I was born and raised in Brazil and moved to the US for university last August. Although my country is plagued with all sorts of crime including gun violence, there are strict rules on gun control in Brazil. Because of this, before coming to the United States I only associated guns with police, military or criminals. Thus, the notion of regular people owning guns, storing these in their homes, and generally having guns be a part of their day to day life is something I find difficult to understand.
Even though I have become more used to the idea that families choose to have guns in their homes, after one year in this country I still can’t see how some people argue that having more guns is going to solve gun violence. I understand the argument that people feel safer by having guns - I just don’t see how they can overlook the huge risk of accidents the simple presence of a gun can cause. And accidents can’t be solved by doing background checks to everyone who wants to buy a gun.
Whether you hear a weird sound at night and end up doing something stupid, or if you leave your weapon somewhere a child can find, or if someone not in their right mind finds the gun, or even if tempers flare and weapons are nearby, the possibilities are infinite but the result is the same: violence and probable death.
And even with problems that allegedly background checks can solve, such as criminals or mentally ill people purchasing weapons: the various incidents of school shootings in recent years prove these aren’t very effective. I recently wrote an article on the various types of violence in the United States and in Brazil, and I found the prevalence of mass shootings in the US to be the core difference between crimes in these two countries.
Brazil has many problems related to violence, but whenever a politician in television or a family member in a dinner table brings up legalizing guns, most people are quick to point out how that would only bring us more problems, such as mass shootings.
Therefore I can’t understand how a country that is allegedly much more advanced and developed than Brazil has many states in which guns are legalised, and especially how despite the various mass shootings providing consistent evidence that this measure only brings problems, there are still a significant portion of the American population that is against gun control.
How can you solve gun violence by letting even more guns into society? Maybe after three more years in this country I will begin to understand, but right now I can only see the lack of gun control as a catalyst for violence.