In the aftermath of the murderous gunfire that happened at a shopping center in Tucson, Arizona, on the morning of January 8, 2011, the rest of the world once again looked on with horror and was moved to ask, "What is wrong with America?" People observing from outside of the United States always find it extremely difficult to understand why so many Americans appear to be so willing to endure such a high degree of unnecessary bloodshed. In most countries, owning a gun is generally, and quite correctly, viewed as an essentially dangerous proposition, not as a God-given right or as a means of casual recreation, and therefore is subject to being heavily controlled.
In America, most citizens approve of easy access to firearms, and they accept, without any apparent qualms, the constant potential for random violence that inevitably results from the widespread ownership of those firearms. To any rational person, the knowing acceptance of such mayhem is a clear, unmistakable sign of madness. Owning a handgun or a rifle is, in itself, a sinister provocation. More closely defined, it should be seen as an expression, open and deliberate, of a willingness (and frequently an actual intention) to kill. The American partiality for guns is a sickening example of the violent outlook that serves as the general foundation of American life.
Unfortunately, as long as the unreasoning members of the National Rifle Association, an evil organization that recklessly promotes the common use of firearms, are allowed to prevail against any attempts at the serious control of guns in the United States, there is no hope of changing the situation for the better. Even most "liberals" in America refuse to acknowledge the urgent necessity of dealing with the problem, and are unwilling to take a firm stand against the bullheaded mentality that vigorously and vehemently supports the free circulation of rifles and handguns.
The stark numbers in regard to the ownership of firearms in America are alarming to anyone with peaceable beliefs: there are approximately 283,000,000 guns in a nation of approximately 312,000,000 inhabitants, with thousands of people being killed by guns every year. Most Americans display a striking lack of sanity in regard to the hideous danger of firearms. They appear to believe that the "right to keep and bear arms" is of greater value than human life itself. That is why violence with guns happens regularly in America, and that is why it will continue to happen.