In a new CBS opinion poll released yesterday, that the ground swelling of support in the USA for gun control following the shooting and killing of 20 children and 6 teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut has dropped back to pre-incident levels;
“Currently, support for stricter gun control laws stands at 47 percent today, down from a high of 57 percent just after the shootings. Thirty-nine percent want those laws kept as they are, and another 11 percent want them made less strict. ” Partisans hold different views on gun control laws: 52 percent of Republicans want the laws kept as they are, while 66 percent of Democrats want stricter laws (down from 78 percent in February). Half of gun owners themselves want gun laws overall kept as they are, but a quarter call for stricter laws.”
America, most of the world just cannot understand why this is going on, why after all the outpouring of support for those touched by the tragedy at Newtown and all the outrage, nothing has changed. The rest of the world sees a country whose infatuation with guns is being paid by the blood of their children. Newtown is just one tragedy. As many have pointed out, the tragedy continues in the streets of America’s cities like the case of 15 year old Hadiya Pendelton. Just days after performing at the inauguration celebrations for President Obama, she ran into a shelter after school to avoid the rain and a gunman comes into the shelter and shot and killed her. How many lights are being extinguished each year in the country that considers itself the best in the world?
I have read and listened to the debate on gun control. However, the facts from around the world is clear – gun control saves lives and reduces loss of life. Countries like Australia are good examples where gun control legislation has made a difference and have shown that it can be done. Countries like Pakistan where guns are so readily available demonstrate the opposite result; its economic capital Karachi suffered more than 2,000 killed last year.
I realise that many Americans want to keep their firearms – for hunting, self protection or some other reason. Charlton Heston, the influential Hollywood actor and well known former spokesperson for the NRA, once famously declared that gun control supporters would have to take his firearms away from his “cold dead hands.” And I also recognise that many gun owners feel it is their right to bear arms. But one person’s rights should not be promoted above and beyond the rights of others; like the right to go to school without fear.
Am I naive? Will it hurt so much to give up assault rifles, magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammunition or armour piercing rounds? Armour piercing rounds? Why do you need that in a civilized society? To hunt well equipped rabbits? Would it really be too much to give those up? For me, the sound of children laughing and playing without fear is worth any price.
(Jim Carrey did a spoof on gun control on CBS. Many found the video offensive and left many negative comments including personal attacks on the comedienne, calls for him to leave the USA, and even one comment that reminded him that those who have guns out number those that do not – so watch out. Click HERE to see the video)