Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Guns don’t kill people. Bullets do….. (USA only)

18 January 2015

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Outside the USA it could be hard finding someone actually believing the title of this blog article. It would be easy making fun of gun crazy, trigger happy, NRA supporting Americans but that is not the essence of this article.

The root of the American lack of gun control stems from the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution which was adopted on 15 December 1791. Hence more than 200 years ago in a timeframe usually referred to as the Wild West. Despite some limited sales regulations, basically nothing has changed.

Almost no civilised country gives its citizens the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The USA does. Most countries would use a permit system if even allowed at all.

Mid 2014 Forbes magazine published the results of a study amongst the most and least peaceful countries in the world. The USA ranks 101 out of 162 while 88 in 2012. Syria is last at #162. Even notoriously violent Haiti is ahead of USA at #99.

It would be easy to explain the need for owning guns given the violence in the USA. In my view, this valid argument also provides a chicken and egg dilemma. What came first?

Except for Northern Ireland, police officers in the UK do not carry fire arms (e.g., guns) except for special circumstances. This situation originates from the 19th century and slightly later than USA.

Nowadays US police officers look more and more like military commandos using former military High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (a.k.a. Humvees) to transport their troops.

Late 2014 USA Today, a popular national newspaper, published the results of a study into fear amongst Americans. The result was that Americans have taken it to heart: Be afraid, be very afraid. People are scared of a lot of things, with their biggest fears include walking alone at night, being the victim of identity theft and being a victim of a mass shooting. The level of pessimism was astounding to us, said the lead researcher and sociology professor.

I have visited the USA some 10 times mainly during the 90’s. I do not recall feeling any fear apart from visiting downtown San Diego which used to be a bad area back then. However, America feels very, very, different when you start watching their many (local) TV news stations. I can imagine that people get scared. When people are scared for a prolonged period of time then fear kicks in.

Fear is an excellent manipulator of human thought. I refer to Michael Crichton’s book State Of Fear.

Violence creates violence. Bullets only kill people when guns – and bullets – are freely available.

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