Why America Needs Gun Control: An Expat Perspective

Friday, 9 October 2015
Today's post will not have anything to do with adventures in Australia. I'm almost 98% positive that what I have to say will piss off a good majority of my friends back home but honestly, I don't care. If you had asked me a year or so ago about my views on gun control, it would be very different from what it is today. 

Let's get one thing straight: I like guns. There, I said it. I like guns. I enjoy going to the range and firing off a few rounds. I always liked having guns and always felt that because I was a "responsible gun owner" I had the right to own them. I was a strong advocate for improving mental health and not limiting gun access. Fast forward a year, and now, I can live without them. I still like them, I still love shooting, but I also like the peace of mind that living in a country with strict gun control brings me.

I'm sorry America, but at this point, you've lost your privilege to have easy access to guns. I swear I hear about a shooting every other day in America. You can listen to the annoyance in the newscaster's voice when they report it here. You know in the back of their mind they're thinking "Seriously, again America? Kindly get your shit together so we can stop reporting on this crap. We did something about it, and we're still free". At this point, the ONLY valid argument for not amending the 2nd Amendment is "I LIKE GUNS", everything else is irrelevant.
  • "It goes against the 2nd Amendment": Ok first off, do y'all know what the word amendment means? Last time I checked, they're not ironclad. These things can be adjusted and...wait for it...amended! Remember that time alcohol was banned in the U.S.? That shit got amended real fast. Oh and remember that time there was slavery? Yup that amendment got amended as well. That's why they're amendments. It's so that they can be altered to fit with change. In 1776, the founding fathers were not running around with AK's on dinosaurs wreaking havoc on the British soldiers. Muskets took a while to load. There was a nice, cooling off period before shooting people. Semi-automatic and fully automatic weapons were not a thing then. Time to adjust.

  • "Shooters will gain access to guns even if they're outlawed": I have to take a step back here and quote Jon Oliver. "There are laws against drugs, but people still gain access to them. Does this mean we should get rid of all drug laws?" So, since we cannot stop all individuals from gaining access to guns, there should be no gun laws. If we're going to follow this flawed logic, let's take it a step further! Not all deaths are prevented in hospitals. Until we can guarantee that all deaths will be prevented, there will no longer be any hospitals to give medical attention. 

  • "I'm a responsible gun owner, why should I be punished": Congrats to you for being a responsible gun owner! Seriously! I have massive respect for individuals who take proper care in storing their firearms. However, some people do not. And this is why we have rules. Not for the people who are responsible but for the few idiots who can't seem to use some common sense and have to go screwing it up for everyone else. Sorry.

  • "I need it for protection": If you're using a firearm for protection, chances are you're not a responsible gun owner. Normally, those who store their guns safely place it in a safe and without ammunition in the chamber. I'm not sure who you've had to rob your house or come shooting up a store, but chances are they're not going to wait politely while you unlock the safe and load your gun. If you ever find a criminal like that, well then you're a lucky SOB. 

  • "We should be focusing on increasing mental health services, not gun control": As someone who works in the mental health field, there definitely needs to be more attention to mental health services. However, when a mass shooting occurs, that is not the time to bring up mental health. First, it fosters the idea that people suffering from mental illness are violent. In fact, those suffering from a mental illness are at a HIGH RISK to be victims of violence rather than perpetrators (Appleby et al., 2001*). Increasing mental health services and support does not mean those who are going to go on mass shootings will seek that support. Unless the individual is on some form of mandatory hold, chances are they're not seeking the services they need. If the individual is not getting help, no amount of increase in mental health services will be beneficial. *But seriously, there should be a focus on increasing mental health services in the U.S.

  • "There's no way to prevent something like this": Ummm...YES! Yes, there absolutely is a way to prevent something like that. Make it incredibly hard to obtain a firearm. If there's a cooling off period when you purchase a home or a car, WHY IS THERE NOT A COOLING OFF PERIOD FOR PURCHASING A GUN?!?

America is a relatively new country. In the grand scheme of things, America's basically a rebellious teenager. America you have a perfect example of where gun control works... AUSTRALIA! People were just as upset when they were passing the legislation but ask anyone here, and everyone is okay with it. They're safer, there hasn't been another massacre, oh and guess what?... Australian's are still free, and the government didn't become a dictatorship. Why are the shootings in America not deemed terrorist attacks? Seriously, look at how we react to terrorist attacks. The same should be done within our own home.
Graph from Juan Cole

From what I've been reading, it doesn't appear that the American government wants to outlaw all guns, only change how easy it is to access guns. I don't think to require background checks and banning semi-automatic weapons is unreasonable at all! You would still be able to buy guns, it would just require a bit more effort. I feel like American's can be somewhat reasonable so doesn't that sound like a good compromise? Increased gun regulations=decrease in mass murders. Looks pretty good to me. 

America, I love you but please cut the crap.

What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with my viewpoints? Let me know in the comments below! 

And until next time...
Stay curious!

*Appleby, L., Mortensen, P. B., Dunn, G., & Hiroeh, U. (2001). Death by homicide, suicide, and other unnatural causes in people with mental illness: a population-based study. The Lancet, 358, 2110-2112.


  1. I agree with you; well written and thought provoking! I really do not think we are all that free if you never know when the next wild wild west shoot out on a campus, at a crowded event or who knows where next may take place, Because the odds are against us it will happen again!

  2. I just had chills down my spine literally when I read the date of this post. I am not going to write how I feel. I did some quick research and since 2013, there has been only one full calendar week without a mass shooting (January 5, 2014). It is so sad that the nightmares of our kids are of school shootings. I do not see this changing anytime soon.