Recently an article by The New York Times asserted that the reason we have so much gun violence is that we have so many guns. Wow, we'd just like to take a minute and thank the journalist whose investigative reporting uncovered that gem (does the Earth revolve around the sun too). Pushing for more gun control is always the wrong solution to the wrong question.Here at American Grit, we thought that violence was just generally a bad thing, regardless of what weapon was used. We had no idea that the fact that a gun was used made said violence any worse. Maybe if my loved one was murdered with a prison shank or knife, or a vat of acid, maybe they won't be as dead. Makes sense, right? No, it doesn't make sense. In fact, it's pure propaganda.We're not here to get in a pissing match with the New York Times (although we're certain we'd win), but ignoring overall homicide rates across the world and painting the United States as this sole great evil is indecent journalism. In fact, it's not journalism, it's propaganda.See gun violence, while bad, is only one part of the equation. If The NY Times had taken a realistic worldview instead of sensationalizing everything, if they'd had some journalistic integrity, they'd see that we're actually not a very violent country. In fact, in 2017, according to Business Insider, MSN and Planet Deadly we've only got four cities in the top 50 most dangerous cities (excluding MSN as their list only had the top 26, so we only had two in that list) and none of our cities even cracked the top ten.Are we perfect? No. We still have a few cities on the list, and that's a problem. The problem isn't guns though. If it was, we'd have many more cities on the list and certainly more in the top 10. Yet we don't. So what is the core issue? Violence.
Why are people so violent? Because violence is honestly the only real currency in the world. People can't oppose you if they're dead. Many of our readers know the cold hard reality of the world is that violence does solve problems. It may not be the best solution or even an appropriate solution at the time, but it is a solution. George Orwell, famed author of "1984" stated that "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." While many are free to ignore the abject reality of the world, they do so at their own peril. The fight or flight response is an inherent part of our biology. When under attack, perceived or legitimate, people make a choice. Gun violence is only a portion of the actual problem.
Yes, there are more shootings where there are more guns, but not necessarily more violence. In fact, our national homicide rate per 100,000 people is only 6.2 people. For a country with 42 percent of the world's guns, the NY Times would like you to think its higher. The top ranking countries on our list have extremely low gun ownership for private citizens (Honduras 6 firearms per 100 people) or extremely strict gun control (Venezuela, banned private ownership in 2012) measures put in place (Honduras at around 90.4 homicides per 100,000 and Venezuela at 53.7 homicides per 100,000).
In conclusion, while we could probably go round and round with examples and counters, the truth of the matter is it isn't a gun problem. It is a violence problem. The reason people go after guns is that guns represent power. Guns are the great equalizer, whether it's rape prevention, self-defense, or defense against a tyrannical government. Guns level the playing field for many that without would be incapable of effectively defending themselves. At the end of the day, a gun cannot do anything without permission from its owner. A gun is just a tool, people are the weapons. Be a weapon for good.