GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE, WITH GUNS.

…Yes, and other things I know.  And my point is not to say guns are bad, even though they are meant for killing.  We all know the issue in the United States where some tens of thousands of people are killed every year by gun violence and I’d like to take a moment to talk about why pretty much everyone is wrong when it comes to this topic. 

US Homicides By Weapon
US Homicides By Weapon – Source

It’s statistically true that Handguns are the leading object used in homicides in the US, trumping all other weapons combined- everyone on both sides of the barrel know this.  The argument in the US from some is that guns are not the reason for the murders, just a tool that the murderer decided to use to accomplish the task.  There are a few extremists who would like to have zero regulation and have started campaigns to essentially go to war over the government trying to take away the rights of the people.  People who pay attention know that this is not the case, but that’s not what is being sold by the extremists who are louder than everyone else.

On the other side you have people asking for better regulation on owning weapons with the purpose of helping to protect citizens from gun violence, essentially saying that we need to be able to keep track of what guns are where and hold people more accountable for the weapons they own.  There are a few extremists who would like to get rid of guns entirely in the US and they, much like the extremists from the opposite group, are louder than everyone else.

In my opinion, this issue has little to do with guns, and a whole lot more to do with education and healthcare, or should I say the lack thereof, that is plaguing the United States.  My actual opinion on guns?  I think they’re fun and anyone who has ever shot one knows this.  Other than that, I don’t see much of a purpose to own one unless you hunt.  The only real issue I have with guns is that Americans are getting progressively more stupid and unhealthy and they make stupid decisions because of it.  I just don’t want to be in the path of a stupid person with a gun.

Good Samaritan bled to death on New York street as 25 pedestrians ignored him for more than an HOUR.
Good Samaritan bled to death on New York street as 25 pedestrians ignored him for more than an HOUR – Source

We are very good at turning a blind eye to that which we do not wish to acknowledge exists.  We do this with those who are less fortunate, those who live in violent neighborhoods or those who grow up with the surroundings that breed the type of ignorance that causes some kind of violent outburst.  We basically live by the “out of sight, out of mind” way of life in the US.

The issue in a case where we have turned a blind eye is not that they got their hands on a gun.  The issue is that our society has not educated these people because we don’t really want to acknowledge that they exist.

The United States has an issue where they won’t educate those who need it, and they make it increasingly more difficult for those who seek out an education to achieve it.  This creates an education gap between those who have the resources to obtain it and those who don’t.

A person with a complicated life issue will reach to their education to solve that issue.  If their education is only what they know about violence on the street, then the correct answer for that person is to respond with violence.  It becomes justified in their mind because there is nothing to tell them that it is wrong.

The US has a seriously bad education rating in comparison with other civilized nations.  How can we expect to reduce violence when we are breeding stupidity?  If the United States of America wants to solve the violence problem they need to figure out how to preemptively help those who might cause that violence.  If violence is not the answer, we need to teach people what is.

The second point I think we should discuss is a little more obvious to most.  How can we expect our citizens to be nonviolent  when all we do as a country is resort to violence to solve our problems?  Yes, our military is second to none, but we don’t need to use it at every turn.  If someone does something we don’t like, we shoot first and ask questions later- and it’s the same that you see with a good portion of gun violence.

When you have a country like Russia who are known for human rights violations and corruption making America look stupid on a global scale about a diplomatic issue, you know that we are pushing too hard for violence.  The answer to violence is not violence, it’s diplomacy.  In some rare cases, violence is required and it’s nice to be the biggest kid in the school yard, but right now we’re the bully and not the kid protecting anyone.

A Plea for Caution From Russia
What Putin Has to Say to Americans About Syria

So you have a country that solves its problems with violence on both a macro and a micro level.  It makes perfect sense.  We must learn how to lead by example if we intend to control violence within our own borders.

The third and final point I’ll make about the gun issue is our shitty healthcare system.  There are people who kill because it’s all they know from the streets, and then there are those who kill because they need some kind of help.  Getting the help one needs in the United States is like pulling teeth.   People are afraid of getting help.  The help is something that costs too much, or it makes us feel weak because that is how it is sold to us.  We need to start realizing that getting help is actually a good thing and that society won’t judge you for it.  Some people need help and that’s okay, but that’s not we are sold our perception of metal health.

As a nation we need to learn how to get help for ourselves and get help for others before there is some kind of violence.  We need to learn how to recognize when someone needs help and there needs to be a very normal, natural process for getting that help that feels common to everyone.

This is a healthcare issue, not a gun issue.  This is an education issue, not a gun issue.  This is a lead by example issue, not a gun issue.  This is only a gun issue because of the person holding it.  The solution is generational, and there is no way to solve it tomorrow.  You must educate the population and teach them other methods of solving their problems.  You can do this by funding schools better and leading by example.  You must create a path to help those who need it with a proper healthcare system that doesn’t make it difficult to preemptively save lives.

The extremists on the left and on the right can scream all they want, but they aren’t fooling me.  Whether you believe we should or shouldn’t have access to guns, the choice to have one should still be there for those who are able to responsibly own one.  The regulation should be in place to prevent access to those who can’t responsibly own one.  This is fair and allows everyone to be both safe and keep their rights.  Is it inconvenient for some to have regulation around their guns? Maybe, but a small inconvenience should be something all Americans should be willing to make to protect its citizens.

educationTo help put it into perspective, in the United States owning a gun is a right, healthcare is not and access to food is not.  Access to food is a human right in nearly every other country in the world.  Health Care is a human right according to Amnesty International and the United Nations and the US still doesn’t provide this right to its people.  While education is a right, the US dropped to 21st on the list, tied with Lithuania.  Cuba is in a six way tie for first (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Education_Index).

So when I see people arguing that guns don’t kill people, that people kill people, I say, “Guess what? You’re right!”  People do kill people, with guns, and I’m glad you are identifying the problem. But America, what are you doing about it besides using it as an point in an argument?

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