Iran – The Solution to America’s Gun Problem

January 18, 2013 6:00 pm

To most people in the UK, the gun debate in the US is a complete mystery. It seems obvious to us that less guns should equate to less gun-related deaths. But to Americans, the debate is about much more than that.

American gun

The first and most frequently listed argument is the 2nd amendment. Americans have the right to bear arms written into their constitution. To a certain extent, I can actually empathise with this argument. Americans feel that it is part of what it means to be an American and no-one could or should be able to take this away. The only thing I can really say to this is that the name of the law should be an indicator. It’s called an “amendment”. The constitution hasn’t been divinely written, it isn’t perfect and needs to be changed when and if society requires it. To date, I believe there are 27 amendments, so the document can’t have been that perfect. At some point the American people will feel that the right to bear arms isn’t worth all the gun-related deaths.

Unfortunately, I don’t think it will be any time soon simply due to the mindset of the pro-gun lobby in general. You see the other, less publicised reaction to the Sandy Hook shooting is the pro-gun’s solution. They feel tragedies like this would be solved if everyone had guns. They believe that if the headmistress of the school have been armed herself, this massacre would have ended much sooner. When I first heard this argument, I actually gasped with disbelief. How do you argue with someone who simply believes that the solution is to make sure you have the biggest gun? What happens on the day when the bad guy has a bigger gun than you, what happens then? That argument is generally dismissed by saying the good guys will always have bigger guns and will always be better trained than some lone “nutcase”.  When the logic is so clearly skewed, how do you explain the folly of the argument? How do you suggest that turning a school into some sort of arms race probably isn’t ideal?

Then it hit me, the solution to the argument is Iran. Internationally, people are concerned that Iran may be close to developing nuclear weapons.  Currently, the situation is trying to be resolved through diplomatic means. However, some people think we should be knocking down the proverbial door to Iran and just taking the nuclear weapons away. Whilst it’s a bit of a generalisation, the people who want to remove the weapons by force tend to be the same right wingers who are pro-gun. Isn’t there a contradiction here? Whilst Iran have barely made 1 weapon and it probably isn’t that sophisticated.  The West and the US in particular not only have far more nuclear weapons, but they also have bigger and better ones too. Isn’t the US as the defacto world leader, simply the Headmistress described earlier? Surely there’s no need to remove Iran’s weapons as the US will always have better ones? Remember, nuclear weapons don’t kill people, people kill people.

Of course this argument is ridiculous, but the reason why is due to dis-proportionality. Iran’s single nuclear weapon is so scary because it could do so much damage before anyone even has time to react. This dis-proportionality is what is frightens the world. The same applies to a mad man with a gun. He could do a serious amount of damage before anyone could stop him. In comparison, someone with just a knife, relatively speaking, couldn’t do as much.

Hopefully, when explained this way, the pro-gun lobby may be able to understand a little bit better why so many people are anti-guns. That way, we may be able to get closer to a workable solution to the gun problem in general.

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