Today’s debates on guns are strongly felt in the United States. The basic problem is tied to the history, traditions and culture of the American people, who, since the time of the birth of the Nation, had to deal with a multiplicity of social problems. The History of the American frontier is inextricably linked to a self-defense against banditry, Indian attacks, and wilderness dangers spread over an immense territory where settlers should use arms, if necessary, to protect themselves. I recognize that it is hard to put aside inveterate habits, especially where they are closely linked to the firearms which have no doubt been used for centuries.
But the notion of contemporary mass society is still implicit in the word “difference;” and such word means “different things” for “different people.” Modern Western societies have changed dramatically both in their internal and external stability, and they show the presence of social and political phenomena not otherwise evident, in an eternal see-saw of drugs and guns . Now the United States discuss problems related to the increasing number of firearms. However, I think that the decisive issue is not whether to prohibit or not to prohibit the use of firearms, but whether an individual is able, from the physical and psychological point of view, to keep a firearm that should be used exclusively to ensure self-defense, and this should be the key criterion for exclusion. If it is true that American Constitution assures private property to all citizens, it is also certain that a society in a mature stage of development cannot permit that private citizens are furnished with a veritable arsenal of personal weapons at home.
The two lines (drugs and guns) cross at this point. Hundreds of articles, essays, and lectures were written in the last 16 years; but good researches always give poor results. I do not believe that talking with exasperation about problems must be possible to solve them, it’s quite the opposite. In this context of “pure words,” all kind of people got into the business. It is therefore clear that the time has come to stop talking and to seek solutions.
First of all, international illegal arms trade should be stopped. Over the course of just 16 years hundreds of thousands of small arms and light weapons were destroyed thanks for the cooperation of local governments in those countries that were involved in civil wars in the Balkans in the 1990s and in Albania . Despite these efforts, it seems that some low income countries of Southeast Asia play a key role in illicit firearm market.
It is very easy to get weapons in the United States, where there are less and less restrictions. Suffice it to say that anyone who does not have criminal record can buy firearms in about 40 states; and as far as I know no permit is required in Vermont to purchase guns, as well as in Arizona, Arkansas and Wyoming. Only a few countries apply some strict restrictions, but nearly 90 per cent of American citizens possesses any kind of weapon. The other 10 percent, however, “exists,” and should be protected. Accordingly, it is necessary to implement new strategies to control private possession of hand guns.
Before you can use a car on the road, you must have a valid driver’s license, so it should be equal to firearms. The perfect identity between driver’s license and a regular license to carry weapons is also demonstrated from a historical and statistical viewpoint. When road traffic became a problem for inexperienced drivers in 1950s, it has caused more deaths and injuries than war. Therefore since 1950 deaths and injuries due to intense cars presence became one of the most acute problems of American society.
Then there is another consideration that American citizens must take in account: just as it is true to say that nearly 90 percent of all Americans keeps guns (and rarely they use them for defense, but all too often for aggression), it is equally true that 10 percent of American citizens does not carry a gun. Since the state must protect all its citizens, it is clear that legal and illegal possession of firearms is a violation of the constitutional principle of equality. Those who don’t have guns could object to them by saying that those who use a gun should have specific training and credentials. So only one portion of American citizens has more offensive capability than others, and the question of the control of small arms and of light weapons is a debate that involves not just sociology, but also the constitutional sphere. Ultimately, your rights should not be better protected than mine, unless you are fully prepared to use weapons.
No society is static, and “a fortiori” the United States are a genuinely open society from unmemorable times. If change can be required to survive, this is just a good time to make such a resolution.
Harry L. Wilson, “Gun Politics in America: Historical and Modern Documents in Context,” ABC-CLIO, 2016, p. 65.
P. E. Peartree, “Destroying Excess Small Arms.”. “U.S. Foreign Policy agenda, Small Arms and Light Weapons: U.S. Policy and Views ,” June 2001, No 2, p. 16.
C. Peter, “Light Arms trading the SE Asia.” “Jane’s Intelligence Review” March 2001, No 3, pp. 42-45.
Borwell & alii, “A Scourge of Small Arms”. “Scientific American,” June 2000, no. 6, pp. 48-58.
T. Holloway, “A Guide to Handgun Cartridges,” Paperback, 2015, p. 8.
“Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture and the Law,” Edited by Gregg G. Carter , ABC-CLIO. LLC, 2012.