Shooting America

By now the news of the horrific spree killing in America will have filtered through to all of us and it is tragic beyond words.  Worst to hear was the six year old girl (who shouldn’t have been at such a film in the first place) and her young mother lying seriously wounded in hospital not knowing her daughter was dead.

America has to fix its lack of gun control, pistols with high capacity magazines, pump action shotguns, and assault rifles.  These are all weapons for the military. Not for civilian life. James Holmes was armed with all three.  I mean surely everyone can get together that no civilian has a need for an assault rifle? one of the casualties was hit by a bullet that went through an exterior wall…

I remember talking to a Hawaiian girl I knew at my university Cathsoc and she was from a military family. But her family owned an arsenal big enough to start a small war in and of itself.  She said an assault rifle was excellent for shooting rabbits…  I’m sure it is, but more than a little excessive.   Her family also owned a .50 sniper rifle.  To put that in context, that’s used to take out armored cars and light vehicles in a war zone, it is ridiculously powerful, and there is no conceivable need for a family to own one.

I guess the handgun and rifle ship has sailed in America, people are never going to give them up, and since all the criminals certainly won’t give up theirs I do understand that to an extent. But these rapid fire, high powered weapons are about inflicting massive amounts of damage in a short amount of time and its impossible in my mind to justify their general circulation.

So what can America do? well if Mitt Romney got behind a ban of these weapons America might begin to awaken from this nightmare. He and he alone has the political clout to do this, in fact now would be a brilliant time to do so when the republican party needs to show support for its leader and he needs to show he is a leader.

Obama, like in so many other things, has proven he is all talk and no trousers in this department, calling for tighter gun control and achieving absolutely nothing in office.  The exceptionally aggressive and incredibly effective lobbying by the NRA has been exposed as the blackmail that it is.  A year ago would have been too late, now is the time to act.

Of course they won’t, Obama is a lame duck ordering up four more years of that particular waterfowl, Romney is a non entity with nowhere near enough courage to take on the NRA in a tight election.  Romney would win so much bi-partisan support by doing so but bi-partisanship died during Obama’s reign. This election is being fought down strictly partisan lines and America will be worse off for it.

Batman is not at fault either, Batman as a character never uses guns and always takes his prisoners alive even when they try to kill him. Excessive violence in films may be a problem but they didn’t have action movies in the time of Jesse James either.

On the European reaction I wish nobody was stupid enough to say this is an American problem, there will always be a few people who lose sight of their humanity and indiscriminately hate their fellow man. I have within the last day heard someone say as much and it just strikes me as the anti-American sentiment that seems to lurk like a shark beneath the surface in far too many people.

Raoul Moat, Anders Breivik and others have proven this is not just an American problem. There is nothing that makes Americans more likely to do this, only when it happens the pervasiveness of the gun culture means that the damage they inflict is often greatly increased and Breivik makes my point in that regard too, his arsenal was similar to that of James Holmes.

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