I don't like guns. I don't like that I've lived with people who own guns (because of their jobs), I don't want a gun in my house and I kind of think it's creepy that people want to keep guns in their house. I DEFINITELY think it's creepy when they want to carry them ON them wherever they go.
Recently (well, like 9 months ago) I actually went to a gun range for the first time because I made a promise to a friend. He had convinced me to try it with this line: "Nothing scares Conservative Republicans more than a liberal atheist that knows how to use a gun." And I will NOT deny that it was fun. In A COMPLETELY SAFE AND CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT. This place was STRICT. You always had an instructor next to you, YOU were not allowed to load the gun and if you even turned slightly away from the firing direction, you would be stopped and reprimanded (here I am with a rifle with my instructor). In those conditions, I can't help but admit I had a BLAST (pun intended)! :-)
But the personal ownership of guns...I don't know. It's just creepy. Granted, it MAY come in handy in self-defense (although, at least in NYC, I believe you have to keep it locked up so that could hinder it's actual use), but there's too much risk of unintentional damage. You always hear about people accidentally shooting themselves or family members. And I actually went to collage with a kid who's friend accidentally shot and killed him. It's terrible. And personally, while I supposed I'd rather kill or be killed...well, I REALLY don't want to kill anyone.
Anyway, I think guns are a little too easy to come by in this country. Though, I'm not sure how to fix it because the criminal always seem to find ways to get illegal things...but I feel like being able to buy guns in a Walmart or something, with like a week's wait or whatever, is just not enough. And why do people need to own them so badly!? And so MANY! One of my favourite comedians, Eddie Izzard, makes a joke about kids only having to go to their "grandfather's arsenal" to get ahold of guns. There's that like 6-year-old kid in Bowling for Columbine that Michael Moore talks about who takes someone's gun to school and kills a little girl. There should have been NO WAY for that kid to get his hands on a gun!!!! But people teach their kids to shoot guns from very young ages! And I suppose it's good for them to at least KNOW how to handle it, but...I don't know, I feel like their not old enough to REALLY understand the consequences yet.
Maybe it's because of where I live that I don't want a gun? I recall being in a London hostel back in (I think) 2004 where this older gentleman was (co-ed room hostel) was staying for a night or two to look at some artifact or something (the hostel is right by the British Museum). He was from Texas and somehow we ended up talking about guns (weird...) but when I said I would NOT want a gun EVER, he was surprised. He said he thought we all wanted guns up here but out government wouldn't let us! I said I didn't know that many people that actually wanted to own a gun (and even the ones that did, wanted them for recreational purposes, not for protection). He didn't understand, he asked about protecting ourselves or our property and I said that's what the police were for. He said the police would take a half an hour to get to his home by him. Which I suppose, if that were the case, I might want my own protection as well. I don't know.
Anyway, this all comes up because of what I thought was a great and funny little bit on SNL's Weekend Update last Saturday.
Well, anyway, I don't really know what's to be done about this. I think a lot of it might be because of something like what I was talking about with that Texan. I think our country is just so damn large that the experiences I can have are so completely different some someone in, say, Texas. It DOES seem to be more of the southern states that are so pro-gun, but that might not be true and just my perception.
What do YOU think of the gun situation in our country?
PS Here's the Eddie Izzard bit that I love!
PPS One last thing, one of my favourite Eminem lines is from the song "Who Knew": "So who's bringing the guns in this country? I couldn't sneak a plastic pellet gun through customs over in London."