Monday, December 09, 2013

Zakaria: "Global Lessons on Guns" on CNN

Sunday, December 8, 2013, CNN aired “Global Lessons on Guns: A Fareed Zakaria Special”, near the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy, main link here
Zakaria present several countries.  Japan is incredibly strict and rarely allows private citizens to own guns at all.  An American ex-military person presented the paperwork he had to submit, including an inspection of his home showing where guns were stored and locked.
Switzerland has universal military service, and young men learn to use weapons.  Still, after completing service, citizens have to apply for a permit to keep their military weapons at home.  Ammunition may not be kept at home.  But Switzerland has an organization named “Tell” (after William Tell) corresponding to the American NRA.  
Australia put on strict gun control after a rampage in 1996, under the auspices of a conservative prime minister.  A private citizen must show a reason to purchase a weapon.

Zakaria (as Piers Morgan has done earlier) carted out statistics to show that countries without our notion of “Second Amendment Rights” have much lower rates of gun violence.  In the US, ideas about moral behavior are still tied more closely to the nuclear family than in western Europe.  The idea that a man should be able to defend his family in times of breakdown holds more sway in the US, given the frontier history. 

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