LHVnews: This week we have an interview with John Ubele, a U.S. political commentator living in Tampa, Florida. John Ubele monitors political issues nationally and internationally. Today we discuss with him the current U.S. Guns Law.
What are the gun laws in the United States? Why were these laws enacted?
JU: The gun laws in
the U.S. are a pretty complex subject to explain. In a nutshell, law abiding
citizens here are given a right to own firearms. This right is guaranteed in
the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.Regardless of where a
person lives in the United States they can own a gun. Each of the 50 states
have other laws which regulate gun rights, especially when it comes to a person
carrying a gun. Some states have open carry laws which allow a citizen to walk
around with a gun strapped to their hip, or a rifle slung over their shoulder.
Other states have laws which allow for concealed carry. An example of this
would be an individual having a gun in their pocket or in a holster on their
ankle under their pant leg.
We are told here by
the government and by the education system that the gun laws were enacted to
empower citizens to protect themselves, their families and their property. We
are also told that the "founding fathers" wanted citizens to own
firearms in the event of the government becoming too powerful. For example,
citizens would have guns to protect themselves from the federal government
sending the ATF to their home to take their firearms from them.
Over the last few
decades the government has done a lot to try andlimit gun ownership, by
making it more difficult to obtain firearms. The vast majority of people who
try to obtain guns legally aren't criminals. It is the criminals who are able
to obtain guns illegally. Every year a number law abiding firearm owners and
retailers are robbed or burglarized of their guns. These guns are then sold on
the streets to criminals. These criminals then take the guns and commit more
crimes with them. Of course there are also gun smugglers who bring guns illegally
into the country which also end up in the hands of criminals.
LHV: Guns have
claimed so many lives in the United States. Why doesn’t the U.S. government try
to change or reform the gun laws?
JU: The federal
government has done a lot to change the gun laws. Every few years or so new
federal laws are created which makes it more difficult for law abiding citizens
to obtain firearms. At the state level, especially in California it's difficult
to purchase rifles with higher capacity magazines. Also most of the states that
do issue concealed carry licenses have increased their fees for them. Usually
these licenses have to renewed every few years.
LHV: Do you think
Americans are naturally violent people or is it that their culture and
environment influences them to be that way?
JU: I don't believe
it's natural or genetic. I believe it's an environmental problem, which has
been greatly exacerbated by the entertainment industry. The industry produces
and promotes films and shows about guns and violence. Americans generally are
easily influenced by the entertainment industry. In many ways the entertainment
industry has taken the place of organized religion here. Most Americans when
asked would deny this, but I believe this to be the truth.
When films or
programs come out which promote violence, people are influenced by them. Some
people would refer to this as propaganda. Many films and TV shows promote
violence and lawlessness. Some even glorify it. One TV show in particular which
sticks out in my mind is "Law and Order". The original series ran for
about 20 years.
There have also been
spinoff shows from the original series. Most of the shows are about people
being murdered in various ways; such as being shot, stabbed, poisoned, thrown
off buildings, etc. The "Law and Order" shows are very popular here.
I don't have a
degree in psychology, but I do know that if you hit someone with an idea enough
times, they'll start to be influenced by it. If a person watches enough shows
about people being murdered, I believe they’ll be more likely to commit murder.
LHV: thank you very much.