Amber Robertson, Social Media Editor/Designer
In most areas of my life, I follow the belief that it is better to have something and not need it than to need something and not have it. This can apply to a wide variety of topics like water, a pen, an umbrella and guns.
I was raised in a family where guns were prevalent. Not only do my dad and uncle own more than 10 guns each, but my brother, sister and aunt own handguns, and my grandfather was a gun enthusiast. In fact, every New Year’s Day, my family and some family friends go skeet shooting. You could say we like guns in my house.
Gun crime in the United States is sadly fairly common. My belief is that this stems from a lack of gun education in this country. If more people knew how to safely use guns, then I think there would be more gun-toting people around. I believe that the more legal guns there are and the more educated the public is on gun safety, the safer it would be to live here.
In Switzerland, a country of about 8 million people, there are between 2.3 and 4.5 million military and private firearms in circulation, yet only 0.5 out of 100,000 homicides in Switzerland are committed with guns.
According to Helena Bachmann, a Swiss contributor for Time Magazine: “One of the reasons the crime rate in Switzerland is low despite the prevalence of weapons…is the culture of responsibility and safety that is anchored in society and passed from generation to generation.”
In an article for Time Magazine written by Bachmann, she cites Peter Squires, professor of criminology and public policy at the University of Brighton in Great Britain, “who has studied gun violence in different countries and concluded that a ‘culture of support,’ rather than focus on individualism, can deter mass killings.”
Squires continued: “If people have a responsible, disciplined and organized introduction into an activity like shooting, there will be less risk of gun violence.”
I also hold the belief that the United States gives little to no attention to mental health, and this is a major contributing factor of why our gun crime rates are so high. But that’s an issue for another time.
NRA Executive Vice president Wayne LaPierre once said: “The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.” If legal gun carriers were allowed in more places, it would be more likely that a mass shooting would be halted by a good guy with a gun.
I firmly believe that if we really want to bring down gun crime in this country, it needs to start with education. If we can emulate the Swiss and develop a societal respect for firearms and firearm safety, gun crime could become a minor issue. As the saying goes, guns don’t kill people, people kill people.