The shooting in Arizona has left me sad and frustrated. I have been grapping over the issues of gun rights for a long time. I have generally been on the side of sensible gun rights feeling that since the situation is out of hand in most cases, gun owners have to take sacrifices. The rest of us do. For example, just because I feel like, and am capable of, driving my car at excessive speeds, I have to give up that desire to save lives of those around me. Gun owners should expect no less.
Today I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is a gun owner and very adamant that people should be able to defend themselves in whatever manner they feel. It is one of the few things we disagree on. However he and my son for that matter believe that if everyone was armed, the violence would be less. I don’t agree basically because the American culture is by and large based on fear and that is why we have such diverse discussions about gun control.
Michael Moore pointed it out very well in his movie “Bowling for Columbine”. He took the position that Canada has more guns per person than we do, yet has less violence and people feel less of a need to defend themselves and their possessions. This is primarily because of our culture and wonderfully discussed in the book The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things [Paperback] by Barry Glassner. I strongly recommend this book as the author contends that out worries about all manner of things are totally blown out of proportion by a mass media. We are a nation of fear-mongers.