By Finger blogger: Andrea McKenna
In light of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, Nevada, one of America’s most high-profile cities, I feel compelled to tell everyone what life is like without guns.
Singapore has no guns. In fact, it has one of the toughest and most successful gun control laws in the world - according to the 1973 Arms Offences Act, unlawful possession or carrying of firearms is punishable with imprisonment of up to 14 years and caning of six strokes. Worse, using or attempting to use arms when committing a scheduled offense is punishable with death, as is trafficking in arms.
It’s pretty clear around here. No guns.
So, many people outside of Singapore wonder what that’s like. Here you go: It’s awesome. We don’t need them because we feel safe; and we feel safe because people do not have guns. We don’t have to worry about how unstable or angry people might react if they lost it and had access to guns. Because, no guns.
(As an aside, the research in America shows that it is angry males that commit these mass murders most, not mentally ill people. In fact, mentally ill people with access to firearms are most likely to kill themselves than someone else. I'm a mental health advocate so if you want to discuss mental illness and guns, please reach out and meet me for a coffee: firstname.lastname@example.org.)
This is not to say that there is no violent crime here in Singapore. There may be some, but it is a low-crime country overall.
This low rate is thanks to not only the country's tough criminal laws but also because I see how compliant people want to be to keep society in harmony. I’ve seen this special harmony exactly nowhere else on the planet. People want to be good, follow the laws and do the right thing.
I certainly do not have the answers of what to do about gun control in the United States. I didn’t grow up with guns. Cops and military had guns - they do even in Singapore - and that's about it. I know it’s not that simple for everyone in America. But it’s that simple for me.
I want people to know there is a world without guns. There is such a thing as the safest city and country in the world. I’m very lucky to live here, in Singapore.
About Andrea McKenna
Andrea McKenna Brankin is journalist and author from the United States who lives a full life with bipolar disorder. Her book, Bipolar Phoenix, is awaiting a publishing contract. She is also currently a volunteer at the DaySpring Residential Treatment Centre for teen girls in Singapore, providing befriending-family support, therapeutic writing and rugby coaching.