Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It's not a culture issue; it's an access issue

Some of the newspapers today claiming that the recent massacres in the United States are a result of America's special culture.

I disagree.

The problem, bluntly, is access to guns. That's is why the murder rate is so very high in the North of Canada; it is because people have access to guns and disputes which would otherwise end in a fistfight end shooting. Disturbed people with guns are far more dangerous than disturbed people with, say, knives.

Limit gun access and the number of shooting deaths will fall.


Anonymous said...

I think you are wrong, at least partially so. The north has high rates of substance abuse, unemployment, etc. They are contributing factors as well. Guns are needed in rural parts of this country so it is difficult to prevent access.

Where we probably agree is with access to assault rifles or military weapons.However, those that want them will get them regardless. It is only a partial solution.

Many nations have mandatory military service for males.Even so,while there are always potential for mass shootings anywhere it is clearly the US that has the bulk of these instances.

It is cultural as well as medical.

This is where I believe the politics in this country does a disservice. If a politician admits that mental health is a component to gun violence then it becomes problematic for them to come up with the 10's of billions of dollars needed to address it.

It also flies in the face in those that argue that Canada has a great health care system.

Better to sweep that under the rug and to stick to the guns are bad routine.

James C Morton said...

Thanks for the reply. You make a decent argument.

Anonymous said...

I think gun control laws as opposed to gun ownership rates are what matter more. Otherwise countries like Norway, Sweden, Germany, France, and Austria have gun ownership rates similar to Canada, but all of them have lower murder rates is getting a gun is quite tough in each. In Canada, gun ownership may vary by region, but the rules for acquiring one are pretty much the same. The problem in the US is getting a gun is far more easy than in Canada meaning many more people are able to get them than here and also the rules on handing them, what types of guns are permitted, and where they can be used are more lax too.