Sickened

I am shocked and sickened by the shooting at a school on Friday in Connecticut.  It is beyond sad and tragic on so many levels.  Though it will anger many friends of mine back in the U.S., I cannot stay silent on my opinion on gun control at a time like this.

In the two years I have lived here, I have not heard of a single shooting homicide in Taiwan.  I’m not saying that they haven’t happened, but I personally have not heard of a single one.  However, on almost a weekly basis I read of shootings in the U.S.  I’m convinced that the reason for the difference is that Taiwan has very strict gun control laws.  And the Taiwanese consider Americans barbaric for our loose gun control laws.  I have to agree.  I am embarrassed by and ashamed of my nations loose gun control laws.

According to gunpolicy.org, in 2008, Taiwan had a total of 128 gun related homicides.  That same year, the UK had 32. In 2008, the U.S. had 9,484 gun related homicides.

As my friend Ryan said this evening, “When does your right to bare arms supercede my children’s right to go to school?” (and I might add, to a mall or to a movie.)

The pro-gun people like to say, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.”  But in yesterday’s violence, it was a person with a gun that killed people.  If that person had not had a gun in his hand, he would not have shot 26 people in an elementary school.  He may have chosen to do something else crazy, but it would not have included a gun.

Although it is a very unpopular stance to take in my home state of Utah, let it be known that this proud Republican is for much, much tighter gun control laws in the U.S.

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8 comments

  1. Tracy · December 15, 2012

    I’ve stayed away from gun control debates on FB but honestly you said exactly what I have been thinking. I am hoping to join the FS in the next year or so (my OA is in April) and while I realize other countries have problems, too, my husband and I can’t help but feel like we’d much rather be raising our young son overseas. I work in a school and I am disgusted on nearly a daily basis of the drugs, violence, gangs, teen pregnancies, etc. that abound in my school (and it’s an average middle class suburban high school).

    I also find it interesting that out of the nearly 40 FS blogs that I read you are the one and only person living abroad who has even mentioned this incident.

    • Erin · December 16, 2012

      Thanks Tracy. At a time like this, I’m glad I don’t live on American soil. I live in a much, much more peaceful nation. Americans like to think that we have the best of everything and that we have all the answers. After living abroad I know that that is not true. America can learn a lot from other nations, especially on this topic.
      Good luck on your orals! I really hope you get in. We love this lifestyle. I would be happy to answer any questions you might have on FS living. It’s the best decision we ever made.

  2. Heather M · December 16, 2012

    I’ve also stayed away from professing my crazy lefty gun control views on FB, because people get so crazy about it. I’m all for strict gun control. The proof is in the numbers. And I’ll never be swayed by the other side’s arguments. It just won’t happen. You’re not alone.

    • Erin · December 16, 2012

      I won’t be swayed either Heather. Thanks for your comment. I’m just shocked that so many people refuse to look at the numbers.

  3. Shelly M. · December 16, 2012

    Amen! When the crazies can have better access to an assault rifle and the same kind of weapons used by police officers….we have a problem. The Brady Bill controlled the sale of assault weapons. Why was that law allowed to lapse? And I agree with you, our gun control laws are barbaric. Thanks for expressing what so many feel.

    • Erin · December 16, 2012

      Thanks Shelly. I’m tired of people saying that we shouldn’t express our opinions so soon after a tragedy like this. These tragedies are occuring so often now that if we wait, we will never be able to express our opinions.

  4. Janice Osei-Boamah · December 16, 2012

    Erin, I totally agree with you. It is an issue that hopefully will one day be resolved. Losing young children in such a way as this — I wish the debate would cease to be a debate and people would value life enough to take the guns away. For now though — such heartbreak.

    I am so glad to find you have a blog. I am thrilled to be able to follow your adventures in foreign lands and look forward now to reading them.

    • Erin · December 16, 2012

      It is heartbreaking Janice. I’m tired of gun owners saying that we should not be expressing our opinions at a time like this. They say that we should just go home and hug our children. If the only thing we do is hug our children, then in a week from now 20 more kids could be shot. Hugging our kids tonight isn’t going to save their lives tomorrow when someone with a gun shoots them down.
      It’s great hearing from you. I miss you! Hopefully I’ll see you this summer when we come home.

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