Here
and
Now

opinions

Guns in America - the business of fear

38 Comments
By Bernd Debusmann

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2012.

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

38 Comments
Login to comment

There is no Earthly reason for anyone to carry a gun in everyday life. Since the only thing you can do with one is to kill someone, why is it legal for people to walk around with an instrument of murder?

It doesn't make sense.

There have been studies on the influence of tobacco smoking in movies. I don't know of an actual study about it, but it would be worth researching the effect of guns and violence in movies too.

In any case, lets get rid of guns, handguns, rifles, assault weapons. And, while we are at it, make the killing of animals for "sport" illegal.

We managed to ban fox hunting in England. Why can't the U.S.A. ban deer hunting?

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

A sensible proposal, seize all guns in America so non-criminals and home invasion victims can learn how to duck and cower instead of defend ones life ... and now that I think of it, fox stew probably tastes much better than deer, sounds like a good trade off (taking aside the massive deer population explosion in much of the US and the skyrocketing incidences of deer tic borne diseases...). Yeah, America without guns, a socialists sweet dream.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

We always hear about the excuse that Americans need guns to protect themselves. So far I have NOT seen any stats on how many lives had been saved because of having a gun. What happens if a robbery is thwarted? Does the person trying to commit the crime get shot? get arrested? or even get reported? If only a few hundred cases showed guns helped, then the whole premise is out of wack. And I don't think banning guns has anything to do with being a socialist!

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Too late... there's no way that America can reverse this mess now. There will always be mass shootings every day it seems because of their twisted gun laws.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Brother Thomas,

There will always be mass shootings every day it seems because of their twisted gun laws.

Couldn't agree more. It's a silly idea really, but, why not get rid of said twisted gun laws?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Brother Jay Que,

I'm afraid your logic escapes me:

America without guns, a socialists sweet dream.

According to the Oxford dictionary, socialism is: a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

Doesn't say anything about gun ownership!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@XRC: Well the stats I've seen most recently said that a firearm is used in the US to thwart a violet crime approximately 6.5 times a day.Of course I'm sure more situations go unreported. The largest group of first-time gun buyers has for years been retired seniors who realize that they represent easy targets for criminals because they don't have the physical strength to defend themselves if they are unarmed. American criminals interviewed in prison have said repeatedly they aren't afraid of prison. They aren't afraid of the police. They aren't afraid of dogs. What they say they ARE afraid of is running into an armed citizen who is willing and able to protect themselves. @BertieWooster: A weapon has no mind of it's own. It can kill or injure, but it cannot murder. A firearm in the hands of a bad man is a bad thing. But a firearm in the hands of a good, law-abiding man is nothing to be feared. England banned the private ownership of handguns, and gun crime increased 40%! You can't blame the tool for the way people wield them. That's like banning cars because some people drive drunk or use them in commision of other crimes.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

another article that bypasses the fundamentals

in the US we have a constitutional amendment- the second- this is not something you try to give away to the UN or any regulatory body to come in and make decisions for your country.

next we;ll decide if the UN can decide for the second we can have the UN decide for the First- since that one is troubling at times- why should we make decisions as to when something is free speech or not

the other countries that freely banned gun ownership did not have it gun ownership in basic rules. ones that are only changed under certain circumstances.

if President Obama wanted to do this correctly he would first repeal the second amendment - then put in the legislation to revoke ownership. that path is open- but he does not have the guts to do it- so he goes to the UN- and trys to get us involved in International Law- that would have us wallowing in the courts for years later- and hated by the world because we would not comply - though we could not comply to the UN - not by our contstitution

2 ( +3 / -1 )

There is no Earthly reason for anyone to carry a gun in everyday life. Since the only thing you can do with one is to kill someone, why is it legal for people to walk around with an instrument of murder? It doesn't make sense

Assuming this is a sincere question, I would say the reasons are as follows:

Security

People are afraid of criminals, who have guns. People are afraid of nutcases, who have guns. People are afraid of the government, which has guns.

Guns offer a sense of security, whether that is justified or not. Cities are rough places - that's a fact. Governments like to control people, and it's easier if they don't have guns. That's a fact, too.

