Mom cryng

America is rapidly becoming an unsafe country for young children!

Just short of a hundred days after the Newtown school tragedy, in which 20 young children were killed by a lone gunman, another incident has shocked the nation.

On Thursday, March 21st, a mother out walking with her 13-month old son was approached by two teenagers who demanded money.  She said she had none.  So they threatened to harm her son.  One of them then shot him in the face, killing him instantly!

As the two boys who committed this act were only 14 and 17 it’s likely that they will be out on the streets again shortly.  Meanwhile, a young mother’s life has changed forever and her young son is dead.

With so many murders on the news each day, it’s unlikely this will impact the current debate on gun control.

The United States, with a population of over 320 million, has more than 180 million guns in circulation.  That’s more than any other country in the world.  Yemen is second and Switzerland third.  Switzerland is an interesting country – every male there must have a gun in the house in order to be ready to defend the country.  In spite of all the weapons, violence is rare compared to the US.

Other western countries have fairly strict gun control laws.

What’s the answer for the United States?

Ask anybody outside of America and they will answer with “gun control”. About half  of Americans now favor some controls.  Gun controls work quite well in Canada, Australia and the UK.  The UK, with a population of 62 million, had only 30 gun-related deaths last year, compared to roughly 30,000 in the US.  Interestingly, in a reversal of the US experience, it is the conservative political parties in these countries that are most in favor of strict controls.

(Americans who are pro-gun should note – when you go outside the country don’t tell anybody how you feel – they will think you’re dangerous or crazy or both!  You might also remember this when posting on international social networks.)

I asked a Canadian friend, a former schoolteacher, if people in Canada are afraid to send their children to school.  He said “no”.  There are no fears for their safety.

Would Canadian gun controls work in the US?

Frankly, I don’t think they would.  Try to take those 180 million guns out of peoples’ hands and you would have a revolution or civil war.  Even if all the good people gave up their weapons, there would still be plenty circulating for the criminal element.

The pro-gun lobby says that the only solution to a bad man with a gun is a good man with a gun.  They even advocate teachers being armed, as they are in Israel, where the country is faced with a constant threat from terrorists.

Our local school, attended by two of our grandchildren, has grandfathers patrolling the hallways.  The grandfathers are not allowed to carry weapons so they could hardly defend themselves or the school against an armed intruder, but they could hopefully call the police before any students got shot.

One solution is to make schools like airports, where security is tight, once you’ve checked in.

One historical fact that should be remembered is that Americans have always had the right to bear arms.  Always.  It was the English parliament in 1642 that gave all Englishmen the right to bear arms to defend themselves against the king, on the eve of the English Civil War.  As the American colonies were English that right was also given to the early settlers.  Without the right to bear arms, the American Revolution would never have got off the ground.

That right was later enshrined in the US Constitution.

Other former British colonies took away that right over the years for one reason or another.  99% of the people in those countries support tough gun control laws.  England will not even arm the police, sentiment is so great against guns.  However, it should be noted that, in spite of strict laws against handguns and assault weapons, people can hunt and can keep a weapon in their own home for that purpose.

The pro-gun lobby constantly repeats the mantra that gun controls don’t work anywhere in the world.  On this they are absolutely wrong.  They do work and the public would not change anything.

But this does not mean they would work in the US.

The rest of the world thinks the United States is a violent country, partly because of incidents like Newtown. This is one reason why foreign tourists are lacking, an economic repercussion of all the violence.  I often get asked when I’m visiting other countries why the US president doesn’t simply ban guns.   The answer to that is quite simple – he can’t!  He hasn’t got that power and most Americans wouldn’t want him to have it.

When we realize that Americans have had the right to bear arms for four centuries, literally from the very beginning as Jamestown residents brought weapons with them,

It should be noted that incidents like Newtown are relatively new.  So easy access to guns is not the only problem here.

In every case I’ve followed over the last few years, the perpetrator of these awful crimes has come from a broken home.  A fatherless home, that is.  2500 years ago the prophet Malachi wrote:  “God hates divorce, for it covers one’s garments with violence”  (Malachi 2:16).  This problem needs to be looked at.  Our local newspaper has been advocating stricter divorce laws for parents with young children, pointing out that 90% of the people in our prison system come from broken homes.  A broken home is usually a fatherless home, as mothers usually get full custody of their children.    Boys need a strong father in their lives.

