When I first came over to Europe, we talked about stereotypes in each other’s cultures. Apparently, the main American stereotype is that every American has a gun and we just like to shoot things for fun. This didn’t just come from one person’s mouth, it came from people who were from Italy, Germany, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, England, Hungary, Belgium, Ireland, Austria, and Spain. At first, I was surprised at part of this stereotype (growing up in an area where we actually had the first day of hunting season off slightly prepared me for this), but after following the US news from Europe the past few months, and, most recently, the past week, I can now certainly understand why.
After hearing how hard it is to get a gun in other countries, how low their shooting crime rates are, and how ridiculously high ours are, I personally believe that gun laws should be tighter in the United States. Even before this, I had the same feelings. It is much too easy for someone who is mentally unstable to just go into a store and purchase a gun. There should be more regulations behind this. People should have to be mentally evaluated before they are able to purchase a gun. Now I know that many people are opposed these regulations, but is it really that much of an inconvenience to be mentally evaluated before purchasing a firearm? And then a possible reevaluation every so often should also be considered.Would you rather put a weapon that, in the hands of a mentally unstable person, could potentially kill and/or critically harm other people and children? Have we not had enough of these instances in the past few years, months, weeks, and days? Why must it always take a tragedy such as yesterday’s to make people think twice about these things? Even now, reading friends’ statuses they say that it’s not the gun’s fault and that regulations do not need to be tightened. It is quite obvious now more than ever that sanctions needs to be tightened; they are much too lax in this country. How can one not see that? How?
Did you know that the United States has the highest rate of gun ownership in the world? For every 100 people there are 88 who own guns. Take a look at this.
I’m not saying to take away “the right to bear arms,” because with the amount of Americans who are enamored with their firearms there would end up being another civil war, but I am saying that rules do needed to be tightened. In most other countries, such as England, one must spend hours upon hours filling out papers that prove to the police that you are not a threat to society. In countries where gun crime rates are significantly lower than ours. Let’s take a look at the countries that I listed above:
England & Wales: 41
Northern Ireland: 5
Italy: 417 (You think that’s bad? Just wait…)
United States of America: 9146
Now people will argue that America is a bigger country so of course the number is expected to higher, but this ridiculously higher. We are on the same level as developing countries where crime rates are expected to be higher. Something needs to be done, and we should take a page of Europe’s book because they are obviously doing something right that we aren’t.
My heart is so heavy right now…