Australian comedian Jim Jefferies was the victim of a home invasion once. He was tied up and beaten, and his girlfriend was threatened with assault. So you might think he’d sympathize with the idea that Americans want guns to protect their families. Quite the opposite – he does an excellent job of summing up why so many foreigners are baffled by America’s gun culture:
In Australia, we had the biggest massacre on Earth, and the Australian government went: “That’s it! NO MORE GUNS.” And we all went, “Yeah, all right then, that seems fair enough, really.”
Now in America, you had the Sandy Hook massacre, where little tiny children died. And your government went, “Maybe… we’ll get rid of the big guns?” And roughly 50 percent of you went, “NO, DON’T TAKE MY GUNS, I NEED THEM TO PROTECT MYSELF.”
But aren’t there many ways to protect yourself and your home without (poorly regluated) access to guns? There’s security cameras, alarms, and fences, which are proven to help deter the amount of burglars picking properties protected with this kind of setup. There is also Riot Glass which for those who don’t know is a kind of glass that protects against forced entry. Some windows are designed to barely be opened so that invaders can’t squeeze through.
Perhaps we could go further than home security and tackle the heart of crime itself? American states often spend up to quadruple the amount of their welfare budget on the police and policing equipment (which may or may not be guns). That’s right, police budgets can be in the millions, whilst social care, education, and programs to help people stay out of crime are barely in the hundreds of thousands. It’s been shown in many countries across Europe that better safety nets, welfare, and programs tackling youth crime and poverty have had a significant impact on the amount of crime committed, from burglaries to drugs.
Are guns really there for America’s security? Or do they just offer the illusion of it? For people like Jim Jefferies who have suffered a home invasion and are resistant to the idea of guns, the answer may be a solid no on both fronts.