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Guangming Daily News, China

Muzzle Should Not Be the End of Happiness


By Xiaojuan Wan

If firearms are repeatedly misused by those who have lost emotional control against their compatriots, should freedom of gun ownership be a right or not?

Translated By Stefanie Zhou

16 December 2012

Edited by Rachel Smith


China - Guangming Daily News - Original Article (Chinese)

Although it is a shooting far on the other side of the ocean, we are equally unable to bear the grief of the death of 20 innocent young children. At the moment, in our eyes, there are no color and national differences, only the same respect for life and regret for the dreams of those children.

Tragic scenes, helpless tears; we cannot help but recall the shooting at Virginia Polytechnic Institute in April 2007 by Korean student Seung-Hui Choi, leaving 32 dead; the shooting incident at the Denver City* cinema July of this year, leaving 15 dead, 50 wounded… When these devastating shootings occur again and again, when the dark muzzle is even beginning to target children, what should the country, which has a uniquely well-armed citizenry, do? If firearms are repeatedly misused by those who have lost emotional control against their compatriots, should freedom of gun ownership be a right or not?

Early in the war of independence, Americans fighting for freedom already believed that armed citizens were critical to opposing tyranny and defending civil rights. To some extent, guns are seen as spiritual totem. The United States today could consider itself to have broken away from the danger of government tyranny, and the rationale for gun possession has also undergone changes; few need guns to protect themselves and their family most of the time. However, the shootings that continue to occur today seem to suggest that when the legitimacy of gun possession is a personal decision, no one can guarantee absolute justice.

At the present, perhaps Americans both love and hate firearms. The controversy about gun control is nothing new. However, logically, when firearms have already become a threat to public safety, when innocent people are at constant risk in public places such as cinemas and schools, how can there be any debate about human rights, democracy, and freedom?

Roger, an alumnus of the elementary school, said: "Gunshots took away everything that is good from here."** From the point of view of fellow human beings, we can only deeply hope that the cold muzzle won’t be the end to happiness again.


*Editor’s note: the shooting occurred in Aurora, Colo., which is near Denver.
**Editor’s note: The original quotation, accurately translated, could not be verified.



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