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45 comments   Listen   Print   article:339285:34::0
In the Media

article imageOp-Ed: America has guns and massacres — Other countries don’t

By Paul Wallis
Dec 17, 2012 in Crime
Sydney - Excuse the simple sentence header. The hideous massacre of kids at their school deserves better, but in terms of gun control, we’re talking about an America which reserves the right to shoot at itself. Spelling it out is required.
The fact is that the gun industry in America is huge. It’s as ideological an issue as Bernie Madoff in terms of morality, and for much the same reasons. This is another big corporate deal. Guns are also currency for criminals. Stealing a gun is a great way for criminals to make money. Perish the thought that any source of income should be denied to criminals. They made America what it is today.
Then there are the myths-
There’s a lot of reasons around for gun ownership- Crime, threats to families, etc. Guns make the crime a lot easier and the threats much more real.
If so and so had had a gun, they would have stopped whichever massacre it was. In practice, that’s never happened. Not once has an armed citizen intervened in a mass shooting. It’s a 100% record so far.
“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” To be more specific, people with guns kill a lot more people than people without guns. It’s fairly difficult to kill people with bad language.
Somebody was actually quoted as saying the “guns are why we’re free”. Free from what, live kids?
The Second Amendment specifically refers to a civil militia using guns, not just anyone who feels like waving a gun around. That never gets mentioned in the “debate” about gun control. There never was any suggestion of arming the entire population to the teeth as it is now. It’s doubtful if this level of social insanity ever occurred to the founding fathers. It’s also highly unlikely that the Second Amendment refers to the right of people to exterminate kids.
It doesn't mention massacring children at all, in fact:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
Well regulated, eh? That's a joke, bearing in mind that the people opposed to gun regulation include so many Conspicuous Patriots who claim Constitutional rights for their views.
The gang wars in the 80s never generated any sort of debate about gun control beyond a belated ban on automatic weapons which has naturally since lapsed with the blessing of Congress. Thousands died, more were injured, nobody did much about it. It wasn’t an issue because it was mainly non-whites getting killed.
The routine injury of Americans through hundreds of gun incidents per day costs the nation a fortune, and that’s not an issue, either. Diabetics and people with real illnesses can be gouged for big money for treatment and treated like criminals for wanting to be able to pay their medical bills, but let’s not complain about the billions spent on medical resources in gun-related “health issues”.
A hundred years ago, this “any nut can have a gun” thing wasn’t tolerated at all. Even the Wild West didn’t have this sort of Guns R Us mentality. Quite the opposite, when the transcontinental railway was being built, a herd of hangers-on, including “gunmen” followed the railway. The boss, an ex-Civil War general, didn’t like it, and a posse of hired heavies opened fire on the gunmen. The gunmen disappeared, leaving a few swaying in the breeze from trees behind them.
The lineup of cars on the road leading up to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown  Connecticut
With permission by Samaia Hernandez, of the Hartford Courant (twitpic)
The lineup of cars on the road leading up to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut
image:135127:4::0
Of course, that was then, this is now. The treatment of American citizens like toilet paper by their media, business leaders, and various governments over the last few decades has replaced the original America with a rather sickly caricature. This is no longer the land of free spirits, but tedious little sycophants and hypocrites hiding behind political agendas. Must have been a great place once, but it’s looking like one of the less-tourist-prone parts of hell now.
(The American tourist industry may be surprised to know that booking a trip isn’t generally believed to include receiving various calibres of goodwill from the locals. Maybe it’s an optional extra? Perhaps you’d like to make that point a little clearer to foreigners?)
The fact is that nothing is going to happen. 20 kids have died for no good reason from bullets from legally bought weapons, and that’s just fine with America. Presumably, those kids had a Constitutional right to be shot. Everybody gets in front of a camera and says how awful and not a damn thing will be done.
There’s a bill to ban assault weapons being presented soon. America is doing after decades of mass shootings what Australia did after a single major shooting incident 20 years ago. Assault weapons are illegal in Australia.
They won’t be in America. There’s absolutely no doubt that American politicians and “thought leaders” will run away just as fast from yet another social issue as they have from everything else for the last 30 years. Total failure to manage issues is now an American tradition, and this will be no exception.
Meanwhile, it’s Christmas for the duly unelected NRA (National Rifle Association) and the Westboro Church and all the other zealots getting lots of media time on the massacre of those kids. Is anyone going to do much more than bleat, let alone open fire on the Westboros and their filthy exploitation of this horror story? Of course not. It’s OK for 20 kids to die, but let’s not ruffle the feathers of a hate group which has been abusing dead Americans for decades. Is any American politician going to tell their NRA backers to go to hell? Of course not. That’d require a spine, and there just aren’t any in American politics any more.
A point or so
1 in 4 people suffers from mental illness during their lifetimes. In America’s case that translates into about 75 million people at any one time, all with access to any sort of weapon they want. That doesn’t even include people who are just highly stressed. Still want your little bang-bangs that easy to get? You think you can “legislate” your way around that?
America has guns and massacres, other nations don’t. That’s the fact.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
article:339285:34::0
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