Tuesday, 17 April 2007

never hold a gun?

I've never held a real gun. Toy guns - yes. Even paint-ball guns. A real gun, never.

In England, unless I joined a military related group, a gun club or was a person of the land, it would be quite difficult to gain access to a gun. I'd still have to be background checked, could have medical records sought, would need two people to vouch for me and would need a certificate/licence. The gun would need to be locked away and the ammunition would need to be in a separate location.

The USA appear to let anyone over 18 years old buy a gun, after some rudimentary background checks. If the person wants to buy from a private collector, even the background checks are bypassed. When I'm in the USA, I noticed Wal-Mart has a whole counter similar in size to a mobile phone counter, dedicated to the sale of guns and ammunition. Actually, without a credit record, some mobile phone subscriptions may be harder to purchase than a cash sale for a gun.

In some States there seems to be a limit imposed on this. You can't buy more than one gun a month, so building a collection would take a little while. For the more adventurous, some States permit the purchase of semi automatic weapons and even of AK-47s and Uzi Sub-machine guns. The American Constitution says people are allowed to "keep and bear arms." The National Rifle Association in the USA doesn't talk for long on its home page without using words like "patriot" as a way to reassure that this is all okay.

Maybe the Second Amendment was right about citizens needing to have the right to protect themselves (including from an unjust Government), though interpreting this - comma by comma - as everyman can keep and bear arms seems to deliberately cloud the point. I'll stay unarmed.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It's your prerogative to not have a gun and i respect it.The fact that you live in England is one of the things that makes you frown at the American way a bit like if you never been to a nude beach. All the peoples used to go to that beach are at ease with it and see no potential rape danger, but someone not in this frame of mind will see all sorts of bad things that can result from this.
Point is criminals will do crime even in England, i see videos of kids stabbing each other under the eyes of street cams and no one can do anything about it to prevent that crime from happening when just the fact that the victim COULD be armed will prevent more than half the crimes of that kind.
You always hear about the deaths committed by guns thanks to the liberal media but you never or rarely hear about someone preventing a crime from happening because of a gun.
Governments have a way to make you think what they want you to think, like the fact that there's no danger around you. Do you really think (and this is a legitimate question) that the police will be there when you're in a situation where you need them? they will be there but at best 20 minutes later when you needed them there within 10 seconds. I know there's no way that anyone can be so close to help you right? Which comes back to the point where having something to defend your life is crucial and that's where the american way is right and being unarmed is wrong. It's the difference between having a chance and being dead. It's not just crimes and violence it's personal protection against something any amount of laws will never get rid of,evil.