On Friday, Feb. 8, convicted sex offender Adrian Thorsby, 49, was sentenced for firing a 20-gauge shot gun through the living room window of a house in which children were playing. In what country did this occur?
The United Kingdom.
Firearms are banned in the United Kingdom.
Preventing law-abiding, mentally-stable Americans from purchasing firearms does very little for the prevention of gun-related crimes, as criminals by definition do not obey laws.
If we restrict the legal firearm ownership for sane Americans, we prevent them from defending their families. We would create a culture that is completely reliant on the police department, and thereby effectively abolish the notion of self-defense.
Many of the recent mass shootings in the U.S., including the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history, were committed using guns that were acquired illegally.
The elementary school shooting in the affluent town of Newtown, CT was committed by Adam Lanza, age 20, who was a year too young to legally possess a firearm, according to Connecticut state law.
The shooting at Virginia Tech University in April, 2007, which was the deadliest school shooting in the U.S., was committed by Seung-Hui Cho, a student at the university who had a known troubled past, according to Bloomberg.
Cho used a Glock 19 and a Walther P22 (both are pistols) to kill 32 people. It’s impossible to know if Cho acquired the pistols legally, since the serial numbers on both guns had been filed off, according to law enforcement.
The shooting at the Clackamas Town Center in Portland, Oregon was committed by Jacob Roberts, age 22, with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle. Semi-automatic rifles and machine guns are legal in the state of Oregon if they are registered, appropriately licensed and within federal law guidelines, according to the National Rifle Association.
However, ABC news in Portland says that Roberts stole the firearm, which made his acquisition and possession of it 100 percent illegal.
Though the U.S. has a higher number of homicides committed by firearms than other nations do, it is well behind 12 other nations who have banned guns in total homicides, according to polyticks data.
That means other weapons are being used. A resurfacing stabbing-spree in China (where guns are illegal), violence against children, mirrors a stabbing epidemic that occurred in 2010, killing nearly 20 people and wounding more than 50.
Instead of passing legislation about firearms, a better investment of government dollars and resources would be to make mental health more accessible to Americans. Sane people don’t shoot other people.
Shootings in the U.S. show the trend of being committed by individuals who are mentally unstable. Sociologists have postulated that killing other people and then killing oneself is a way to make one’s otherwise invisible persona known by the world.
Lastly, some Americans use guns for sport. Last year there were almost 15 million hunting licenses sold in the U.S. In rural areas of America, hunting is a past-time shared among families. Furthermore, hikers in some areas of America risk their lives if they do not bring a tool for defense against animals.
People who live in Alaska deal with the very real fear of attacks from grizzly bears, as is shown by the Aug. 25 death of Southern California resident Richard White, 49, who was attacked by a bear in Denali National Park in Alaska. Such attacks also happen elsewhere, like the Southern California foothills, for example.