As Americans continue to debate gun laws little has changed. For all the tears that flowed in the wake of Sandy Hook US gun laws are static. The time to act was immediately following the massacre at the Sandy Hook school. Now the dust has settled there are always excuses preventing change.
US Vice President Joe Biden clearly supports gun ownership. In a debate he revealed that he is a shotgun owner. Americans are running scared of a tightening of gun laws but the changes on the cards are relatively minor. They may limit the type of weapons owned and result in would-be gun owners undergoing security checks but that is hardly radical. In truth it should be par for the course.
In 1968 following the assassination of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King the US Gun Control Act was enacted. It brought in various gun restrictions, some of which were overturned in 1985 with the McClure-Volkmer Act. Down the years the US has experienced a surge in gun deaths and periods of debate about gun controls. Any changes in gun control have been minor. The USA has taken a dangerous path as far as gun ownership goes.
There are plenty of problems associated with guns. The Oscar Pistorius muder case hightlights perfectly the trouble with guns.
There is a lot of speculation as to what happened in Pretoria on February 14. Oscar's girlfriend was shot and killed by Oscar, but the details surrounding her death will decide his fate. Was he high on drugs? Had the couple argued? Was Reeva, his girlfriend, about to the end their relationship? Did Pistorius really mistake Reeva for a burgular?
Yes there are many ifs, ands and buts but there is one thing that is certain. That is the fact that Oscar had easy access to a weapon.
You can argue that she could have been murdered with a knife, for example, but having guns around the home is a disaster waiitng to happen. The latest statistics from the USA show that "12,000 Americans are murdered with guns every year". That does not include those injured or take into account families torn apart by the tragic killing of a loved one.
If you have a gun in your home, especially in something like a bedside cabinet, the odds are that sooner or later the weapon will be used. Will you be murdered by such a gun or will you become a killer?