Hunting

A lot of people hunt for food in the USA. If you are poor, this can help feed your family. A lot of people hunt for the fun of shooting things -- I don't understand those people, so I can't explain this.
3 ( +4 / -1 )

Farmboy, thank you for answering my questions:

Security 1. People are afraid of criminals, who have guns. 2. People are afraid of nutcases, who have guns. 3. People are afraid of the government, which has guns.

Then the "people" you are talking about don't trust the government?

If they did, they would trust the government to disarm the criminals, keep the nutcases under control or at least disarmed?

Guns offer a sense of security, whether that is justified or not.

Sense of security, I understand. If getting a sense of security means delivering a piece of lead at extremely high velocity through part of someone's body, I think another way might be found.

Cities are rough places - that's a fact.

Farmboy, call me naive, but I've never lived anywhere where there was that much violence.

Are cities in the States really that bad?

Governments like to control people, and it's easier if they don't have guns. That's a fact, too.

Yes. I had noticed that.

A lot of people hunt for food in the USA. If you are poor, this can help feed your family.

So they need guns to do this?

A lot of people hunt for the fun of shooting things -- I don't understand those people, so I can't explain this.

Me neither. It's sick, as far as I'm concerned.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

"the business of fear"

Or, the business of security, or the business of Yee-haaa!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

| A lot of people hunt for food in the USA. If you are poor, this can help feed your family.

So they need guns to do this?

I'm afraid so. The deer are just too good at wrestling.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Then the "people" you are talking about don't trust the government?

Some people are just worried about security, and don't think about the government. For other folks, owning a gun is almost a religious doctrine, and they are seriously worried about the government infringing on their rights. Some in this group are not so extreme in other areas, so it's an interesting mix.

If they did, they would trust the government to disarm the criminals, keep the nutcases under control or at least disarmed?

Well, the trust that this would be possible just isn't there, if you live in a really bad section of town, the police prefer not to go there without backup. Minor crimes go unsolved. Calls for help are only slowly answered, if they are answered. The worst places have a lot of gang activity. Some people opt for less violent defenses, like pepper spray, but for that you have to get closer, and maybe you put yourself at more risk. Avoidance of problems by being aware is the first, and often effective, line of defense, but sometimes bad things happen, so there is a decision to be made about where you stand about using lethal self-defense.

I don't mean to paint such a dreary picture. There are relatively large, but safe cities with very little crime as well. Many, many, places in the country have rarely seen any type of crime. I'm just trying to explain motivation for owning a gun, since you asked.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

England banned the private ownership of handguns, and gun crime increased 40%!

Very disturbing. The ban was introduced in 1997 and the 40% increase was over a period of two years. What these figures do not tell is how much the increase of gun crimes would have been without the ban.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Farmboy,

This was a serious question, too.

A lot of people hunt for food in the USA. If you are poor, this can help feed your family.

So they need guns to do this?

I'm afraid so.

I just asked because there are many, many ways of hunting animals for food that don't use firearms.

And even if they use guns to do this, a shotgun or an air rifle would do the job, right? Surely assault weapons are not needed.

I'm just trying to explain motivation for owning a gun, since you asked.

Well, I did ask. And you were kind enough to take the time to explain it to me. I appreciate that. I have been to the States, but never lived there and I've heard - I hear horror stories every day! I didn't understand how, as a country, it criticizes China, North Korea, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, you name it, when its own country is in such a mess.

I think Americans need to get their country into a bit more order before they start making comments about other countries.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Well, the trust that this would be possible just isn't there, if you live in a really bad section of town, the police prefer not to go there without backup. Minor crimes go unsolved. Calls for help are only slowly answered, if they are answered. The worst places have a lot of gang activity. Some people opt for less violent defenses, like pepper spray, but for that you have to get closer, and maybe you put yourself at more risk. Avoidance of problems by being aware is the first, and often effective, line of defense, but sometimes bad things happen, so there is a decision to be made about where you stand about using lethal self-defense.

