I hope you don’t mind if I add in my $0.02?
Having grown up in a country where gun restrictions are very tight, the notion of the average person walking around with a concealed weapon is very foreign to me. Hearing about shootings in the media may seem somewhat normal to those accustomed to it but let me assure you, it is disturbing and frightening to someone who is not.
Now, interestingly enough, I don’t think gun restrictions are the answer here in America. There are other countries in the world with high gun ownership rates but far less violent crime. Also, there are other countries in the world with low gun ownership rates but far greater violent crime. The correlation is not necessarily between guns and violence, it is the people wielding the weapons that make the difference.
Take Switzerland for example – one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world (more than half of which are automatic rifles) yet violent crime rates there are amongst the lowest in the world. What is the difference? Well there are several:
- High median income.
-Excellent social systems including healthcare and education.
-Low unemployment rate.
-Military training is mandatory for a few days a year, in which time proper gun training is provided.
In summary, the people are well looked after, informed and armed. No problem.
Here in America, the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Not to mention the “working poor” – those hard working tax paying people who slog it out every day, every week, every year just to keep their head above water. Bush’s tax incentives did more for big business and high income earners than they did for the lower income earners who needed it the most. The economy is weak, unemployment is high and the social systems are failing. Guess what happens? People are unhappy, frustrated and armed and the crime rate increases.
The only way to alleviate the rate of violent crime is to look at the socioeconomic and cultural factors that are the real determinants of crime and violence in the first place.
It is not the thought of the average well balanced happy individual carrying a gun around me that I find so frightening, it is the thought that the maybe person next to me has a chip on their shoulder and a pistol in their pocket.
Even it's a bit offtopic, I think I have to comment the correlation thing between poverty and criminality:
I believe poverty is one of the reasons that cause people to make bad choices or then bad choices can make you turn to be poor and troubles stemming from that can be inheritable. Even sure it isn't any kind of self-evidence that if you're poor, you'd also turn bad like some people in that thread have brilliantly pointed out.
That's how I see the way goes with some of those poor, passive people: You may born into a family which has many troubles such like poverty, mental health problems, unstable human relationships, problems with life control, violence etc. in it. And then many times problematic families like that can't reach proper living standard but end up to be drifted into some questionable habitat with bunch of similar people. Then, in their miserable state in which they don't mind anymore, they end up to vent their dysphoria with committing to criminality, forming gangs and other bad things like that. Okay, and now you born into that insecure family and surroundings like that. You may end up to grow up to be very insecure person, you've might had many disappointments in your life already and the passive attitude toward you doesn't prefer to you to be enterprising. The closest role models you have have morals like that. You grow up, hit your puberty and like we know, youngsters don't always think what's the best option for the future but do something that they feel great just then. Perhaps the "coolest" role model to young you is that criminal gang or something else not so good around your corners and soon you notice you've gotten involved in it up to your neck and can't get rid of it. May you don't go that radical but have still adopted values around you. Then you perhaps end up to be that insecure parent with lots of troubles once and also your child will grow up in that same atmosphere and the vicious cycle is ready.
Like I said, living in poverty isn't the same thing that committing criminality, not at all. Like stated in that topic, you can grow up as any other good person even your material start wouldn't have been that good. What I wanted to say is that in many cases poverty is still a part of the problem and what's more important, human is weak. Sure there are some people who can yank theirselves apart and have a good life in the conditions I described, but I think in many cases it isn't that easy and there have to be reasons behind the bad moral.
Just my humble opinion and very offtopic
. Carry on.