Sunday, 16 December 2012

The right to blow each other away

Another gun massacre in the US. Another occasion where likely nothing will be done about it. Despite the loss of so many young lives, despite the fact that another nutter has been able to access high powered weaponry (from his mother would you believe) we sit here looking from afar, dumbfounded almost to the point of frustration, knowing that again nothing will be done about it.

For according to many in the US, if you can't own a gun you're not free. By some bizarre and loopy logic they think that owning a few guns and lots of amo will protect them if the American gov ever turns against them. The US gov turned against it's citizens years ago though, but there's been no uprising. Half the population is poor, and the gov can now lock citizens up indefinitely without charge if they so decide. All that's happened is US citizens killing each other, whilst they rave on in some kind of religious ferver about keeping their guns.

They will shout to the world about their "right to bear arms". Blind to the fact that it means nothing more than the right to blow each other away.

My daughter called me into her room couple of days ago and asked if I'd seen this, pointing at her telly. I guess it must have been extremely shocking to her being in a child care centre to learn of so many young deaths. Myself I wasn't surprised at all. It will keep happening, and Americans will keep wanting to keep their guns/"freedom". Nothing will change until there's a drastic change in gun laws, but nobody can see it happening. Any argument for gun control is disarmed by binding gun ownership to some kind of philosophical good and evil struggle against the individual and gov.

"How many more......?" the newsreader said on the telly this morning as she was interviewing the Australian correspondent there for the station. Sadly, his answer was that it looks like again, nothing is going to change. And this opinion piece in the SMH today puts into words how many of us are feeling here.
Wrong. A day on which 28 innocents - 20 of them schoolchildren - are murdered is a perfect day on which to challenge and stare down those who defend a legal system and culture that makes the US one of the most violent countries on Earth. 

Americans like to tut-tut at the barbarity of those depraved people in Syria who, since the outbreak of civil war early last year, have killed an estimated 40,000 of their own. But, ho-hum, as many as 30,000 Americans die from gun violence every year. 

Mushed in with the much-abused notion of personal liberty, Americans love guns. As many as 300 million weapons are in circulation and another 4 million are pushed into the market each year. A reputable organ like The Atlantic Monthly will run a supposedly learned piece of 6000-plus words, trying to stand up an argument that more guns are the answer.

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The Post's Klein then notes: ''As others have observed, talking about how to stop mass shootings in the aftermath of a string of mass shootings isn't 'too soon.' It's much too late.'' 

To all this, the gun lobby responds inanely. Try this sample, penned by a Daniel Greenfield in frontpagemag.com in an article headlined ''The only way to stop a gun is with a gun'': ''The gun control debate … is reducible to the question of whether we are individuals who make our own decisions or a great squishy social mass that helplessly responds to stimuli. 

''The clash that will define the future of America is this collision between the individual and the state, between disorganised freedom and organised compassion, between a self-directed experiment in self-government and an experiment conducted by trained experts on a lab monkey population.'' 

The manner in which elected politicians cower in the face of threats by the gun lobby continues to amaze and little attention is paid to detailed research that proves it is a paper tiger. Read more