British perspective on gun ownership offered

To the editor:

Coming from Britain, I have always wondered why the American populace is fascinated by an object that’s only purpose is to kill and yes, I am talking about guns. With groups becoming enraged due to the new gun control laws enacted or proposed by both New York State and President Obama, I thought it was about time that someone actually thought logically concerning the reasons that people give for wanting a gun.

The three main reasons that people give for wanting to own a gun are protection and defense, to go hunting and the “God given right to own a gun” (yes, I have heard people mention this as a reason for owning a gun) as given by the Second Amendment. All the reasons given were good for when the amendment was first ratified but in the modern times, I do believe that they are all void. I can see that during the late 18th and early to mid-19th century people needed to have a militia and that they policed themselves, but, don’t we have the police and the armed forces for protection and defense? Surely that means that the very first reason, protection and defense, is void.

Now for the second reason: hunting. I know that this is a rural area and I know that people love their hunting. But the two reasons they give for wanting to hunt can be easily dismissed. The reasons that are given for hunting are first, to cull the herd and second, for food. How many times have you heard hunters say “I didn’t see anything,” or, “I didn’t get anything.” This can be explained by the species, within the area that is being hunted, becoming near extinct in the area that the hunt is taking place. Now for the second reason: food. Again back in the late 18th and early to mid-19th century I can see the need for hunting was necessary, but in the modern world, I honestly cannot see the need for people to hunt for food especially considering the convenience of grocery stores.

Now for the third reason: The “God given right.” This reason actually makes me laugh. I can actually picture this. Imagine if you will. The Second Amendment is laying on a table waiting to be ratified. All of a sudden a hand appears out of thin air, picks up a quill, dips it in an available inkwell, moves over to the paper and signs it. The only reason that I find this funny is that nowhere on the Second Amendment does God’s signature appear on the paper. I also find this funny because where in the Bible does it say in the land of America all the people will be allowed to be armed with firearms?

Personally, I am glad that these measures are coming into law. I believe that unlike the law official from Oregon who has refused to enforce the new laws that the police and other law officials in Pennsylvania will actually do the job they are paid for and enforce these laws. Will these laws curtail the senseless gun violence? Maybe not, but at least someone is trying to stop the violence. No civilian needs to own an assault rifle. In fact, I believe that the only people that need this sort of weapon is the police and the armed forces.

I have heard people say that if people’s guns are taken away, then America would be wide open for invasion by a foreign power and the crime rate would increase exponentially due to civilians not having guns. Really people? Then countries such as the United Kingdom would become a paradise for violent criminals. This is not so, in fact last year (2012) there were 39 murders attributed to guns, while in the states there were approximately 8,561 murders attributed to guns. Again the civilians in the U.K. are not allowed guns. Has Britain been invaded due to the lack of guns? The answer is no.

One final thought for all you gun owners. If the government were to say tomorrow that all guns were banned from being in civilian hands, all that you would lose is your gun unlike the victims of the movie theater in Colorado and the victims from Sandy Hook schools. They lost their lives. What is worth more, a gun or a life?

George Fisher