In a nutshell this paints the picture of an advanced developed nation that in effect is incapable of providing security for its citizens and allows ownership of lethal weapons making use of a loophole in its constitution. I'd say this is good for the industry supported by extremist elements but hasn't scored on preventing or limiting the carnage of massacres.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

No bias here. If guns kill people so do spoons make people fat. Stop trying to blame a tool. People have a right guaranteed by the constitution to keep and bear arms.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

No, opiemuyo-san,

That argument doesn't work.

The purpose of a spoon is to convey food to a mouth = SURVIVAL

The purpose of a gun is to kill, injure or threaten to kill or injure = NON-SURVIVAL

You'll be telling us next that wars are nature's way of keeping the population down!

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Presto345-san,

In a nutshell this paints the picture of an advanced developed nation that in effect is incapable of providing security for its citizens and allows ownership of lethal weapons making use of a loophole in its constitution. I'd say this is good for the industry supported by extremist elements but hasn't scored on preventing or limiting the carnage of massacres.

A country that doesn't even have a national health service!

Makes one wonder what the definition of "Advanced developed nation" is, doesn't it?

0 ( +5 / -5 )

The Americans scare me. I'd be afraid to knock on someone's door for fear of finding a bloody great hole in my chest. I'd be afraid to get on a bus in case some gun-wielding loony high on crack hijacks it. I'd be afraid to look at anyone in case they took offence to it, pulled out a 357 Magnum and blew my head off... most of all, I'd be afraid of walking down the road and being killed in the crossfire between villains and cops.

America isn't the Wild West any more... you aren't circling wagons in case Native Americans are on the warpath. There are no invaders waiting to ravage your womenfolk and run off with your kids.

Jeez, you just landed a robot on Mars... you CAN be an advanced society. Get rid of the guns, stop thinking like John Wayne and Clint Eastwood.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

This was a serious question, too.

Sorry, I really did think you were joking. Nobody I've ever met would use an assault weapon for hunting. Some people hunt with bows. Shotguns can be used for small game. Larger guns are used for deer. Most people who hunt for food want to avoid damaging the meat, but use a gun large enough to kill the animal instantly if possible. They avoid methods that would result in an animal suffering for a greater length of time. Hunting is regulated by the State, and rules differ somewhat. Quantities of game taken, the method they are taken, and the season they can be taken are regulated by wildlife authorities. The meat from animals hunted in this way is generally healthier than what is available in stores.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'd be afraid to knock on someone's door for fear of finding a bloody great hole in my chest.

Don't worry. That's only if you DON'T knock. We take politeness seriously.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Perhaps if US governments of both colours didn't treat their own citizens like a threat to their power, people wouldn't need guns. But considering the police state crackdown on dissent, "free-speech zones" and the like indicate that the government of Obama and Bush before him are actively defying the Constitution, it's fair that the citizens have to show they're not ready to lie down. Mass murder of hundreds of millions has followed disarmament by kind, benevolent leaders such as Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot. Good reason to hold onto your guns.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

kyronstavic-san,

Perhaps if US governments of both colours didn't treat their own citizens like a threat to their power, people wouldn't need guns. But considering the police state crackdown on dissent, "free-speech zones" and the like indicate that the government of Obama and Bush before him are actively defying the Constitution, it's fair that the citizens have to show they're not ready to lie down.

I hear that the reason for the "Right to bear arms" was so that the people could take down a corrupt government. Even if the entire gun-toting population of the US of A pooled their weapons and marched en masse on Washington, they wouldn't last five minutes against the MASSIVE firepower the US government has collected since the constitution was written up.

So, what's the point in having it in there?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

The only way to prevent this from happening again, is to abolish entirely the constitution and the bill of rights indefinitely. Otherwise, aggravated first-degree homicide rates skyrocket to 1508.97 for every 1600 taxpaying people

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Eduardo Gonzalez: The only way to prevent this from happening again, is to abolish entirely the constitution and the bill of rights indefinitely. Otherwise, aggravated first-degree homicide rates skyrocket to 1508.97 for every 1600 taxpaying people

The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are not the problem here.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Bertie, Having been shot at and returned fire I term it as survival also.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Bertie-san, given that th US government is treating its current and ex-servicemen and women like dirt, such as by covering up illnesses relating to depleted uranium exposure plus raiding their pension funds, the cooperation of significant portions of the military could not be guaranteed in the event of a crackdown by the government. many soldiers would simply refuse to act against their own people, and many would joint them against the government.

