There is a lot of debate on gun control. Recently, there was this ironic bit of news where a poster girl against the gun control laws, was accidentally shot in the back by her son.
As much as I agree that seeing what’s happening to our weapons is important, that’s simply not all. India does not have such a strong debate on gun control. We cannot afford one most times, be it legally or financially. We still manage to do a lot of killing though, don’t we? Be it as mobs or because of our silence on what’s happening.
Everyone has the ability to be violent, and the means of doing so are but a small story. The bigger issue is what our minds allow and what our environments promote.
Violence is a very primal solution to aggression and problems. While it was useful in the jungles, there is reason we grew an entire part of the brain called a prefrontal cortex, in order to have higher order thinking, problem solving and negotiating skills.
If our children are raised with the dual weapon (pun intended) of empathy and strategic thinking, I am pretty sure, they would not resort to physical violence for every little thing.
Then there’s our environment. Right from the food we eat or the medication (especially psychiatric) we take and how it may make us hot headed, to the cues in environment that make violence ‘okay’, all matter when it comes to our ultimate social violent behaviour.
Allowing little violations give a subliminal cue, that larger crimes are also okay. Something as simple or small scale as graffiti vandalism or jumping ticket cues can matter. Malcolm Gladwell points out that in the 90s in New York, the police was able to bring down the crime rate by addressing these two small but very visible signs of disobedience. It gave a signal to the antisocial elements in the city that if such small things are being eliminated, bigger ones definitely will be.
Therefore, Gun control is important, but will not work unless we change the way violence is allowed through our upbringing and environment.