The recent (and very disturbing) campus shooting is already raising the controversial issue of gun control. I don’t know what the proper course of action is, but I do agree that something has to be done to stop this kind of behavior.
Michael Moore’s documentary Bowling For Columbine examines how American attitudes, not guns, are responsible for our high crime rates. We love violence. It leads every news program, it’s featured in most of our television shows and prominently displayed in most video games. We glorify violence through our celebrations of military might and unprovoked attacks on foreign countries.
Britain has some of the strongest gun control laws in the world, and with a population of 53,000,000 they recorded only 46 homicides with guns last year. In contrast, New York City has a population of 8,000,000 and recorded at least 579 gun homicides last year. It would seem that the numbers speak for themselves, but I feel that it’s a little more complicated than that. Canada has very high levels of gun ownership, yet they are not plagued with the kinds of problems that are commonplace in the states.
Now, a bit of honesty. We have a handgun in our home. I don’t like guns, but it belongs to my partner and I won’t say that I don’t feel a little safer just knowing it’s there.
The whole issue of violence always seems to boil down to a lack of respect for others. Regretfully, until America is willing to address that problem, I don’t expect our problem with gun violence to get any better.