To the editor:
I am writing to respond to a recent letter giving the "British perspective" on guns in America. I took the letter to be slightly condescending. The writer wonders why Americans are "fascinated" with guns. Maybe Americans are just fascinated with their liberties, and don't want to give them up as easily as the British citizens have. He proceeds to lecture us as to why our reasons for owning guns are now "void." And Mr. Fisher "laughs" at the thought of owning guns as a "God given right."
At one time in British history, its citizens believed their king to be divine, and they had to be content with whatever rights he was willing to bestow on them. (To this day they still have a "royal family," at a cost of ?40 million per year to the taxpayers.) But our forefathers believed everyone was born with natural rights, or rights given them by their creator. And governments only take away rights. One of those rights is self-defense. I believe everyone should have the right and capability to defend their life, and the lives of their loved ones. However, if a criminal invades my home with a firearm, and all I have is a butter knife, I'm at quite a disadvantage. For those of us who live in rural areas, calling the police as Mr. Fisher advises would be pointless. Besides, I doubt if my home invader would grant me permission. By the way, did you know that people who live in rural areas own many more guns than those who live in the cities. But much more gun violence occurs in the cities. And cities with the toughest gun laws, have the most gun homicides. Odd isn't it?
People who favor gun control love to talk about England and its low gun homicides. They attribute that to the gun ban. But they never talk about Switzerland, which has a higher per capita rate of gun ownership than the United States, but has virtually no gun crime. Nearly every adult male in Switzerland is required to have a gun and keep it in his home, as well as ammunition. With a population of six million, there are two million guns in private hands, and 600,000 thousand of them are automatic. Why haven't the Swiss citizens slaughtered each other to extinction by now?
Mr. Fisher also disagrees with those who say that if guns are taken away, violent crime would increase. He says if this was true, "then countries such as the United Kingdom would become a paradise for violent criminals. This is not so." Well, according to data compiled by the European commission and the United Nations in 2009, the United Kingdom ranked highest in violent crime among European nations. Not only that, their violent crime rate of 2,034 incidents per 100,000 of population was over four times higher than the U.S. rate of 466. I would say a paradise for criminals would be anywhere that law-abiding people can't defend themselves.
Finally, I don't belong to the NRA, I don't hunt, and I don't own a semi-automatic rifle. I also have a six-year old grandson who I adore. And I can't imagine a more heinous crime than the one committed by the deranged individual, Adam Lanza. But let's be realistic. It takes less than a second to change clips in a semi-automatic handgun, so three 10-round clips are just as deadly as one 30-round clip. During WW1, sawed off shotguns were used for trench warfare because of their deadliness at close range. You can easily build a flamethrower. Go to YouTube, and you can watch them being demonstrated. And the worst school killing in our history was in 1927 by a man who planted bombs under a school. He killed 38 elementary school children, six adults, and wounded 58 others. There are just too many ways to kill, and we can't ban them all.