Which brave leader would be willing to try to start that fight?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Probably a bit off topic, but isn't a related question "Why are there so many criminals in the USA that, without guns, the crime rates would be way higher than they currently are (and they are already high by world standards)? Isn't gun culture a contributor to the overall criminality of US society?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Also amazes me that people get so worked up about the 2nd amendment but so many other freedoms espoused in the Constituion and its amendments are gradually being eroded.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

“More than anything, the NRA is a marketing organization, and its flagship product is fear,” Bloomberg wrote in an opinion piece on Bloomberg News.

This, from a guy who wants to ban large soft drinks?

There is no Earthly reason for anyone to carry a gun in everyday life. Since the only thing you can do with one is to kill someone, why is it legal for people to walk around with an instrument of murder?

You make it sound like everyone in the States is packing. Not every state allows people to carry. Even less allow concealed weapons.

I just asked because there are many, many ways of hunting animals for food that don't use firearms. And even if they use guns to do this, a shotgun or an air rifle would do the job, right?

Let me know how you do shooting a buck dear with an air rifle...

Surely assault weapons are not needed.

That is true. A good old bolt action will do fine.

In any case, lets get rid of guns, handguns, rifles, assault weapons.

You mean, making guns illegal? Please tell me more about how criminals follow laws?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

There some very biased oppinions here and would like to add some common sense to the picture.

1.Banning guns will only give the criminals free access. Actually this does not follow the economic model of supply and demand, if and when guns are outlawed the supply would dwindle pushing the average price upward making it inprorabable for the average punk to own one and even if he did the bullets would also be too expensive to make it un-affortable to use it for a regular heist. In simple terms you are not going to steal a old ladies purse that may only have 20 dollars value if the bullet you may use is going to cost 20 dollars (or more). My suggestion is to tax bullets like cigerettes and see what wil happen.

Japanese are actually allowed to own weapons(hunting rifle) through licencing and registration. There are many registered hunters that posess their own weapon for sports hunting and the occasional pest extermination task they perform. Again since sports hunting using live rounds is considered a rich man sports the cost of bullets are completely out of reach for the average Joe making as costly as a Havana cigar.
0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's my right. It's my right. What a load of crap and what a sad place the U.S. is that so many are hung up on this. The fact that anyone is legally allowed to shoot anyone is ludicrous. Americans are miles behind truly 'advanced' countries in this regard. If I ever felt I needed a gun to protect myself in the country I lived in, I would quickly and happily move to a more peaceful country. Grow up America! Learn and evolve!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

1.Banning guns will only give the criminals free access.

Pretty much already happening in the US.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Cleo,

Sorry, but that IS, in fact, wrong, despite your preconceived idea. The statistics you give are ten years old, and thankfully, the US has seen a huge DEcrease in violent crime. We have dropped far down that list - not that it wouldn't be good to drop even more. I quote, from the Guardian online, a recent article:

"In Washington last year, 131 people were murdered, the lowest number in half a century. Two decades ago, there were 482 homicides in the city amid turf wars among drug gangs and crack-driven violent robberies. It's a pattern replicated across the country."

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And from the Dailymail, a 2009 article, just so you realize where the US stands. I wish we all had zero violence with or without guns, but it's good to be aware of where one's system stands in the world ratings, I think. The US is getting better, and I'm happy about that:

"Britain's violent crime record is worse than any other country in the European union, it has been revealed. Official crime figures show the UK also has a worse rate for all types of violence than the U.S. and even South Africa - widely considered one of the world's most dangerous countries.Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html#ixzz22uCVLkdJ"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@ BertieWooster and Thunderbird2 The real difference is that unlike most countries, the US has an actually fairly open press, as skewed as it's viewpoint is, and America is open and honest about most of our problems. Good news also doesn't sell, so you don't really hear about the vast majority of people in the US who's major hardship was the YouTube video they were trying to watch kept lagging out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Grant

Take of your blinkers son, you could not be further from the truth.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites