Don’t you see the flaw in your logic though? I made an analogy that you don’t agree with, but you believe that melting down all guns is a better alternative than improving how we treat them. I said the exact same thing only substitute humans for guns and it was wrong somehow.
It’s also estimated that Germany has 30.3 guns per 100 residents, and Italy 11.9. It’s way less than in the U.S., but please don’t act like they don’t exist. It’s a tad ironic since some of the world’s best non-American gunmakers are German and Italian.
I’m not sure I trust your nationmaster stats, some of them seemed off a bit, but it’s hard to tell for sure because it’s poorly done. One thing did jump out at me though. “Total crimes”, America had 5 times more. America’s population is also 5 times larger than Italy’s, so that’s actually a proportional draw. But your stats don’t really get into violent versus nonviolent crimes and all that. And then there’s the sticky issue of whether suicide should be considered a crime… it’s a lot to deal with.
And yeah, proximity to guns increases the risk of getting shot. Just like proximity to water increases the risk of drowning. Or riding in a car increases the risk of being killed in a collision.
Gun owners accept the risk. Just like pool owners do, and car riders do. You don’t have to convince me of the obvious.
But back to hunting… bows are okay? Cool. So, hypothetically, we melt down all the guns, and then people use bows to commit murder, because it’s easier than some other methods. What then? Take the bows away?
You can’t just keep taking things away when they get abused. Human history is predicated upon developing the technology to kill each other. From sticks and rocks, to spears and swords, to cannons and poisons, to nukes and drones. You can’t stop it.
But you can address factors that contribute to violent behavior. Like Europe has done. They have insanely great social safety nets, so people rarely get desperate enough to turn to violent crime.
Also, culturally, Europe has been decimated by 2 of the worst wars in history, on its soil, in the past 100 years. There are still survivors living there. That’s why Europe is peaceful and has low violent crime rates. Entire generations have grown up knowing about the horrors of violence through firsthand accounts of it. It’s a mindset.
The Europeans are very anti-violence. European films (until recently, due to American influence) were usually high drama, character studies, and stuff like that. They didn’t make things like American action movies where people get gunned down in droves.
In America, we conquered a savage continent less than 150 years ago by moving west in wagon trains then we built the railroad. The California Gold Rush which lured people to the Pacific Coast happened within 100 years of the end of WWII. Compared to the centuries and centuries of European history, that is incredible. Up until after the Civil War, we barely had any hold on the wild lands of the West. But we conquered it. Guns allowed us to do it. That’s why America loves guns and Europe doesn’t. To them, guns represent war and destruction, to America it represents conquest and dominion over everything.
Now, in my defense of guns, I don’t want it to be lost that I have posted a few pieces here on Medium that contain some modest proposals for what I believe useful gun control measures would be that fit in the happy middle ground between the two sides. I’m all for finding solutions that aren’t “melt them all down”. That’s really what made me respond in the first place.
But just a heads up, your claims about Italy’s laws don’t ring true to me. I’ve been there, and I did notice that they have a lot of shooting ranges for such a highly restricted country. But anyway, people can have up to 3 common guns (including handguns), up to 6 guns for “shooting sports” based on some arbitrary definitions, and an unlimited number of hunting guns. Which is only right, people think all guns are the same, but in reality they’re as different as all the tools in a toolbox. You need the right gun for the animal you’re hunting. Getting it wrong can lead to inhumane suffering, or unethical kills where so much meat is destroyed it’s wasteful. You don’t hunt birds with a rifle, and you can’t fire a shotgun at anything further away than about 75 yards. They’re all totally different. But yeah, all guns are registered and ammunition is regulated and all that.
(But there are still criminals that don’t care, and have illegal guns.)
Lastly, when I say it’s fine for you to feel this way, I mean it as literally as possible. You can feel however you want. Intellectually, and rationally, I believe that you are wrong, and I would happily engage in that debate. But being right or wrong in a rational sense is just one thing. You still have your feelings. I get that, and I don’t hold it against you. Feelings often cloud our rational minds.
I can relate, I’m a liberal born and raised in the Midwest. I wish America was more like Europe. I hate conservatives. The only issue I’m with them on is guns. And it’s hard to be in that position. I like to hunt, I like to spend time target shooting just for fun. I even like to handload ammunition to my exact specifications. But I often feel unwelcome in gun shops and shooting ranges because I’m so liberal and they’re all so conservative. That’s why I try to figure out middle of the road measures that would please everyone.
Unlike Italy, whose Constitution is only 60 years old and has 15 Amendments, by the way, we have an enumerated right to own firearms without… well it was supposed to be infringement, but nowadays it’s more like without any undue burden. And the fact that that is the Second Amendment… It freaks me out to think that so many people could actually want to alter the Bill of Rights.
And I’m okay with reasonable gun control as long as it can be proven to beneficial to the public good and/or not unduly burdensome to regular citizens. Things like assault weapons bans are not beneficial, so I argue against them. But I do want the background check system to be opened up to the public so anyone can use it via the Internet. Why that hasn’t been done yet keeps me up at night sometimes. It’s the simplest thing!
I’m stuck in the middle, I get both sides, and I want to create solutions that benefit everyone.
So when I read extremist things like calls for complete bans or complete lawlessness, that really irks me because it undercuts the efforts Im making to be a peacemaker and a bridge between the two camps. Extreme measures won’t happen. The 2nd Amendment isn’t going anywhere… so let’s be more realistic about the situation at hand.