Gun control complex issue

After Grimmie Shooting, U.S. Reminds Foreigners: Stay Out Of Our Gun Control Issue

American singer Christina Grimmie was shot at an Orlando venue last night. The gun-related death, which was confirmed about two hours after the news originally broke, has already caused people both in and outside of the United States to focus, once again, on the issue of gun control. Today, most Americans listening to the world weigh in on America’s gun problem have only one thing to say to foreigners: Stay out of our gun control issue.

According to Twitter trends, #NOMOREGUNS began trending over the last couple of hours. A quick review of the tweets featuring that hashtag as an indicator of gun control support reveals many of those tweets are from users outside of the United States. One foreign user claimed she had always wanted to move to America, but “with all these shootings and accessible guns…I don’t think so.”

Another offered her unsolicited advice by asking, “No offence america but when will you wake to f**k up [sic].”

The frustration Americans feel every time foreigners offer their opinions on the question of gun control is quite simple. Americans on both sides of the gun control issue know the battle over guns is more complex than anyone who lives outside of the United States could possibly understand.

In the United States, there is a document called the U.S. Constitution, and the contents of this document are more important to Americans than the Statue of Liberty or the White House. Because this document was written more than 225 years ago, disagreements arise over its interpretation, and few sections cause more disagreements than the one that covers gun control — the Second Amendment.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Without delving into a gun control discussion that would, without a doubt, cause disagreements even among Americans, it is impossible for anyone, in any country, to determine exactly what the founding fathers meant by this statement, since they have all been quite dead for quite some time. Instead, the members of the U.S. judiciary are tasked with interpreting the original intent of the amendment. This task is not even easy for the country’s most-respected and most knowledgeable legal professionals, all of whom have been studying U.S. Constitutional law for decades.

As for the opinions of average Americans, some say “the right…to keep and bear Arms” only applies to members of a militia, while others say it applies to all Americans. Who is right about the constitutionality of gun control? Who knows? The point is that even Americans themselves do not know whether the government would be violating the Constitution by instituting gun control measures that would totally ban guns.

Aside from the Constitutional issue with drastic gun control measures, there is another major issue: practicality. The United States is home to about 320 million people spread out over nearly 3.8 million square miles, which is more than 9.8 million square kilometers. In that vastness, statistics in an article in the Washington Post indicate there are more than 300 million guns — and those are only the guns people admit to possessing. Using gun control to put a ban on guns in the United States is simply not feasible. There are just too many guns.

Do Americans want to keep seeing stories of shooting on the nightly news? No, of course they don’t. In fact, most Americans support some level of gun control. This nearly universal support is why there are requirements for concealed carry permits and why criminal background checks are an accepted part of responsible gun ownership. This support is why felons are banned from having guns and why gun control and mental health have become part of the U.S. political dialogue.

In truth, all Americans really want is for the rest of the world to realize they know a problem exists, and they’re working on it. Americans understand that finding a solution to the gun control issue is complex because the issue itself is complex. This is why they become so frustrated when foreigners offer simple suggestions like “just ban all guns.” If the gun control answer was that simple, the country that first sent a man to the moon would have certainly figured it out by now.

[Photo by Marc Piscotty/Getty Images]

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