After reading the first few chapters of The Year of the Flood, I found it fascinating to learn that, in this world, firearms have been completely outlawed and that only the CorpSeCorps can own the newly invented sprayguns. This got me thinking about how after every gun-related attack, there is mention of the need for stricter gun laws or the banning of guns altogether. I struggle with this idea for two main reasons.
Firstly, I doubt that gun laws would ever affect the correct people. A criminal whose goal is to kill people will most likely be able to find a weapon and he won’t care whether it’s legal or not. And, in a situation where the perpetrator of the attack was conscious enough to cause it of his own free-will, I doubt that things like “gun-free zones” would have stopped them from making it happen.
Secondly, I have difficulty comprehending how it could possibly be a good idea to eliminate the average citizens’ right to own a firearms and reserving it for the police. I believe that evidence of this is shown time and time again whether it be in historical examples, in other countries, or in fiction. I find that the most evident example of the dangers of gun control in the past is what was seen in Nazi Germany. To me, it seems doubtful that the Nazis could have killed as many people as they did if the average citizen were able to fight back against their tyrannical government. The fact that the Germans had already begun disarming Jews and other political opponents seems like strong evidence to the fact that the Nazis did believe that firearms could have caused resistance from the population. And, as with all disarming of the population, they were told that the need to register their guns or have them taken away was an issue of “public safety”.
Then, following the model of the most infamous dictatorship in history, North Korea also possesses very strict gun laws. In fact, in all, only 130,000 guns are in civilian hands in a country of 25 million. So, it seems that oppressive governments, if they wish to stay in power, will rarely allow their citizens to be armed.
Finally, a disarmed civilian population seems to be a common occurence in several dystopian novels. Whether it be The Hunger Games, 1984, or the MaddAddam Trilogy, many dystopians will contain an unarmed populace and a government which owns all weaponry. And, although the world of this trilogy may not seem so bad if one does not live in the pleeblands, I find it terrifying how easily some people would accept that the government or the police force would be the only people who could own guns.
In general, I see firearms, not as weapons against other people, but as a way to protect ourselves from governments who would be able to control everything and everyone by threatening them with weapons. In conclusion, do you believe that the removal or strict control of firearms by the government is a good thing or is it a way for them to gain complete control over the population through fear?