Last week’s doctors’ strike in the UK has had many people shaking their heads and wondering why the negotiations over a new work contract between the government and the British Medical Association (BMA), a doctors’ union, got so out of hand. The strike was not good for the images of government or doctors, and most seriously, it was not good for patients of the National Health Service (NHS) – around 3,300 scheduled routine operations had to be postponed because of the 24-hour walkout. Surely such damaging action to all parties involved could have been avoided?
As you read this blog entry, there are three things you ought to know about me. First, I am an American. While I have never owned a gun, I have known and know many people who do. These aren’t just casual acquaintances; I have friends and family members who own guns. I don’t find the idea strange. The people I know who own guns all have rational reasons for buying them. Some want them for sport, some for hunting, some for protection, and some because they feel armed citizens limit the power of the government. You may think some of these are poor reasons for owning a gun, but they are not crazy. Living in a country where gun ownership is common and deeply entwined with the culture, it seems neither unusual nor irrational that somebody should want to own a gun.