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right-to-keep-and-bear-arms

Had enough of "witnessing history?" Historic weather, historic profits, historic elections ... historic murder of children.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a diary about an NFL player who murdered his girlfriend then took his own life.  I quickly learned there are people who read and post on Daily Kos who passionately defend the right to keep and bear arms.

It was surprising. I always thought the obsessive defense of the right of gun ownership, the right to own a weapon designed to kill, was a more conservative, right-wing position.

Spend a little time in any European country and you get a different perspective about Americans' obsession with the rights of individual to keep and bear arms. When it comes to guns, Europeans think we are extreme.

Looking at statistics, they are right.

Consider Spain. One of my children lived in Andalusia for two years as a teacher.  In Spain farmers own guns and according to locals permission to own a gun is not easy to get. Their attitude is, why would someone who doesn't live on a farm and need to protect crops and livestock from predators need a gun?

Yes, in Spain there are some who also own guns just to shoot, for sport, but for the most part those who own guns for sport are generally the wealthy.

Consider the statistics.

Gunpolicy.org is hosted by the University of Syndey in Australia and according to their website:

With its partners and contributors, GunPolicy.org promotes the public health model of firearm injury prevention, as adopted by the United Nations Programme of Action on illicit small arms.
According to their statistics, The estimated total number of guns held by civilians in Spain is 4,500,0001. The rate of private gun ownership in Spain is 10.42 firearms per 100 people.

The estimated total number of guns held by civilians in the United States is 270,000,0001. The rate of private gun ownership in the United States is 88.82 firearms per 100 people.

gunownershipusspainper100

Now consider the rate of gun murders in both countries:

gunhomicidesperthousand

Explaining our gun-ownership obsession to the average Spaniard isn't easy. Start with the second amendment that - even though it was written for an entirely different America than the one we live in now - it is cited as a defense for gun ownership. And, it is what the NRA clings to as it has become the most powerful lobby in the country.

So do American's insist they need guns? Basically, Americans believe they must have the right to own guns to protect themselves from others who own guns.

Think of it from the perspective of the Spanish people or people from any other country looking at our day to day lives. Our high rate of gun-related murders is no secret.

We own guns to protect ourselves from others who own guns. Really. It is a circuitous death trip.

It is time to rethink the right to keep and bear arms to protect ourselves against others with the right to keep and bear arms... but will we?

THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IS NUMBER ONE!

More interesting (and rather depressing) statistics that are being cited all over the Internet can be found on GunPolicy.org.  I've heard we are number four, and number two, in gun possession.  Others have used comparisons that include military, but according to the most recent international statistics, it appears we have the distinction of number one in civilian gun ownership in the world.

The country with the current distinction of number two, is Yemen:

gunownershipmanycountries

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What does our government need to do about guns?

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