|Posted - 2011.08.24 11:34:00 -
There does seem to be an atlantic divide between opinions on guns, as people in the US and Europe are taught polar oposites on the matter from the age of childhood.
Americans seem to be 'paranoid' about the government encroaching on and taking away their 'liberty', and gun ownership somehow prevents this? it has nothing to do with the king of England no matter what your dated constitution says.
There are times and places where i can see gun ownership being a positive or a neccesity, but generally, i dont see why Joe Schmo who lives in Anonymous Suburbia needs a gun.
Pre-empting the 'protection' card that always gets played, its only because guns are so easy to get hold of in the US that you would need one in the first place. Without actually looking at the stats, I bet my entire wage that gun crime is more prevalent per population in the US than Europe because your gun ownership laws are so lax. So its a chicken egg thing, if guns werent so widely available in the first place, would you have needed that gun for protection?
Now, that said, there are several subtle differences between the US and Europe that affect opinions on guns.
1. You in the US seems to have equated gun ownership to liberty and the founding of your nation, which is a hard sentiment to ignore
2. Open space - there is far more open space and 'wilderness' in the US than anywhere in Mainland Europe and the UK, which in turn will lead to more 'neccesity ownership' when faced with the 'hardships' that such an environment will provide
3. Enthusiasts - It could be argued that if gun ownership laws were relaxed here in Europe, then there would be more enthusiasts to 'rally the cause'. I'm not going to lie, firing a weapon is a thrill and can be really fun, and owning guns for sporting and fun reasons shouldnt be a negative. My only concern would be where are these guns kept, how safe are they, and where can they be fired. From my perspective here (in the UK), gun ownership is something of a national sport/hobby in the US, but there is nothing really on a comparable scale in europe.
I think, i can sum it up from an European perspective
1. We dont/wont condone people taking up arms and being judge and jury, that is what the police force and the judicial system are for. (on a personal note, that earlier story about an old man shooting dead thieves for stealing from his neighbors house totally appauls me)
2. We arent scared of guns per se, just the wider availability of guns leading to them falling into the hands of those who would have bad intentions. The wider availability of lethal force to a population will lead to more cases of it being used. Such an example would be a youth in the recent UK riots caught on CCTV firing on police and at a police helicopter, this was big news such is the low occurence of such actions.
to summise, we dont dislike guns, we just dont want idiots pulling the trigger