Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Is The Total Gun Ban Really A Solution?

Is the total Gun Ban really a solution?

After reading and hearing a lot of talk about a Total Gun Ban being implemented here in our country (The Philippines, for those who may be reading this elsewhere), it has sparked some thought in me and I have decided to voice out these thoughts. Various events have sparked this talk of a Total Gun ban, events like the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in the United States or the shooting spree that took place in Cavite, Philippines. These are truly tragic events and my heart and sympathy sincerely goes out to those who have been affected by this. But what I’m going to say next may not appeal to other people or maybe a cause of disagreement, that’s alright by me, this is simply my opinion.

Let’s take a step back and analyze these events and other similar events. Who is to blame? Most people will say “Guns! Guns are to blame!” Hold on to that statement as you read my next few statements. A gun or a firearm is an inanimate object, it is a tool that was created by man and used by man. Following that trail of thought in the quoted statement mentioned above, the blame wants to be placed on an inanimate object that cannot commit any action on its own without human intervention. Let’s go a bit further following that logic. When a car accident happens, should we also exclaim “Cars! Cars are to blame!”?  If this logic was followed for every accident or tragic event that occurred that involved inanimate objects and the proposed solution for these events and occurrences would be to ban the objects involved in the events, then perhaps everything would be banned already.

Take a look at the September 11, World Trade Center Terrorist Attack for example; when this happened, people did not go and blame the airplane that crashed into a building and then propose to ban all airplanes, the blame went to the terrorists who committed the act. Because in truth, the plane had nothing to do with the event that occurred, sure, the plane was the major cause of the explosion and the death involved in the attack, but did the plane do this on its own? No. The terrorists caused the plane to crash into the Twin Towers whether it was them directly or indirectly by manipulating the pilot. If you removed the plane from the equation, would this stop terrorist attacks from happening? I highly doubt it.

I may have digressed a little from the topic of discussion, but I believe the paragraph before this was necessary to make my point a little clearer. I know that those against guns would probably have a follow up statement of “Well, the examples you mentioned above, like the cars or the planes, these were made for transportation, what about guns? Guns were made for killing!” Though I don’t totally disagree with the intent of a firearm, it still remains an object, thus the intent actually becomes subjective in the hands of the user. It could be used for killing an animal for food or hunting purposes, it could also be used for killing another human being whether it is defense against a threat or used for murder. As mentioned above, the intent becomes subjective depending on the user. What about the history of the knife? Dating back to the Pre-historic age, long before firearms were invented and before knives became more commonly known as utensils, they were used for hunting and yes, for survival as well which sometimes involves the act of killing. But here are knives today, found in every household all over the world. Despite knives also being involved in violent crimes, there has never been any talk of a “Knife Ban”. So why the bias towards firearms, why the focus on banning them? I believe it’s because of the negative stigma that has been placed on firearms by society. Yes, I agree they are dangerous objects and sadly, they have been involved in deaths as well. But what people fail to see is that the gun didn’t pull its own trigger, a person did that, the reason behind that action was decided by a person as well, not by the firearm.

The total gun ban is said to promote peace and to reduce violence as well as death. That is a good aim, but let me ask you these questions, what does a criminal care about the law? When have rules ever caused a criminal or an individual with evil intent to stop his actions? Will a gun ban stop a criminal from obtaining a firearm to commit a crime with? Will a gun ban stop someone from breaking into your home and harming you and your family? I really don’t think so. I’m not saying that every household should have a gun, what I’m trying to say is that every citizen should have that choice, the choice to protect himself and his loved ones should the need to do so arise. “But that’s what the Police, Security Guards and Military are for!” I don’t disagree, yes, that’s what they are there for, to protect society. But let’s face the harsh reality, if someone breaks into your home and is in your bedroom while you are asleep with your family, what then? Will you reach for your phone and call the police while this man is in your room armed with something that could harm or kill you and/or your family? How fast would the Police get to your home if you were indeed successful in calling them? If this armed man was attempting to harm your wife, husband, son or daughter right before your eyes, would you not do everything in your power to stop that from happening? Would you not use any means to prevent that person from harming your family and loved ones? I am not trying to put down our Law Enforcement agencies with my statements above, I’m simply trying to point out the reality of situations that do occur in society and I don’t disagree that it is the job of Law Enforcement agencies to protect society, but it is also my job to protect myself, my family and my loved ones by any means necessary.

A total gun ban doesn’t stop criminals from committing crimes, it would only take away the chances of responsible gun owners to defend themselves, their families, loved ones and fellow citizens. What society would be left with are criminals who have no regard for the law and will still be able to illegally obtain firearms or other weapons to commit their crimes towards good citizens that would be left with no means to defend themselves.

I don’t discount the fact that there are reckless gun owners out there, those who have no regard for safety or even individuals who have used guns to commit crimes. But do the mistakes of few really need to affect everyone else? Would you ban all people from driving cars because there were accidents or deaths caused by the mistakes of irresponsible drivers? There are many responsible drivers out there and believe it or not, there are also many responsible gun owners out there.

So I pose the question again, is the Total Gun Ban really a solution?