Politics

Why European Gun Control Won’t Work in the United States

In the United States, there is a raging debate concerning how to manage everybody’s 2nd Amendment right to own a gun while preventing gun violence.

The first step is to stop making accusations or name-calling people on the other side of the debate, and understand how each side has the same end goal but are only discussing how to achieve it. Responsible gun owners know for a fact that their guns are not criminal nor will they ever be used in a crime. People who don’t own guns seem to show a fear of guns, typically based in the logical fallacy of an anecdotal story that because “a” gun was used in a crime, other guns may be potentially criminal.

The latter group contends that, by adopting European-style gun control measures, America will be a safer place for everyone to live. But, just how grounded in reality is that assumption?

In Europe and Australia, nobody ever had a presumption of their personal right to own a gun. Most first world countries do have some equivalent of the U.S. Constitution which assures their basic human rights, but it’s not as formal as what Americans expect in daily life. So when a European country makes a new law, there is no underlying perception of people being stripped of their rights. Their lack of guns makes it more difficult for a criminal to obtain a weapon, which in turn leads to less of a need for responsible civilians to own a gun. Gun laws work in Europe, but they only work because of fundamental cultural differences which don’t apply in America.

In essence, there is an important cultural difference between how guns are perceived in Europe and how they are in America. That difference matters.

The main cultural difference is that in Europe, weapons were already restricted before the introduction of the first firearms, so nobody had an expectation of being able to own the newest modern technology. In America, a gun was essential to survival. The musket was integral to the first colonialists, the Winchester 1871 is famously known as “The Gun That Won the West,” and the Colt Navy Revolver was a technological advancement which allowed for lots of bang in a package which was easily carried and rather affordable. Specific needs may have changed with the modern age of communication, but people still have specific needs to own appropriate firearms.

All other arguments aside, the glaring elephant in the room is a fundamental fact that the U.S. Constitution guarantees a right to own firearms. Yes, there are ways to change specific aspects of the Constitution, but they are quite difficult and require quite a bit of effort. The Constitution, being the fundamental basis of law in America, was intentionally prepared so that changes would not be taken lightly, and there is a specific process which requires confirmation at all levels of federal and local government before a change is approved.

Ultimately, the debate about gun control doesn’t seem to have an end in sight. The real answer lies in the question itself, which opposing sides seem incapable of agreeing on.

The real solution is education. Gun owners need to be aware of the concerns of people who don’t understand guns and weaponry, and people opposed to gun ownership need to understand why responsible gun owners find their guns to be such useful tools.

~ Firearm Daily

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