Guns for everyone? or Guns for none?
After the tragic death of 33 people at Virginia Tech, voices are being heard on both sides of the gun-ownership divide.
It seems so simple in Singapore. "Ban guns!" is the off-the-cuff remark I would imagine hearing from the typical Singaporean. I used to think the same way too ... until I realized the difference in scale of things when I've lived here in the US long enough. The key idea is "how do you enforce this?":
1) Lots of places to hide: Singapore is a city - 692 sq km (also sarcastically known as the "red dot" by people both inside and outside the country). The U.S. is huge - 9,826,630 sq km.
2) Not enough people to enforce: Singapore population density - 6,208 people per sq km. USA population density - 31 people per sq km. I bet they'll have a hard time even if everyone's a police-person.
3) Get the political will to limit domestic gun manufacturing? Hmmm ... next step, stop smuggling ... doesn't seem so bad this time ... but then again, they can't even keep illegal Mexican Immigrants out: Singapore coastline - 193 km. USA land borders - 12,034 km, coastline - 19,924 km. So, Singapore people-per-border - 23,275 people per km, USA people-per-border - 9,338 people per km.
4) Getting rid of existing guns? No hard numbers here ... I'll just liken it to the Singapore govt trying to take all cellphones away from us, hehehe.
What's the point? None really, I guess ... other than to remind ourselves that very often things are not as simple as it seems in the world outside our little "red dot" and that we have it really lucky (on this point, I'd say that while I agree with LKY that paying the government and especially the civil service well is a good way of keeping corruption to a minimum, I absolutely hate the way they use scare tactics ... ie "You want Singapore to fail? Then don't raise our pay!" to justify it. Frankly, you can justify almost anything with that ...).
Personally, I'm far more comfortable having faith that guns are only in the hands of the few psychos out there (with the majority with the Police) than a scenario where every person has a gun and I've to constantly worry about:
1) someone turning psycho
2) me turning psycho
3) me shooting some poor bloke, thinking he has turned psycho
4) me accidentally shooting some poor bloke while trying to shoot at a psycho
5) me simply accidentally shooting someone or myself
Just way too many variables when everyone has guns ... it's just sad how the gun lobby thinks ...