Apparently a US pastor in Kentucky allowed churchgoers to bring unloaded guns to church this Sunday to “celebrate their right to bear arms.” The purpose of this was “to send a message that there are legal, civil, intelligent and law-abiding citizens who also own guns. If it were not for a deep-seated belief in the right to bear arms, this country would not be here today.” The service ended with a handgun raffle.
What Mr. Pagano failed to mention is that American citizens have more guns than any other developed nation and—*gasp* huge surprise—far more gun related crime. He also failed to mention that the Second Amendment refers to a “well regulated militia,” not individual citizens, and that the term “bear arms” has been used since 1330, and is defined by the Oxford English dictionary as meaning “to serve as a soldier, do military service, fight.” Again, nothing to do with the individual.
The lack of gun control in America is an embarrassment. I could go to a gun shop right now and buy a handgun if I wanted to, no questions asked. Yes, they’re supposed to do a background check, but I doubt it would be too hard to find a dealer willing to bypass that step and give me the gun that day. I really don’t understand the people who defend their “right” to have a gun by saying they need it to defend themselves. According to a study by David McDowall of the US Department of Justice during the 1990s, guns were used in self defense an average of 64,615 times per year, while guns were used to commit crimes 2,674,851 times. That means they were used to commit crimes 41.4 times more often than they were used for protection. Hmm, doesn’t seem like quite a strong argument anymore….
The bottom line is that gun control is incredibly lax, children are getting hurt in the crossfire by forgetful parents who leave guns out, and in all actuality, no one really needs guns (save for police officers and military members). According to the U.S. Department of Justice, “in 2006, about 68% of all murders, 42% of all robberies, and 22% of all aggravated assaults that were reported to the police were committed with a firearm.” Just think of how many lives could be saved if people wised up and realized that intelligent regulation is not a bad thing.