Let’s talk about guns

Kel-Tec PF9

I own a gun. There, I said it.

I own a Kel-Tec PF9. It is a 9mm semiautomatic handgun. It is light, concealable and does the trick to injure, not kill.

I sure get the craziest comments and expressions from Malaysians when I tell them this. I’ve been called a redneck, a gun nut, a wacko *shrugs*.

Something that I completely understand because I had the same “Wow, this is a strange conversation” thought when I first overheard a conversation way back in 2010.

I was in Penang when two Americans travellers were talking about what handguns they had and what they planned on getting. They saw my face and engaged me in conversation.

I was mostly curious and told them that this was the first time I was listening to a conversation about guns in Malaysia. They laughed knowing well that gun ownership in Malaysia is heavily regulated and you have to be a VIP to get a permit.

“It is just different in America. If you ever make your way over there, you’ll see,” one of them said to me. And we all went back to eating our asam laksa and cendol.

Fast forward to present time, I do see. The thing about guns in America is that ownership and regulation differs from state to state. And the issues are far more complicated than simply banning it on a federal level.

It is very sad that mass shootings have dominated the headlines of late but the attention on the weapon itself fails to address other pressing issues in society like mental health, bullying, glorifying violence in popular culture, erosion of family values and value of life itself.

Illinois has one of the strictest gun laws involving training courses, gun range tests, numerous coursework and background checks that must be passed before a gun permit is granted. Yet, Chicago leads the nation in gun crimes and deaths.

Banning guns will never be the solution to reduce crime.

The mainstream media surely didn’t talk about Kennesaw, Georgia that passed a law in 1982 mandating 33,000 people in its township to own a firearm. The result? It has had only one murder in the last six years and a violent crime rate of below 2%. This is because no criminal will rob a house knowing that all the owners are armed and that’s the logic most, if not all gun owners have.

I’m personally a proponent of the argument that the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun. I’m a responsible owner, and have followed due procedure to have a firearm solely for self-defence.

Why should I be punished and denied my right to own a firearm because some lunatic decided to shoot people up in a shopping mall?

A gun gives me peace of mind at home. When I try to draw parallels with Malaysia, I think my mother needs a gun too. How else can a housewife protect herself from robbers breaking in? My mom needs a gun to protect herself more than the VIPs, the rich and powerful in Malaysia. In fact, any old lady living alone in a bad part of town anywhere in the world would at least have a chance of protecting herself.

Sadly, Americans don’t seem to debate or talk about things anymore. Protests get the most attention and the media is drawn to the sensationalism of the subject matter rather than the calm voices of reason.

Perhaps what takes the cake is celebrities calling for the repeal of the second amendment while living in their gated communities, surrounded by armed bodyguards. Because they think they deserve protection and people like me, don’t.

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