Did you know, that in 2016 alone there were 385 mass shootings in America? There are only 365 days in a year!!! Just in case you didn’t know (I didn’t until google informed me) that a mass shooting is where four or more people are killed or injured. Did you also know that in total, there were over 15,000 gun related deaths in America in 2016? I know America is a huge country, but those numbers are just so scary to me! I just don’t understand how a country with so many gun related deaths can still try and claim they should keep their right to bear arms?
‘It’s in the constitution!’ they wail.
Now without going off on a tangent about how this constitution was written over 200 years ago, in a completely different time. I would like to direct those that claim the constitution is a god given right, and cannot be changed, to the dictionary and ask them to find the definition of the word amendment just a hint it means a change, an alteration. Do I really need to say more!?! I’m sorry America, but unless you tighten up those laws and stop giving every Tom, Dick and Harry a gun ‘just because’. Then those statistics are just going to get worse year upon year. How many children and innocent people have to die before you wake up?
After saying all that.
I’m currently writing this sat outside an Army Reserve Camp watching two of my teenage daughters clean weapons. They have just spent the weekend sleeping in a field keeping these weapons by their sides at all times. They fired blank ammo, learnt offensive and defensive manoeuvres. They basically played war for two days and had a thoroughly great time doing it.
As I’ve sat here I’ve been wondering if I’m being a bit hypocritical. On the one hand, I don’t think the general public should have access to guns, rifles etc. I think there should be a strict process to go through to obtain any weapon and that you must have a purpose for wanting one, and be able to prove you have somewhere suitable, be it private land or a range, to shoot it.
I think America’s gun laws defy all sense and logic. I truly believe that holding on to that right to bear arms is an act of willingly killing innocent people.
Yet on the other hand I love watching my daughters being able to handle these weapons safely in a controlled environment.
And that right there is the stickler.
By sending my children to Army Cadets they get to learn how dangerous weapons are, how to safely handle, shoot, clean, care for them. They learn a healthy respect for weapons. They repeat their weapon handling tests at most every six months so it is always fresh in their minds.
Do I think they will become gun crazed maniacs by allowing them to enjoy using these weapons? I would certainly like to think not! But let’s be honest, nobody can predict what our children will turn out like. After all, even mass murderers can come from loving, stable families.
But there is one thing I know for sure.
My children will be far less likely to pick up a gun out of curiosity and accidentally shoot someone or themselves. They will also be less likely to have a ‘mess around’ shooting a gun and accidentally kill someone or themselves.
Children need to learn how dangerous guns are, mine are learning that in a safe controlled environment. America’s children are learning that by being scared to go to school and by having drills to hide from possible shooters when they are there.
If you would like to see the rising numbers of gun incidents over the last few years you can find them on the Gun Violence Archive website.