(This is a health blog. Guns are design to shoot bullets, which then enter human bodies and do Terrible Things to the tissues, bones, and organs that reside within. From a health perspective, the ideal ratio of guns to people seems more like 0 to 10).
Here are some of the reported highlights culled from the study and related interviews:
- More than half of the 8 million guns manufactured worldwide each year are bought by Americans.
- While there is about 1 gun for every 7 people worldwide, leave out the United States and it drops to 1 per 10 people.
- France, Canada, Sweden, Austria and Germany were the next highest, all with about 30 guns per 100 people.
- Poorer countries, even those associated with violence, ranked far lower. Nigeria had just one gun per 100 people.
And the reasons we can't just say "enough" and ban firearms outright in this country, despite all the damage they cause? These seem to inevitably come down to the Constitution or self defense.
Well, the Constitution can be changed. We don't live in the same times anymore. The British aren't coming (except to take advantage of the exchange rates) and the Indians are now Native Americans and they're not interested in attacking your freakin' Covered Wagons.
But what about self-defense? Don't we need guns to protect the Home and the Family from Criminals?
Well, let's say for argument sake that we do. What's the best way to do that? Who needs protecting? Whom do they need protecting from?
What if only women over 18 were permitted to own or carry firearms? A new national law, to be implemented just as soon as we have reliable functioning biometric gun locks. So a gun would be useless in the hands of a man. And any woman who owned one would be registered and traceable. (It looks like we're already well on the way with the technology too).
And then serious resources would be devoted into getting rid of the old guns. Random checkpoints. Buy-back programs. Stings at gun-shops. Internet quasi-entrapment schemes like they use for pedophiles. The sort of resources we're only too happy to use to catch foreign terrorists or arrest drug dealers or invade countries we don't like.
C'mon, you know this makes sense. Picture all the functioning guns in this country in the hands of women or police officers. Guns that would turn useless if men tried to use them.
Families who wanted to protect themselves with firearms would have to let Mom be in charge. She'd have to go get trained in how to use her weapon and spend some time on the range shooting at targets. If a Creepy Criminal really did break in to the house and threaten her children, she'd know exactly what to do.
So it's not perfect. They'd be the occasional female nutball or aggressive anti-social criminal. We'd catch her quick, though, because there'd be so few shootings that it wouldn't be quite so hard to trace her registered weapon to her and throw her in jail and keep the rest of us safe.
Oh yes, and there's the issue of Sex Discrimination. Curious, isn't it, that we haven't yet managed to pass a Constitutional Amendment outlawing that? There seem to be plenty of loopholes available when it serves men or Traditional Thinking. (Just ask a woman who wants to compete equally with men for military combat assignments, for example).