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The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

The Blue Banner

The Student Voice of UNC Asheville

Our nation, our guns and saving us from ourselves

By Emily Spies 
Copy Desk Staff
[email protected] 
It seems the United States is in a perpetual state of grief or recovery as a result of its exceeding frequency of gun violence. Accustomed to images of overnight memorials with teddy bears, silk flowers and photos of victims happily unaware their lives will be unjustly ended, many question how these atrocities can be prevented.
The solutions seem so easy — stricter laws and more gun bans.
Many valid arguments and realities keep firearms safely in the warm hands of their enthusiasts. Stricter laws or bans face such an enormous amount of opposition, the odds of such legislations passing are poor. Written in the U.S. Constitution is the phrase that continues to spark debate over its intent and modern relevance.
The Second Amendment states, A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
These words have led our country to a seemingly irrevocable, gun-saturated condition and are the grounds on which gun advocacy groups such as the National Rifle Association have two feet to stand. The NRA and like groups have a huge number of supporters — not to mention a whole bunch of money. Many who have a demonstrative bond with their firearms also invest quite a bit of time and protest into the love affair, and would do anything for its continued well-being, like butter-up the federal government.
According to a report posted by PBS, groups that support gun rights more than doubled the cash contributions toward independent and direct federal campaigns than of those gunning for firearm control in 2014.
And if nearly $31 million toward pro-gun campaign efforts was not enough, trigger-happy lobbyists chipped in another $9 million that year — more than 10 times that of gun control federal lobbying endeavors.
Let’s say that a gun ban was passed in the U.S. requiring everyone to turn in their firearms. If it does not initiate a civil war, accounting for all the registered firearms would prove a gargantuan undertaking.
There are an estimated 310 million privately owned firearms in the U.S., according to the Pew Research Center.
This figure is not necessarily representative of illegal ownership of unregistered guns.
Do we believe those who possess said illegal firearms would give up such an asset in the midst of opportunity for sudden power? Recovering all guns from the clutch of unsavory users quite frankly is an unattainable goal in the U.S.
The famous saying, “If guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns” has logic and a healthy level of fear behind it.
Could this notion, however, carry weight for the U.S. simply because of our fixation with guns in the media and our homes rather than standing on real truth?
In the U.S., guns are portrayed as typical and even natural fixtures in nearly every corner of media.
In countries where private ownership is very strictly regulated and therefore considerably less common, gun crime presents at a fraction of that of the U.S.
Civilians in Japan are not permitted to possess firearms of any kind “without specific approval,” according to Because of this, the legal and illegal civilian possession of firearms is estimated at a mere 710,000, compared to over 300 million in the U.S., topping gun-related deaths at zero per 100,000 people in 2014. Similar statistics are representative of stringent firearm policies in Iceland, South Korea and Portugal.
These countries prove heavy gun control can be effective when properly implemented.
While firearms and military grade weapons exist in the world, it is crucial that countries with tight gun control are still able to protect themselves from foreign attack. Similarly, to entirely eliminate gun crime, we would need a world completely free of guns.
In the U.S. and other firearm-infested countries, people have glamorized guns and become so obsessed with the power they give us, we have come to need them to protect us from ourselves.
At this point, to live without guns would be inhuman.
And so, we are cast into a self-inflicted paradox of international gun-dependency not foreseeably curable.

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  • J

    JeffOct 14, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
    ― Benjamin Franklin

  • J

    Jay HanigOct 13, 2017 at 8:15 am

    I note the essay speaks of gun crime, as if it were a separate beast than crime itself. First, one must know the use of firearms by terrorists and crazy people is different from the use by criminals. While the former’s purpose is to kill, the latter’s purpose is to intimidate. So we have one group of murderers and then a completely different group which commits all other kinds of violent crime. And we shouldn’t forget those who commit murder for neither political or psychological reasons but only because they can no longer stand your existence.
    Intimidation doesn’t require a gun, nor does it generally result in multiple deaths or any deaths at all. As far as that goes, killing doesn’t require guns either, even in mass casualty situations. The biggest school massacre in US history involved explosives, rather than firearms. But I digress.
    It is disingenuous to consider gun deaths without also considering violent crime simultaneously. When gun ownership went down in the UK, rapes went up. Sure, robberies committed with a gun went down when gun ownership did, but how about robberies period? Those not committed with a gun?
    In this country, much is made of gun deaths while generally neglecting to point out that 2/3 of them are actually suicides. Japan, mentioned in the essay, has very low gun ownership yet they lead the world in suicides. How is that better that they didn’t shoot themselves? Dead is dead. The dead person wasn’t relieved that he dispatched himself in some alternate way. And yet we assign it some moral high ground, as if a non-gun end was the more desirable way to go.
    Those of you hawking gun control as the answer to gun violence, admit it: you just don’t like guns. I fail to see why that should be my problem.

  • P

    Pat OrsbanOct 13, 2017 at 6:48 am

    Hmmm, I notice the Clinton Nazi Networks never talk about gun control, during the daily slaughter of blacks in Democrat controlled cities with lots gun control, where most of the blacks kill each other with handguns.
    They get get “religion” when it happens to a bunch of a white folks, in a mass shooting. Usually with some kind of army looking gun.
    Mainly because they do not want to talk about their real agenda, namely banning all guns.
    Which would at least target the most commonly used gun, that kills, oh, about a thousand times more people each year, than so called “assault rifles”. We know that would not make a difference in the total number of murders and suicides, but hey, the leftists think you do not know that. And they do not care if you get killed with anything BUT a gun.
    Noooo, they want to ban a gun seldom used to kill, because they feel that the average American is to stupid to realize their agenda. Which is to disarm everyone, like they are in Europe. Which never used the gun to overthrow tyranny, like we did.
    Now, the Democrats would rather the voting public not know that despite 70 million guns being legally purchased, during the Obama years, has only seen a huge drop in violent crime, including gun crime (except of course, in large Democrat controlled cities, hmmmm).
    They do want to blame these “guns” for the slight increase (the leftists will claim a huge increase, but hey, just look up the FBI Uniform Crime Reports to avoid that lie) in mass shooters, and they are wrong again.
    What they fail to mention, is that since Slick Willy was President, the number of No Gun Zones (IE< disarmed victim zones) has risen even more dramatically, and damn, that is where over 90 percent of the mass shootings take place.
    But the leftists say it is because of the gun.
    These insane fools would not be a problem, but they keep voting for the Heil Hillaries, who do not care at all abut the peasants, or anyone not part of their elite force.
    Just ask the victims of Harvey Weinstein, who watched the Clinton Nazi Networks hide and protect that predator, who literally raped the peasants, and the "ruling elites" did not care.
    So when they say, we want to stop Trump from figuratively raping the peasants, why should we believe people that had no problem with one of "them" literally raping the peasants.
    Yes, mass shootings are the fault of Democrats and leftists. And they work hard to disarm more victims and peasants.