GUNS IN THE USA

Yesterday’s senseless killing of kids and teachers by a crazed young gunman was hardly surprising was it?

It was shocking but only because of the youth of the kids and the sheer numbers involved.

It was kind of a new twist on things. And that novelty made it sensational, literally.

If you have kids you connected to this one in the way you didn’t with the mass killing on the Army base, for example.

And I’ve been looking at the reaction to this atrocity on social media and TV etc.

And I’m struck by one thing.

So much of the reaction ISN’T “hey let’s abolish sales of automatic weapons because that just makes sense right?”, as it would be in any other western democracy.

Instead it starts with stuff like “Now we all realize that you can’t stop a determined mass killer…” and “Now obviously we all know that gun control can’t work…”

And it reminds me a lot of the mentality of Ireland (where I grew up btw) in the early 1980s when we couldn’t imagine life without regular terrorist atrocities and constant vigilance for bombs and excessive security precautions. That had become our life, so we kind of got comfortable with it.

And now I look back think how crazy that was.

I can vividly recall being struck with the ingenuity of the IRA bomb that almost killed Margaret Thatcher in the 80s. And not feeling anything about the fact that “our side” had almost assassinated the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

I remember being excited about the mechanics of the device itself. It was something new. A new twist on a by then very familiar pattern of bombs and shootings. This was the Pink Floyd of IRA bombs.

I think that America has sunk into a similar lack of imagination doldrums with regard to guns.

Where there is a will there’s a way. It’s that simple.

Hey it worked for our seemingly intractable and extremely tiresome conflict!

5 responses to “GUNS IN THE USA

  1. I would have thought at the very least all the loop holes should be tied up. Background checks at exhibition fairs to be introduced and a country wide consistency of the law imposed.

  2. THIS IS a very interesting blog essay or whatever it called.
    So interesting that I won’t argue the fine or the large points at all.
    Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy New Year, Mr. Warren

  3. Back at you Tom.

  4. I disagree with you… BUT, I found your particular take on this in terms of “inability to imagine better/different” both interesting and worthwhile, especially in comparison to Ireland and bombings. Plus your blog rocks and I’m a big fan : )

    So all I’ll say is a small factual correction (or maybe a pointing out of a US English vs. UK English variance?) in case you want to update your use of a specific term in the essay: automatic weapons pretty much are already illegal in the US — it’s SEMIautomatic weapons that are fully legal and relatively unrestricted.

  5. my point Jeff was sometimes established industries (The IRA, The NRA) have such a vested interest in the status quo of carnage that their very existence is threatened by any change, so they try to divert argument away from the common sense solutions (stop the senseless killing, severely restrict the availability of guns) towards bullshit like mental health reform. something the extreme right has been very reluctant to fund btw.
    they don’t have a leg to stand on and they know it on some level.

    Wayne LaPierre actually went on TV advocating that the solution to these killing is having armed guards in kindergartens. That is just sick thinking. So we have to pay for minimum wage rent cops (unionized perhaps?) to stand around in schools that can barely afford art supplies? Again, sick thinking.

    here’s what we know: unrestricted access to semiautomatic guns plus nutty americans equals a steady drumbeat of senseless mass killings. so let’s try the other extreme. let’s just try it. trust me, america will not explode if we do. worst case scenario: America will only have 300 million guns with which to fight the American government (the marines!) when it somehow turns into a totalitarian regime.

    the conflation of gun ownership with “freedom” is ludicrous IMO. Shouldn’t gun ownership come with any responsibility? Very obviously it should.

    glad you like the blog. thanks for the comments

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