The Thing About Gun Control Is…

I can understand the desire to legally own and carry a gun that comes from the inherent American fear of government, thus the Second Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights (of States and individuals) so that a State could potentially defend itself against tyranny. This is the sole purpose of the Second Amendment and I am completely in agreement with it because we should all have a little bit of mistrust towards governments, especially democratic ones that vote in dictators (Germany, anyone?) or unqualified idiots who know absolutely nothing about the basic tenants of their country’s government (Trump). The thing about gun control is that it comes as a response to the use of private and legal ownership of guns used to killed dozens of women, men, and children in “lone wolf” shootings. It is difficult to balance the need to prevent further massacres and the need to defend against a potential tyrant. And yet, Americans are more worried about having the right to “bear arms” (the right to potentially kill another human being in defence of their own lives) than the right of others to live. By this I mean that the same party (Republican) that vehemently votes down all gun control regulations also denies American citizens the right to affordable (as in free) healthcare and quality education. I’m sure it makes perfect logical sense to them and they have a complete explanation on how these issues are unrelated, and yet…are they? It demonstrates a party composed of people focused on their own personal values and morals and ethics and lives over that of all those around them. In America everyone has the right to kill other people in self-defense but no one has the right to live, as in the basic essentials for life are not enshrined in the Constitution as citizen rights. And it is extremely worrisome and painful and saddening to know that my fellow citizens, that any human being, is unable to see that defending the right to bear arms while denying others the right to food, water, health, and home is just wrong. It is wrong. And, on top of it, the vast majority of Republicans who refuse to pass stronger gun regulation are all pro-lifers! How can you say you value all human lives and then want to own something that is designed to take away life?! How can you say you value human lives but want a woman to risk her life in childbirth but also deny her and her child affordable healthcare, food, shelter, education, equal pay?! Recently a friend of mine became involved in party politics because Bernie Sanders’s message really motivated him and ignited a passion for politics in him, but when the organisers of the campaign here held their first meeting to form a new party that would carry on Bernie’s message he found that they had chosen the party delegates and leaders without holding a vote amongst all the members (the vote was held in a group chat amongst eight members who all elected each other). He told me this really disheartened him and I told him this is why I decided not to pursue a PhD in Political Science…because it isn’t the system that is broken but that people that make up that system. There is nothing wrong with democracy (it is just a system, a set of guidelines) and everything wrong with American voters (those who make up the system and utilise the guidelines however they choose to). The thing about gun control is that the debate surrounding it crystallises the myriad problems in American politics today.

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