Divorce is far more prevalent today than it was even fifty years ago.

Another change in the last 50 years is that schools no longer teach the Ten Commandments.  It’s ironic that public schools were first started with the specific intent of teaching the commandments, and now can’t teach them at all.  If children are not learning them at home, how are they supposed to know “Thou shalt not kill”?  If television is a bigger influence in their lives than any religious instruction, they can only conclude that murder is perfectly acceptable as it’s the staple of evening “entertainment.”    If you prefer not to teach your children any religious values, it’s still extremely important to teach them right from wrong and ensure that you are countering all the negative influences around them.

Add to this violent video games, which many young men are addicted to.  The producers will claim they have no effect on people who play them – if that’s true, why do companies spend millions advertizing on television if what people see on TV doesn’t influence them?

Also, drugs.  Again, when these acts are committed, it eventually turns out that the perpetrator was on prozac, or a similar mind-altering drug.

Do something about all of these and incidents like Newtown will be greatly reduced.

After changes are made in these areas, America may still be a violent place, but then the prevalence of guns would be the only factor.  At that time, the gun issue could be addressed.

Clearly, a lot needs to change.  This is why an in-depth national debate is needed, with television presenters questioning the so-called “facts” that are thrown around.  (If Americans knew that parents in other countries don’t have to worry about their children when they go to school, what would be the reaction?)



  1. Also Melvin, in a scenario we would never wish to happen, the unarmed grandfathers in your school would get shot first and many students following—long before the police could get there. It’s not much of a defense….

  2. Appreciate your international view of the other nations to the violence and number of gun related deaths in America. Also, the real role that divorce, broken homes, and lack of the influence of a father has on shaping the minds of those who resort to violence. The Biblical perspective from Malachi 2:16 should motivate us as a nation to really address divorce, but as you pointed out God is not allowed in schools anymore or even in the halls of government. Americans do need to realize and see that parents in other countries don’t have to worry about their children going to school. Thank you for your blog!

  3. Apart from being from England, Piers Morgan and I have nothing in common. I think he’s very naive. He seems to think the US government can legislate guns away, as happened in Australia after Port Arthur. That will never happen. As I show in the article I wrote, we need to work on the other contributory factors first. And yes, you are correct — the grandfathers at our school would all die first! It might buy some time for the children, but that’s about all. Some of us are very concerned about security at the school. The authorities seem to think that what happened in Newtown could never happen here!!!

  4. Thank you for the in depth blog Mr Rhodes, Very in depth and insightful view on gun control in the states as there needs to be some sort of control. But it must start at home with a positive influence on children from the parenting stature. With children coming from broken homes, single parent homes, or even grandparents raising grandchildren. With singles parents and etc having to work outside the home not able to have the influence on the children as needed. Thus entertainment influences such as tv, video games and other sources of entertainment is having an influence on the lives of children. Not to mention the laws in place now of punishment of parents for spanking children. I feel parents are in fear of punishing children with spanking children for wrong actions, even in the household in fear a child will tell someone as thus be taken as child abuse. There is a fine line between the two I admit but when children are having more control then parents and teachers there has to be something done. They need to understand there are consequences for wrong actions before it is too late. I am saddened schools have taken the greatest law out of schools, able to see and learned the 10 commandments as God instructs us to keep. I pray for God’s safety and protection be poured out, but the influence of Satan is clear and present more today then yesterday and tomorrow even more 😦

  5. My first response was that an Englishman should not attempt speaking on gun rights in the U.S., but that is too broad a brushstroke. And I do appreciate your insight on other matters.

    We unfortunately have a culture of violence particularly in our inner cities. If those murders were removed our murder rate would be very similar to that of the UK which is very low.

    We generally have a far more heterogeneous population than do the other countries with lower murder rates. Unfortunately, we also have a race factor and tensions that other such countries do not have.

