Guns: Powder and Blood

Guns, Powder and Blood

A gun is a device that can fire projectiles at high velocity. These projectiles otherwise known as bullets are propelled by black powder called gun powder. The high speed projectile can cause tremendous damage to anything it strikes. It was quickly adapted for wars and military conquests because of its enormous destructive power. It has also been used by countries to defend against foreign powers. However, the gun came with its advantages and disadvantages. It has been adopted by criminals as a tool for intimidation. It has been adopted by murderers because it simplifies the job of killing. Many people still disagree over the balance of its advantages vs. its disadvantages thus gun control and regulation has been the center of debate for many years. Gun control advocates on one hand and gun advocates on the other seem to balance each other in this argument. However, gun advocates fail to realize that there has been a dramatic increase in violence and crime since the advent of the gun. I strongly oppose the sales and licensing of guns because it has caused more demolition than construction in societies.
Gun advocates argue that guns are for self defense. They say that a gun may come in handy if one is confronted by enemies or robbers. Many families have guns they don’t even need, and the enemy they await may never come. Research has shown that a gun kept in the home for “self defense” is 43 times more likely to kill a member of the household, or friend, than an intruder.(Arthur Kellermann and Donald Reay. "Protection or Peril? An Analysis of Firearm Related Deaths in the Home." The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 314, no. 24, June 1986, pp. 1557-60.). This is congruent to my personal experience. On the 20th of December, 2006 a friend of mine was shot in the groin by his 16 year old younger brother. The young lad pulled the gun during a quarrel with his elder brother, and when they both struggled for the gun he pulled the trigger. My friend died in the hospital the same day. A little quarrel resulted in the loss of life because, a gun was available. Perhaps, if there were no gun in that house, there wouldn't have been pain and loss of life. Research by Dr. Arthur Kellerman has shown that keeping a gun in the home carries a murder risk 2.7 times greater than not keeping one. Is there a need for self defense with a gun if there were no guns available? I don’t think so.
Gun advocates also argue that if everybody had a Gun, it would reduce crime rate, because criminals themselves will be deterred by fear. This is a rather silly ideology, because, all a smart criminal has to do is run up on his target and shoot first. Bullets don’t respect life neither can they differentiate between criminals nor innocent people. Incidents such as the Columbian high school massacre in April 1999, which resulted in the deaths of 14 students (including the two gunmen) and a teacher, will be regular news if guns can be obtained easily. It will create situations in which two people blast off at each other in the event of a quarrel or confrontation. I call it the “The evil spirit of the gun.” This will in turn increase street violence, number of notorious gangs, blood shed, population decline and economic decline of the country.
Hunters aggressively protect their right to possess guns. Majority claim that they are used for hunting alone. I think they should employ the use of traps or sedatives, because the guns of today can kill anything from birds to humans. These guns that are available to hunters can get stolen or sold and eventually get to criminals for unlawful acts. This may start a chain reaction of people trying poses weapons. Obviously, there is a problem with criminals having access to guns, which is why so many people feel they, too, need a gun for self-defense.
Another is the issue of national security. Gun advocates argue that guns should be available to all citizens in a country, so that in time of invasion by a foreign power, they can defend themselves, but they fail to realize the compromise. A government that advocates guns for “national security” should also be wary of the fertile ground it prepares for violence and rebellion. For instance, in a society with so many guns in circulation it is easy for political opponents of the incumbent government to mobilize a rebel group against the government. Making guns available may ultimately lead to a state of anarchy in a country.
The problem with guns is that it makes it easy to kill someone. A simple pull of the trigger whether accidental or intentional can cost a person’s life. A psychologically unstable person can easily commit suicide in time of depression, and a quick tempered person can kill someone easily if provoked. A recent shootout at an American University, Virginia Tech, left 32 people dead including the gunman. The gunman happened to be an English major student at the university. His reason for shooting all those people is still a puzzle. Countries with weak gun control policies suffer this kind of situations often and thousands of people are condemned to death every year as a result.
If we can imagine what the world will be without guns, we will realize that although it is difficult to imagine a perfect world without guns, it is easy to imagine a much more peaceful environment. A trigger cannot be pulled if there is no trigger to pull.


t said…
Keep blogging. Nice essays.

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