Home Life View from Across the Pond: I am ‘Anti-Gun’

View from Across the Pond: I am ‘Anti-Gun’

Recently, I saw a bumper sticker on a car that read “I am Pro-Gun”. Nothing unusual in that, you might think. Unless of course you happen to be from Ireland, Europe, Australia, New Zealand or any other Western democracy where guns are strictly curtailed and generally speaking, only hunters are allowed to have guns. If you were living in any one of the aforementioned countries and you had a bumper-sticker that read “I am Pro-Gun”, people would be deeply suspicious of your motives for wanting to have a gun: “Do you want to rob banks, threaten the dude that stole your girlfriend, or maybe you’re just plain old psycho?”. My point is, normal people in Western democracies, people like you and me, do not feel the need or a desire to own a gun and they very, very wary of people who do want to own guns. “Oh, yeah. Well this is America”. I hear you say. “We do things differently over here”. Fair enough and indeed the world would be a very boring place indeed if we all behaved in exactly the same way.

For a split second after I’d read the “I am Pro-Gun” sticker though, the thought occurred to me that I might like to get a sticker for my car. One that would express my views, “I am Anti-Gun”. But then I quickly dismissed the idea from my head. Why? Because I was afraid, plain and simple. Afraid that if I did put a sticker on my car that read “I am Anti-Gun”, I would draw the attention of people who disagree strongly with me – and these people have guns. And therein lies the injustice and unfairness in any debate in this country on the subject of gun-control. You see, you and I can disagree on education, health care, taxes, whatever, and we’ll debate, but at least it’s on level playing field. With a gun-control debate, one of us has a distinct advantage: the potential to threaten, or to use physical force to “win the debate”.

BrianONuanainIt was only at the moment when I realized that I could never put a bumper sticker on my car that read “I am Anti-Gun”, that it occurred to me why politicians who may share my views, shy away from the issue; not because they don’t agree with me, but because they are more politically savvy than me. For, just as some things are unknowable, the gun-control debate here is simply “unwinnable” – at least not when you have literally millions of people with millions of guns. Many gun owners would willingly disregard the democratic process in favor of pursuing their own needs and wants. Because even if there were a constitutional amendment to curtail gun ownership in this country, there would be those who would feel “I know better.”


Brian O’ Nuanain runs “Across The Pond And Beyond”, a company that organizes international vacations. You can reach him at acrossthepondandbeyond.com

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  1. Ignorance. Gun owners abide by the democratic process; just look at our victories in Colorado. Rather than storming the homes of the politicians and shooting them we peacefully facilitated a recall election and won. You have been programmed from an early age to associate guns with people that actively commit crimes which is a false preconception. It’s prejudicial.

    A gun is necessary in order to respond to life threatening situations. Guns save lives.

  2. You certainly do not know very many pro-gun people. Pro-gun people are a lot more polite and avoid conflicts much more than the population in general. For one thing we have spend much time learning and thinking about how quick things can become violent and how much is at stake. So, you claim is exactly 180 out of wack.
    Today, the anti-gun groups control many of the largest states, the oval office, and the senate. So, the anti-gun groups have the political and the monetary power. The pro-2A groups have only the Bill of Rights, truth and logic on our side and mostly made up of ordinary people with ordinary jobs and responsibilities.

  3. It appears that you understand most of the basic ideas surrounding second amendment issues. By that I mean the Founding Fathers believed that government should exercise extreme caution when trying to suppress natural rights. In this case, the second amendment protects the right to exist by allowing men to protect themselves. It is a warning that government should not impose on natural rights. When you read the second amendment, notice that it does not say that men have “the right to keep and bear arms.” It just imposes limits on government to not infringe on a right that already exists. Even if the second amendment was repealed, people would still have the right to defend themselves. That right cannot be taken away even if the means of protecting that right is removed.
    Of course, none of that means that people should just run around shooting each other. I think most gun owners understand their responsibilities. But I am amazed at the insane actions of some people. Some people cannot resist looking for trouble, others just stick their heads in the sand.

