Do you control guns or Islam?

The arguments that take place after mass shootings are so inefficient at dealing with the issue that one is arguably providing more to society by simply smashing two pumpkins together in the hope that it creates music.

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It’s been about a month since my last blog post, assignments and life got far too overwhelming. Since then quite a bit of shit has gone down, Donald Trump became the republican nominee and Hillary Clinton seized the democrat nomination (called it). The whole world lost their minds over a gorilla, Johnny Depp turned out to be an abusive asshole, and Brock Turner exists (unfortunately). I could talk about those issues or I could go all in and talk about the Orlando Shooting. I think given the title of this post I’m sure you can deduce what I decided.

DISCLAIMER:
I believe that the Orlando shooting was a homophobic hate crime.I intend on discussing a range of issues that led to this, such as gun control and Islam and subsequently this post may not discuss the homophobic nature of the shooting in the greatest detail. The intention of this post is to highlight the nature of the gun control and Radical Islamic Terrorism to debate on a holistic level by comparing and contrasting previous shootings or acts of terror. As a result talking about the homophobic nature of the Orlando would only be relevant if this post were explicitly about the Orlando shooting (which it isn’t) or the wider issue of homophobia (maybe I’ll write a piece about that later down the line).

 

People, once again, don’t know how to argue

The arguments that take place after mass shootings are so inefficient at dealing with the issue that one is arguably providing more to society by simply smashing two pumpkins together in the hope that it creates music.

On one hand you’ve got Donald Trump who said this:

Considering the Islamic affiliations of the shooter and the allegations that he apparently yelled Allahu Akbar during the ordeal gives backing to the stance of restricting Islamic migration into the US and the connection between Terrorism and Radical Islamic interpretation.

On the other hand; whilst the republicans are trying to call out the democrats for refusing the mention the words Radical Islamic Terrorism Republicans themselves refuse to accept that America has a gun problem. So you’ve essentially got two sides of an argument screaming that there is only one cause of the issue and refusing to accept that either side has merit. There is genuine evidence to suggest that both Republicans and Democrats have very relevant points about the causes of the Orlando shooting.

There is a glaringly obvious gun problem that causes far too many mass shootings in the US.

The radicalisation of Islam is creating issues all over the world to the point of inciting terrorism.

So lets talk about Gun Control then

There are some pretty piss-poor evidence against gun control in the US. My particular favorite is where people highlight that knife related crimes are comparatively much higher in England than in the US and therefore question whether we want to ban knives as well.

Try going into a bar and kill 50 people using a knife.

Alex Jones
For more terrible arguments, hit up Alex Jones from infowars.com

There are solid arguments however

The best argument against gun control is that the restriction of the gun trade will just create a black market encouraging people who intend on committing gun violence to obtain their guns illegally anyway. As a social libertarian I’m often defending arguments similar to this, for example I radically support the legalisation of drugs as I believe prohibition is what causes most drug issues. If you made drugs legal you’re more likely to get legal access to paraphernalia such as clean needles which ultimately makes drug use safer.

However I can’t argue with the fact that gun violence is comparatively so much higher when juxtaposed against other developed states that have implemented stricter levels of gun control.gun homicides developed countries

My theory for why this occurs is that the unrestricted nature of the gun trade in the USA has created a gun culture. This is a country that has approximately 5200 Gun Shows per year, that’s essentially 100 gun shows per week*. As a result the USA has developed a culture that celebrates ownership and the use of guns. For guns to be such an ingrained aspect of one’s culture it’s likely to increase one’s accessibility to guns and perhaps develop a predisposition for gun violence.

So whilst it might not actually be the physical access to guns that is creating the violence, America’s disposition for gun violence could likely result from the extreme gun culture that exists because  of their high accessibility of guns.

Time to talk about Islam then

Undated photo from a social media account of Omar Mateen

This guy does not represent Islam. It’s as simple as that.

We have to be consistent when we talk about shooters. Columbine, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Isla Vista and many other mass shootings were committed by non-muslims and each of those shooters get treated as lone wolves with anti-social tendencies. Remember Eliot Rodger the internet dubbed Supreme Gentleman who went on a shooting spree because he couldn’t get a girlfriend? Eliot Rodger

This guy was a self-proclaimed atheist. However nobody is trying to justify that his actions represent all atheists because to do so is functionally idiotic. Many shooters of this variety are considered lone wolves and represent an issue with America’s negligent mental services. Whilst America may have below average assistance for those with mental health issues; people are not making the same argument about the Orlando shooter and that represents a clear double standard. We need to be consistent.

We still need to talk about Radical Islamic Terrorism

There is an issue of Radical Islamic Terrorism in the world in present day. To look at the Paris attacks, San Bernadino and now this you would be a fool to think that these issues are not connected.

What we are seeing in the world is rapid migration of people who come from the middle east moving to western countries. It’s occurring all over Europe, in America and Australia. What we have accept here is that the countries these people are coming from do have values that do not correlate with western values. Representation of women in middle eastern states are pretty poor, for example Saudi Arabia has laws that restrict women from driving. LGBT rights in many of these states is even worse.I’m not trying to criticise Islam here, I am however highlighting the grim reality of many cultural norms shared by middle eastern states.

The issue here is that we have a society that encourages migrants to stick to their own. As a result, these migrants are moving to states where they are not accepted and are subsequently segregating themselves. If a culture segregates themselves and does not interact with a state they have moved to, they are likely to perpetuate the cultural norms of the state they have migrated from rather than to integrate with the cultural practices of where they have moved to. Therefore we need to create a society that is multicultural and not segregationist, lets celebrate other cultures and customs whilst allowing ourselves to build off one another. Lets combat anti-social behavior by creating a society that doesn’t actively encourage foreigners to separate themselves from the status quo.

~

Jack Kerkvliet

*http://www.vpc.org/studies/tupthree.htm

Author: almostpopularblog

I'm an International Relations and Media Student at Victoria University, I'm too indecisive to explain my compass but you might be able to infer how I stand on things from my *hopefully* many posts. Disclaimer: The opinions I present on this blog do not represent any company or organisation that I may be affiliated to. You can find more blogs like mine at http://kiwiology.co.nz/

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