In Support of Gun Control
Having worked for the Americans here in Germany for the past nine years, I have come to realise that although almost all of my colleagues abhor the shootings of late, very few of them would be willing to give up their right to carry a weapon. The gun lobby is still very strong in the US, and until this power-base is broken there will be no meaningful gun control in the United States.
My father is a former member of the NRA (National Rifle Association), so I was raised around guns, and taught to shoot them at a fairly early age (8). Still, I believe that the gun should be removed from America's culture. It has become a symbol of power and it means that you know how to stand up for yourself: If you don't get what you want, if someone treats you wrong, just shoot. It's absolutely appalling. I believe the time for a ban on guns has come, and has been here for more than six months now. How many more innocents have to die?
Assassinations of political leaders, marital slayings, young child shot and killed, policemen and women slain in the course of carrying out their duties. What will it take for America to wake up and cast off the paranoid chants of the National Rifle Association?
It's about time that the USA got over its cowboy mentality, and got rid of guns.
The American Society seems to pride its history of violence, or so it seems with the constant references to the right to bear arms. They must now however recognise that their society is in crisis. When one's children begin to shoot indiscriminately then one needs to seriously look at how children's lives are being influenced by the actions and thoughts of adults. It is not our children who make laws but they are also affected. When children can access guns and other violent weapons as easily as they appear to in the United States then certainly that society is in crisis. Here in Jamaica, we are also adversely affected. We are virtually on the U.S.A.'s doorsteps and our culture and morals are under siege. One therefore can expect to see very soon a similar situation among our children. I therefore encourage all well thinking Americans to continue to lobby for more stringent gun control laws.
Guns in America are out of control when a 15 year has access to handguns. Yet, if you try to get any legislation pass to restrict them you get Charlton Heston knocking at your front door wondering how long you've been a commie. It seems that people that want guns the most are paranoid about the government taking over their lives and without their guns they feel this would happen. If America ever becomes a civilized society then maybe everyone can turn in their guns, but I'm not holding my breath for either to happen.
Even though it seems we're interfering in Americas internal affairs or even their much beloved constitution, I think that the time has come to look at the USA gun laws and its own constitution and to look forward to the future as a safe country by seriously considering the problem of owning and freely buying hand guns for the use of. How long will all these killings go on until there will be no choice in the matter and more innocent people, whatever age will be killed or injured for life by anyone at any age group. Its bad enough reading all about it. But until its hit home the congress will not bother a dime about it How many Presidents have to be shot or threatened and a point of a gun until something is done about the appalling actions of young people and older citizens as well even tourists which bring international incidents to the USA and more trouble for its State and Local Authorities before some one has to do something about it eventually.
Terry Box, United Kingdom
Until the recent series of killings I was opposed to government restriction of handguns in the US. At this time I now favour legislation making it illegal to own a handgun. It is clear that those who should be responsible for keeping handguns away from people who do not have a clear picture of the implications of killing someone are unable to fulfil their duties.
Ban hand guns and all automatic weapons. Hunters do not need AKA 47s to shoot deer. And no one under 18 should be allowed to own any kind of gun. And hunters should be required to take a safety course and have a licence.
If we don't see this as a wake up call here in America then we are doomed to keep repeating these tragedies. The ease that our children get their hands on guns is frightening. Here in Tennessee we can now apply to get permits to carry concealed weapons. We seem to be going in the wrong direction.
The gun laws in the USA are archaic. Drafted when buffalo and Indians roamed the plains. Time and again we see innocent children being murdered by firearms. It is ironic that the most advanced Nation on Earth allows this to continue. Sadly the NRA is a very powerful body that can influence Congress. Until there are sufficient brave politicians who are prepared to do what is right, the problem will continue.
Simon, Hong Kong
Sadly the USA will only wake up to controlling the gun culture and stop glorifying it in their computer games and movies when more and more of their own children are killed by it. Seems to take a lot to get them to that climax point that enough is enough! The more weapons that you have around the more increased odds you have of accidents and deaths. The more you see violence in movies and TV the more your children will be thinking about these images and are being bombarded by it every day!
Yes, there are sociological factors behind the recent spate of school massacres in the US and these should rightly be addressed. But as long as guns remain easily accessible to anyone who wishes to vent their anger à la Pulp Fiction, even the best social and educational policy makers can do no more than stand back and reel in horror as they watch someone slip pass the safety-net of their reforms and gun their schoolmates, parents and friends into oblivion.
Chai-Ling Tan, Malaysia