Sunday, April 5, 2009

Gun ownership

Gun Law, Gun Control & Gun Politic

It is sad to hear another killing by gunman in New York Immigration Service Centre. The people who are taking examination to become US citizen are the victims. Their hope of becoming the citizen of the most admired democracy country, land of opportunities and freedom. Some will never become the citizen, as they, 13 of them are killed by the gunman, the man who own the gun, purchase the gun, lawfully under Gun Control Act 1968. But use the gun unlawfully……

I still remember when I was small, in the cinema. I saw the cowboy shooting the red Indian and later in the scene, there were blood and dead bodies, the fire burning and the crying of the children and woman……that was when I am small. The cowboy was the hero; the Red Indian was the evil. Until one day when I grow up, I realized that the cowboy was the invaders and the Red Indian was the owner of the place. I know that not necessary the one with the most powerful weapon are the hero. This was Wild Wild West, where there was no law, there was no gun law, no human right law. It is the winner and power that prevail in the wild wild west.

Today, America is civilized society, it is one of the country many people from the poor countries dream to be the citizen. The country was percepts as country of riches (despite the long deficit budget), country of opportunities....

However the mentality of the cowboy or wild wild west still remained in some cowboy’s head. They need to have gun to overpower their enemies or people they dislike. They still go for hunting of killing, despite animal right. There were wars, there were killings, even in the modern civilized world, where there is human right, there is gun law. In New York case, an unemployed person trouble with drugs , can obtain the gun, easily….. & the gun politic still continue the debate of the day in the country.

He is a Vietnamese immigrant; he has the hope once like the one in the immigration office whom he killed. Why he did it? We can blamed the global financial meltdown (which also start from the wild wild west of the wall street, the greedy financial cowboys in New York).But how about other killing cases, some of the killers are young students?

A gun law is a law pertain to firearms, and their restrictions on gun ownership and its usage, and the type of weapon used. Gun control is the restriction of gun usage and prohibit specific persons to own gun. Gun politic is a set of legal issues surrounding the ownership, use, and regulation of firearms, as well as safety issues related to firearms, both direct used and through legal and criminal use. The question is can Gun Law and Gun control solved the problem of killings?
The issue of gun law has become a political and/or controversial issue in many societies. There are differing views on how gun laws should be set up in a society. A typical disagreement is over whether guns should be prohibited in the interest of public safety, or whether citizen gun ownership improves safety and should be allowed. The debate still go on in developed countries. There is a strong gun right group and lobbyist in USA.

The only way for a civilian to own a firearm in Singapore is to acquire an Arm & Explosives license. In Malaysia, if you are not license for gun ownership, and you own gun, the penalty is death sentence. Gun ownership in the two countries is strictly controlled. It is like a total ban, unless you have license, gun control is tight.

In USA, under the Gun Control Act 1968, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (BATFE) was the regulatory and enforcement body. They issue the Federal Firearms License(FFL). They group firearms, explosives with alcohol and tobacco, we can see the views of their law. Gun and explosive are at the same level as tobacco and alcohol in their risks perception.

There is Firearms Owner Protection Act 1986, mandated to BATFE the compliance inspection of once a year. But there are allowance for three years.

The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act 1993, created a national background check system to prevent firearms sales to “prohibited persons”. Yet the black list did not stop the killing cases.
USA is democracy country and considered a model for that. They considered themselves as the global guardian for the democracy, human right….but they allow gun ownership for killing innocent people, they allowed long debate and lobbying for gun politic.

To the politician, the gun politic is another platform, another game, a political game.

If it is democratic right to own gun, and innocent people killed because of the right. There are more killing cases in recent years. Then something is not normal, the human element is missing, we only care for our personal right, not another human being’s welfare. Democracy and human right are for the betterment of human society, not restricted to only personal welfare. The question is , is gun right protect the community/society of civilized nation, or the domestic security is so bad that we need gun to protect ourselves in civilized society? Or is personal right prevails over the community or majority right for peace and security? Or is the enforcement unit of domestic security e.g. police failed?

Or is hidden in the debate of gun right, is the right of arms merchant?(note: The world largest arms exporter is USA in 2007 ranking, followed by Russia, Germany, France,Ukraine, Netherlands, UK, South Korea, Italy and Sweden. South Korea is the largest exporter in Asia, followed by India( refer Arms Industry, the arms profit?

Otherwise what is democracy, what is human right? Another demon going crazy…..

It is sad......

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