Americans love guns, alot! And they are durn proud of their Second Amendment, “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms…” I guess I’ve always known this, but it hasn’t ever really hit me the way it has this visit. I mean, friends, family, people I’m really close to have guns, and they talk about them! People I always saw as more pacifists than not, they are proud gun owners. I know I sometimes think idealistically, but are guns really all that necessary?
I mean, I personally believe if any situation comes down to a gun being the answer, then we are asking the wrong questions. I realize some people rationalize their “questions” through the “questions” of others; like, a man with a gun protecting his family from another man with a gun. And in that we like to think that some people’s “questions”, or rather their “answers”, are more noble than others. In doing that we are putting value on life itself. One might argue that if someone breaks into your house that person deserves to be shot, and killed. They might even justify it by saying that if they had not shot and killed that person, that person would have hurt or killed their family. Fair enough.
However, I believe every life is priceless, no matter how it’s being lived. Rather than putting more guns in the hands of more people, I would rather begin to see guns being taken out of the hands of more people. Because as humans, we often do not make the best decisions, and in this matter we are literally talking about life and death situations and decisions. It is easy to look at a scenario and try to justify why that person’s life “needed to be taken”, but, in my opinion, when we put price tags on the lives of others we’re only devaluing our own, through perceptions that our lives are worth more than theirs.
I know gun control has always been a heated debate in America and I am not saying I have the solutions. Chris Rock jokingly offered his solution, “Gun control? We need bullet control! I think every bullet should cost 5,000 dollars. Because if a bullet cost five thousand dollar, we wouldn’t have any innocent bystanders.” I guess gun owners feel safer knowing they have protection, but on this trip, more so than ever before, I have felt more insecure knowing that just the average Joe can own a gun, and even carry it around in some States. Knowing the track record of humanity, I do not feel that this reality makes us “safer”. This fact only makes me think that we live in a more potentially hostile environment. And sadly, we humans are arrogant, and we will continue to take life, as if it was us who gave it in the first place, as if it is ours for the taking.