Wednesday, 13 July 2016

President Obama said it's easier for teens to get guns than books

Getty Images

President Barack Obama made a provocative comment during the memorial service for fallen Dallas police officers when he suggested that guns are easier to get than a book.

“We flood communities with so many guns that it is easier for a teenager to buy a Glock than to get his hands on a computer or even a book,” Obama said.

Obama has used this line before; he compared the ease of obtaining a gun to the availability of fresh vegetables.

It make sense, because the bigger picture of not investing in education, poverty relief and gun safety spills over into larger societal problems.

The gun comment has drawn an immediate reaction on social media and led to the hashtag #GlockABook. Some of the comments are hilarious but this is a serious matter.

The Washington Post has in the past checked the gun and vegetable comparison. As a matter of fact, the fresh vegetables can be difficult to get in some areas, and yet the private sale of handguns is legal in most states. Private sales don’t always require background checks or waiting periods.

A Glock gun is quite pricey. According to one gun website, a popular model called the Glock 17 goes for $599 (about N170,000). Imagine how many books can be bought with that amount.

It seems however, that president Obama's statement is exaggerated.

Even accounting for a shortage of computers or bookstores in urban areas, and the widespread availability of guns, it’s unlikely there are teenagers with easier access to firearms.