    While it is always horrific when a Newtown tragedy occurs, it is also extremely rare. For at least 10 yrs (including the Newtown tragedy) we have averaged less than 10 student deaths in our school population of about 60 million. About a third being suicides at school. So, no, I do not fret about my children going to school as U.S. schools are safer than homes in the U.S. or in the Mother country. In fact there are few places that we could find as safe as schools (1 in 6-10 million deaths each year. And regarding the U.K., the rate of robberies and muggings and knife attacks are far higher than in the U.S.

    Also recognize that our non-gun murder rate (1.7/100,000) is also higher than the murder rate in some of the safest countries, so again, it is not exactly a gun problem. Again, much of this is inner city related. Nevertheless, our murder rate is lower than that of most countries (4.8/100,000) and has been declining substantially, half the rate of 1990.

    As a side note I do not understand why internationals would be so concerned coming to the U.S.; our rate of death from suicide and murder combined is less than or equal to JUST the suicide rate of many European countries (e.g. France). I always caution those going to France to take care to avoid whatever is causing this, be it the water, baguettes, or socialism. I don’t know why we don’t hear more about this.

    Finally, this is a right that was codified into our Bill of Rights of the Constitution. It does protect against over-reaching government which is responsible for far more deaths than an armed citizenry. This potential consequence of gun control must not be overlooked. I believe the world itself is safer and more stable due to our 2nd amendment rights.

  6. From paragraph 4 above, ” In fact there are few places that we could find as safe as schools (1 in 6-10 million deaths each year.” should read “In fact there are few places that we could find as safe as schools (1 death per 6-10 million students each year).

    Also, I apologize that the above post was not as respectful as it should have been (mainly the first line); I have strong feelings about this and sometimes I over-do it. We have had guns in this country since its inception and our citizenry has by in large been very responsible. Even with all our guns, the murder rate among non-hispanic whites is very similar to that of non-hispanic whites in England and other Western nations.

    It is our rate of illegitimacy that appears to be one of the greatest factors. Among our black population it is now around a 72% illegitimacy rate and in the inner city closer to 85-90%. How can any young men grow to be responsible without at least seeing a responsible father somewhere? And what does that mean in nanny state housing? Well, we are seeing what it means. Unfortunately, illegitimacy is increasing in all of our population where hispanics have reached the 50% threshold and whites well nigh 30%. Allowing an honest and open discussion without hiding statistics is crucial and can give an obvious platform for the importance of traditional morality.
    It is the loss of value extended to other humans and of the meaning in life that is driving our murder rate not the guns. Guns are capable of killing more people in a single tragedy than typically a knife, but I really do wonder that other methods might be used, as tragedies such as in Newtown are premeditated. Bombs can also be used and, for those desiring to do so, not that difficult to make. Anyways, my two to four cents.

    1. Yes, the problem is people, not guns – not the thing but the use of the thing. But to me, it’s like making weapons easily available to inmates of an assylum. That’s kind of harsh, maybe, but life here, while it has the glorious potential of utopia, is very stressful, probably largely due to broken families and economic factors, etc. The “DRIVE to GET” things and/or just survive here is amazing. That is stressful. More people are on happy pills than ever before. Relationships are largely an epic fail and when anger rises, and a gun is handy . . . well, you know the rest. If guns were only available to constitution-savvy people who are reasonable, that would be great. But way too many loonies with guns can’t even SPELL “constitution” or if they can, they just don’t care. There is no way to recall guns. It is done. They are out there. Any legislation will not work for all the reasons the NRA list. (Bad guys will not give them up while good guys will, being one reason.) It’s like Prohibition. Stupid/futile to try. It’s just a pity that what was envisioned by the constitution is so garbled now. And one other thing – do we really need uzzis and such to shoot deer, or even an intruder? I mean, if anyone is THAT bad a shot, then they surely shouldn’t have a gun! You have to have proficiency tests to drive a car (a pretty efficient weapon!) – why not do the same for guns? I have no problem with gun ownership but it is way too easy to do it irresponsibly. And (tongue in cheek!), if the purpose of being armed was to keep government in check, juuuuust zackly how . . . ahem . . . outa control do you gun guys consider . . . outa control? LOL!

  7. People keep saying that the good guys would give up their guns. No they wouldn’t! Not good guys who know and claim their constitutional rights!

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