Amending the amendment

 

I’m ultimately quite nervous about writing this article, which is something I’ve never been able to say before. I fear that I may rub some people the wrong way with this, but I promise you it’s not a deliberate act. I’m finally caving in and putting my feelings about gun control into print form.

This is not meant to offend. I’m a guest in your country and am greatly appreciative for the wonderful opportunities its given me and the incredible people I’ve met here. However, America isn’t perfect. Sorry. There are many things you guys get right that the rest of the world could learn from, including Sonic drinks and  college sports.

On the flip side however, the guns have gotta go. Or at least be decreased in their prevalence. I understand this is pretty much an impossible dream — the second amendment is so vitally ingrained in this society that it’ll almost certainly never be repealed — but this situation could definitely be improved.

In my humble opinion, the single biggest mistake in American history is the second amendment. I truly believe that. This is not a judgement; God knows my country has made some tragically big mistakes in our long and supposedly illustrious history, which is actually stained with the blood of many innocent victims of the United Kingdom. We’ve done some pretty messed up things. The British Empire was arguably the biggest global oppression movement in history. But thankfully we sorted it out eventually. My question is: When will America acknowledge its gun problem?

There have been too many school shootings and mass murders to ignore this. Even just last week, there was a gun-related incident in our very own local community in San Antonio. UIW had a scare with a man in black supposedly carrying an assault rifle around campus.

Whilst social media reports may have blown this out of proportion, it’s still a scarily real situation for me. The idea that UIW was in lockdown and TUPD were telling us to avoid their campus was not something I ever thought realistic, but having open campuses and the ability to acquire a firearm relatively easily means that living with the constant threat of gun violence is our reality. This is a reality.

Trinity’s current position of not allowing guns on our campus is something I wholeheartedly  support. I would feel incredibly unsafe and uneasy if this was overturned. I already feel a slight sense of panic whenever I see a TUPD officer with a firearm on his hip. Admittedly, this is partially down to my socialisation. The only time I see guns in London is when I visit an embassy — usually the U.S. one — or if you see a serious drug or gang crime unit out on the streets. It’s a shock to our system because it’s so rare. And yet I came to Trinity and within the first three weeks I was Facebook friends with four different people holding guns in their profile pictures. The fact that someone holds on  his hip the power to end my life is inherently frightening to me.

And then we get to the rebuttal that if the citizens and police of America don’t have guns themselves, then how can they protect themselves from these criminals? But my counterargument is that if guns weren’t so readily available in the first place, then criminals wouldn’t have them. In London, knife crime is prevalent. Shootings are extremely rare. There is a clear and direct worldwide correlation between countries not allowing the possession of firearms and a lower rates of gun violence. It just makes sense. What is more, there is about a 70 percent chance that you will survive a stab wound. There is about a 70 percent chance you’ll fail to survive a gunshot wound. I understand that many fear that  giving up guns will lead to the government oppressing the American people, but in a country as big as this one, is that ever truly likely to happen? I guess I just don’t see the relationship between freedom and a gun.

I urge anyone who feels strongly about this to attend the Campus Carry forum on November 11 at 6:00 p.m. in the Chapman Auditorium. This is an issue worth debating and one that everyone should be able to give their voice to. I hope I haven’t come across as too much of a foreigner moaning about the culture in another country — this was never meant to be that — but I do think that there has to be another way. I don’t want to be the guy who loses his friend to a shooting.

 

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Opinion Columnist | Class of 2019 | Major: German Studies | Minor: Sport Management