In the US the ‘Gun Lobby’ advocates freedom to carry arms for all Americans. They believe they have a fundamental right to do so. Of course it’s nothing to do with the massive gun manufacturing and training industry, they say. Here in the UK there is no such freedom. Even the Police don’t routinely carry guns. Having recently taken up clay pigeon shooting I’ve realised I’m petrified by such weapons. Every time I pick up a shotgun, I’m aware of what can happen. Don’t know if it’s because I’ve treated shotgun injuries to the head or whether it is only a natural caution because of my age. Of one thing I’m certain a fired cartridge is like a sharp word. Once discharged, it can never be retracted no matter how much sorrow and regret it brings.
I do know however, that handguns only have one purpose. That is, to shoot human beings. I can’t see any reason for them to exist in a modern society. An American gun-lobbyer would argue that they are used for self-defence or simply as a deterrent and anyway, the weapons would go underground and still be available. In one sense, they must be right. There are similar arguments for and against Boxing as a sport. Ban it and it will still happen behind closed doors.
An assassin shoots dead eight people in an attempt to kill a politician. Would it have happened anyway, whether guns were hard to come by or not? I’m ambivalent about that because I can see both arguments, but in the meantime, I’m glad I live in the UK. Brawls rarely result in shootings and domestic violence in Britain rarely involves gun wielding.
Saves me a lot of work.