Friday, 14 December 2012

Guns

   Just watching the feeds from Connecticut.
   While everyone will tell you as an author not to get political on your blog, screw that.
   I live in Canada now, a country with stringent handgun controls that watches pistols roll across the border into gang hands constantly, and grew up a hunter in the US. I also lived in Japan, a country with near-total gun control, so I'm uniquely equipped to give a relative opinion. It's this: Gun control can help mitigate mass murder, in that it's far more difficult to have a high body count without assault weapons or high-capacity handguns. A working mental health system would be preferable, of course, but I don't expect the States to manage that.
    Even in nations with extreme gun control (e.g. Japan) it's possible to own and use a hunting rifle for sport; sport being the only valid reason to own a gun in the vast majority of civilized nations.
   If you are buying high-capacity semiautomatic pistols or military grade semiauto rifles, you're not thinking about hunting, you're thinking about shooting people. It's that simple. I've hunted big game, and in all situations a quality bolt-action rifle is infinitely superior to a piece of military assault gear. I've handgun hunted big game - and you don't use a Glock or a Sig for that, you use a heavy revolver, usually scoped or with an extended barrel for accuracy.
   The US needs to lose its bizarre fetish for murder toys and legislate guns sensibly. There are sensible guns, and those are fine and dandy, but no one needs military grade gear for personal use.
   Unless you're hoping to kill lots of people.

Edit: Stunned to see calls among the talking heads on Twitter for arming schoolteachers in the US. Do these people even understand the level of insanity needed to propose that as a solution for a violence-ridden culture? If your underlying worry is that you need the guns to overthrow your own government, maybe you should try voting, or running for office yourself, instead. I have to suspect that the real reason is simple misanthropic hatred and the vicarious dream of shooting an 'intruder'. I think this circles back to the whole mental health issue. It's tremendously depressing to see how entrenched the insanity has become.