The United States, with less than 5 percent of the world’s population, has about 35 to 50 percent of the world’s civilian-owned guns, according to a 2007 report by the Switzerland-based Small Arms Survey. It ranks No. 1 in firearms per capita. The United States also has the highest homicide-by-firearm rate among the world’s most developed nations.
The above quotation from Newsweek shows us how unhappy we are. Those who have been part of these statistics are deeply frightened of the changes in our world and feel cornered. Clearly, they will do anything to protect themselves, or get what they think they can’t get through conventional means. Sadly, all it accomplishes is making our society even more dangerous, and so these conditions spiral on to the point where we are now. Even though the report mentioned above is about ten years old, I doubt that much has changed since then, unless there are even more guns now, especially since Texas’ new, more lenient law.
So many Americans feel they need guns because they were raised with a primitive frontier mentality that no longer serves current conditions. When the country was settled by early colonists, it was a dangerous place, and life was much more difficult than we today can imagine. In those days, people needed to protect themselves, but the frontier has been closed for about a century, and the gun culture no longer serves a purpose. The preservation, among some Americans, of this attitude is unfortunate, and likely unreflective. Handed down from earlier generations, it has been accepted without question, but now simply perpetuates a dysfunctional culture.
It is shameful that the United States allows these conditions for its citizens when in other ways, our lives are so comfortable and comparatively advanced. If other countries can control guns and reduce violence, so can we. With our cultural handicaps, it will take some time, but laws have been enacted and changes have come about, although slowly. I look forward to the day when this need to act like an antique cowboy becomes irrelevant.
Copyright © 2016 Teresa Chupp. All rights reserved.