nobody should ever be allowed to have a gun in a family home and feel the right to use it at their own will against another person. God bless Obama if he ever manages to push something like this through their (frankly ridiculous) and strenuous Political billing system.
How many more shootings is it going to take, America? How many more deaths? How many more filled prison cells? How many more funerals? Wake the fuck up and realise your mentality for defending easy-access to arms is the thing killing your own society. I speak for all of Europe when I say, we are horrified.
Full-time writer and blogger. I write about fashion and occasionally scathing accounts retelling instances where people have wronged me. I am a strong believer, proud advocator and solemn enforcer of the Wine Wednesday movement.