  4. Except for Switzerland, Finland, Norway, Germany, Austria, and France, and Canada, all western democracies where gun ownership runs from extremely common to merely common, and not just for hunting.

  5. “Why? Because I was afraid, plain and simple. Afraid that if I did put a sticker on my car that read “I am Anti-Gun”, I would draw the attention of people who disagree strongly with me – and these people have guns.”

    These are called “criminals”, O’ Nuanain. You know, those who disobey the law? You are right to be afraid and not advertise your unarmed status to them whether in the US or even ‘Across the Pond’.

    And here is the dicotimy that runs like a fault line through your entire train of logic– If legitimate, lawful gun owners were so overtly threatening and influential as to disuade the unarmed from expressing their opinion, many of the United States’ firearm restrictions simply wouldn’t exist today.

    You’re afraid of advertising your preference, but for entirely the wrong reasons.

  6. Brian, I wish I could.take you to our local club to shoot and meet some of the fine folks there. We have police officers, doctors, industrial and civic leaders that enjoy activities such as hunting and organized competitions. No gun owner I know would confront you verbally over your “I’m Anti-gun” bumper sticker much less threaten you with a gun. In fact, if I am carrying my gun you could confront me over my bumper sticker, call me names and insult my family because when I carry, I have to be wiling to take crap from everyone except the guy who tries to kill my family or me. I feel sorry for you because you live your life in fear and would do so in a gun free world as well.

  7. Unfortunately the author seems to believe the gun control industry’s propaganda that gun owners are all psychotic monsters, simply because they own firearms.

    In fact he outright says that anyone who owns a firearm for any reason outside hunting isn’t ‘normal’, whatever that means.

    I can’t say I’m surprised, since Europe has a long, long history of making sure ‘the peasants’ don’t have the arms necessary to revolt against the government.

    This bias against firearms has been bred into ‘Old World’ and Asian ‘citizens’ since the first knight (or samurai) was shot by a peasant for raping their daughter or stealing their food.

    You can’t have peasants (err, ‘citizens’) running around with arms that allow them to defy the king (err, I mean ‘government’) after all. Gun control has been (and has to be) the order of the day in any despotic society.

    Here in the US, firearms ownership is a right, just like free speech is. These rights were fought for and won by men who risked everything against the most powerful nation on earth.

    The right to bear arms is a right everyone has, not just US citizens. However the US specifically recognizes that the government ‘shall not infringe’ this inherent right, and more than it can limit the other rights like due process of law and free speech.

    The author can be assured that anyone who believes in the Second Amendment enough to carry a firearm on a daily basis would never use it to limit the other protected rights.

    Bedsides, study after study has shown that people with concealed carry permits are far less likely to commit a violent crime than any other group studied, including police officers. They are also far less likely than police to shoot you accidentally.

    As for your bumper sticker, I see plenty of people with Obama/Biden stickers on their cars (essentially the same thing as “I hate guns”), and nobody freaks out there.

    If you wanted to rock a “I’m anti-gun” sticker, you might get in an argument or two, but so do people with NRA bumper stickers. I can promise you no legal firearms owner will shoot you because of your bumper sticker.

    The gun control industry likes to portray gun owners as fearful and paranoid, when nothing could be further from the truth.

    Law abiding firearms owners typically have a deep sense of responsibility and and awareness of their surroundings, but they carry firearms to provide options, not out of fear.

    In fact it’s the gun control folks who are incredibly fearful of an inanimate object. There is even a medical term for it, hoplophobia, which is the unreasoning fear of firearms. Not the use of firearms, but the actual lumps of steel and plastic themselves.

    So feel free to put your bumper sticker on, and if I park next to you at Starbucks with my NRA decal, feel free to engage me in discussion about guns and gun control.

    I may shoot your arguments full of holes, but I don’t need a gun to do that…

  8. Even though there IS a constitutional amendment forbidding the infringement of gun rights that are those that feel “I know better”.

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