Does Gun Control Mean Fun Control?

Image source — TIMEdotcom

The Orlando shootings are everywhere. In my inbox, on my phone, on social networking sites. On the other hand, the US Senate failed to pass new restrictions on gun ownership aimed at curtailing violence. The massacre at one of Orlando’s LGBT nightclubs was chilling. And the US Presidential elections are around the corner. So, it’s quite natural for the debate on the easy availability of guns in the US to occupy the media for weeks to come.

While Politicians Debate…

It’s become a hot political agenda. Hillary Clinton tweeted on June 14, “If you’re too dangerous to get on a plane, you are too dangerous to buy a gun in America.” She’s really promoting stringent background checks for gun ownership, with an aim at identifying and prohibiting the sale of arms to terrorists, the severely mentally ill and domestic abusers.

Donald Trump talks about how having the toughest gun control laws in the world did not stop terrorists from leaving 130 people dead in the Paris attacks in November last year. Trump went on to say, “If you had more guns, you’d have more protection because the right people would have the guns.”

So, who are the “right people” to have the guns? Apparently, all Americans! That’s exactly the reaction expected from this heated debate. It’s evident from the fact that when President Obama talked about new additional restrictions on gun ownership, it sent gun sales to a record high in 2015.

Control+Alt+Gun

Meanwhile, an increasing number of states now allows guns to be carried into restaurants, pubs and yes even churches. So, we have millions of Americans, walking around in public places carrying guns. While there is definitely a heady feeling of self-reliance and safety in the face of any eventuality, what degree of provocation or sense of threat is needed for one to pull out a gun and pull the trigger? Does one wait for the situation to get really bad or does one pull out a gun at the first sign of danger (since the purpose of self-defense is defeated if you’re one bullet too late).

Are gun owners required to go through some special training in patience or are they pulling out their weapons at the slightest provocation?

Phone-a-gun Anyone?

Gun culture has become BIG. The common man is exposed to gun culture in movies, books, on television and even in news stories about criminals and terrorists. The same news channels also cover revolutionaries who pick up the gun to revolt against governments. It seems like society at large is fascinated with guns as a panacea to frustration, rage, injustice, life-threatening situations and view guns as a means when all others have failed.

A screen-grab of an Android-based gun simulator app

Maybe it is our fixation with guns that needs to be addressed in the first place. I recently came across a mobile platform app that was simple enough in its function. It superimposes the image of a gun of your choice on the real-life image from your phone camera. A tap of the screen and the superimposed gun will fire at any real-life target on the screen.

Gun simulator apps allow users to choose from multiple weapons

A further look at the reviewers who used the app found comments about how the on-screen guns that are replicas of real guns were not correct in every detail. Leaving me to wonder; Do guns really offer such a vicarious solution to all of life’s problems as to simply pull the trigger and blow it away? Clearly, we are surrounded by loaded guns and some of them don’t even need to be real guns.

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