After a short period of absence due to another article being written by a lovely group of writers from this team, I make a triumphant return to you, unfortunately bearing unsavory news and sparking a hopefully thought-provoking discussion.
On The 23rd of March, 21-year-old Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa with a semi-automatic rifle in hand opened fire on a small grocery store in the suburbs of boulder colorado, killing 9 civilians and one police officer. To add shock to the tragedy, this is simply the most recent in a string of mass shootings in the past month, leading to the question I have been asked to write about in this article today: What can we do to solve the issue of Gun Regulations Within the US? To begin with, dear reader, I would like to clarify that this piece will not relate to the shootings that have been linked to Asian Hate within our country. Seeing as this is a subject that really requires its own article, this submission today will merely cover the subject of Gun Regulations and possible solutions.
First, dear Reader, let's try to understand the full magnitude of the situation. Gun Control in the US is, of course, a massive issue. Even those of you who are not US citizens, you are undoubtedly familiar with Americans' almost obsessive infatuation with the second amendment, essentially allowing American citizens the right to bear (own) firearms. Of course, this stems from the idea that a well-armed minute militia was standing by at any moment to defend their land against the aggressors during the American War of Independence. This of course would later be cemented within the constitution, and more specifically the bill of rights, making it one of the ten unchangeable rights that Americans are guaranteed.
Herein Lies the Dilemma:
The second amendment is worded in such a way that one could interpret it in several different ways. If looking from the radical left, one would see the argument that the amendment simply allows for the ownership of guns, and the government (federal or state) reserves the right to pass regulations on more dangerous and/or deadly firearms. From the other end of the political spectrum, the radical right would argue that the second amendment gives Americans the right to own any firearm that is in production and the government has no say in it. Nevertheless, either way, you look at it, we are facing a terrifying situation. The mass shootings occurring in the past weeks alone show us a horrifying image of a worst-case scenario that has become all too common, and trends such as the average rate of homicide by firearm in the United States averaging around the tens of thousands, it is clear that as a country, dear reader, we must take a stand, and quell the bloodlust that grows with every discharged round.
It is at this point in the discussion, dear reader, that I would suggest that you turn your attention towards Switzerland. Before you question me, dear reader, I assure you there is a method to my madness. If you were to open a textbook on European history and look at a chapter on swiss independence, you would see that they, like the US, were forced to fight off oppressive nations, and are still on guard today, employing mandatory military service of swiss men. Still, there are several differences that we must take into account. As Krishnadev Calamur for the Atlantic writes “For one thing, Switzerland rate of gun ownership is still substantially lower than America’s—in Switzerland, the rate is roughly one gun per four people, whereas in the U.S. it’s more than one per person, according to GunPolicy.org. The Swiss Defense Ministry estimates that there are 2 million privately owned weapons in the country of 8.3 million people. There are estimated to be 300 million guns in the U.S., but 130 million of them are owned by about 3 percent of the adult population.” (Calamur) It is rated like this that have many Americans speculating that this is the most logical reason that we have issues of gun violence, nevertheless, this type of rating has been presented before and has done little to sway the stubborn, so we why don't we look at another factor. Similar to our own constitution, the swiss constitution states that arms should be held ready for a militia, In February 2011, Swiss citizens voted in a referendum that called for a national gun registry and for firearms owned by members of the military to be stored in public arsenals. The vote was mercilessly shot down (pardon the pun), and it was the head of the Swiss gun-rights group Pro Tell, Hermann Suter who stated: “It is a question of trust between the state and the citizen. The gun at home is the best way to avoid dictatorships—only dictators take arms away from the citizens.” This type of thinking goes hand in hand with the idea of registration of firearms within the swiss borders, similar to how one registered a car. It is the ideologies and regulations that go beautifully hand in hand, offering a possible solution to the issue at hand within us. Of course dear reader, I am not one to take sides, and so I now leave the comment section to you, hoping that my humble word can sway a discussion on the matter.
As I always say, dear reader: There is always the possibility of a better tomorrow, what can you do to make it a reality?