Jump to content

Another American Tragedy.


Recommended Posts

First ban ownership of military assault weapons, then regulate and limit the number of weapons an individual can own.

I just wish all the US people who are praying or wringing their hands

today had the gumption to email their elected representatives to let

them know in no uncertain terms they will not be representing them again

unless they act to restrict gun ownership in their state.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that the problem arises from the gun having changed from a useful tool to a symbol of machismo.

I grew up in a household where we had guns which were used sparingly because, as PaulT noted earlier, ammunition was expensive.

I think the time has come for the USA to examine its laws. I don’t believe that the ‘right to bear arms’ meant that you had a completely free rein to own as many guns as you wanted and with ammunition of the kind that was used against those poor children. I’m sure that there are people in the USA who actually need a gun, just as there are in the UK, but that doesn’t mean that it should be no restrictions. What is needed most of all though is a change in the public attitude.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My memory's a bit sketchy on this, and it's years since I watched "Bowling for Columbine", which, in any case, is slanted towards Michael Moore's somewhat biased opinion on gun law. I'm not saying I disagree with Mr Moore, just that he is very adept at manipulating things to suit his agenda. However, I seem to recall that one issue raised in the film was that while the anti-gun lobby had been somewhat successful in forcing Wal Mart to stop selling firearms (imagine Tesco or Sainsbury with a gun section. Clubcard/Nectar points, anyone?) the problem was that they were still stocking ammunition in copious quantities, and, naturally, at keen prices. So any loony could pop into Wal Mart and buy enough ammunition for a siege. I am unsure as to the laws governing the sale of ammunition, but obviously if they are less stringent than those governing the sale of firearms, then any tightening of the firearms laws is going to be much-diluted. It certainly changes the emphasis alluded to in previous posts of conserving bullets because of their cost.

The other point of interest, regarding Wal Mart succumbing to anti-gun-lobby pressure to stop selling firearms, is that they didn't have to wait forever to sneak them back in. Just until Michael Moore had moved onto another topic.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="PaulT"]

From some source or another that I cannot remember it was stated that in the cowboy films showing the firing of guns in to the air for no apparent reason did not happen - they were too poor to waste them.

There was a programme on the other day about Bonnie and Clyde. Thier end came with being ambushed, on their way to a meeting, by a posse. The car absolutely riddled with bullets. It seemed an orgy of gunfire to kill two people whereby just a few shots would have sufficed. The gun an everyday item for use.

Perhaps though it is only certain States where the problem is - as RII says New Jersey has strict gun laws.

However, it would seem that in the US the pro gun lobby is so powerful that the massacres will keep on happening.

RII how is the US press reporting this, I wonder if it is with the horror of the UK press or just as sensationalist news.

I suppose the size of the US needs to be taken in to account in any statistics and therefore these should be on the basis of per x number of the population rather than the number for the whole population.


I rarely watch the news, so can't comment on how it's being reported here. I've been getting all my updates from the BBC website, I prefer a more impartial view of events here. But here's something Morgan Freeman said which is interesting:

"You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why.

It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and

watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall

shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household

names, but do you know the name of a single victim of Columbine? Disturb

people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see

the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a

memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be

remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as

the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics

somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video

interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and

heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the

killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news

stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity?

None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations,

sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this

and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.


can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering

the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental

health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem."

For sure gun laws need to be made stricter all over the country, but it's still not going to prevent things like yesterday from happening. Even if you had a complete ban, it would still happen. It's cultural, it needs addressing at root level, reeducation and a change in attitudes.

Perhaps part of the problem is that America is too free, I don't know. There's no simple answer to this, that's for sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a sad fact that gun control, or the lack of it, will not "solve" this problem on its own. Dunblane, Hungerford and Cumbria are a sad testament to the fact that a mentally disturbed loner with determination and access to firearms can destroy not only the lives they take, but those of the families of the dead. The Anders Behring Breivik case is yet another example. It doesn't make it somehow right, though, that the US constitution in its current form has made it possible for anyone and everyone to own a gun for no other reason than that they can. There are many things enshrined in law in the UK and elsewhere that people take no advantage of . A quick search reveals that there is an unrevoked UK law that stipulates that every Englishman over the age of 14 should practise the art of killing with a longbow for two hours a week. How many people do you know who own a longbow? What is it, exactly, that makes people want to own a gun?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote user="Quillan"]I think that for many, rightly or wrongly, when you mention guns and gun ownership they always think of America.[/quote]

We tend to look upon the American political system as similar to ours - but on a larger scale. We couldn't be more wrong. In terms of sheer political power, Barack Obama can only look upon David Cameron with undisguised envy. The US constitution was designed to place power in the hands of the people not in those of government. In addition, it was designed to limit the action of the executive by separating the three main branches of government.

The second amendment to the constitution gives the right of individuals to bear arms in order to maintain a militia (in other words to permit the quick organisation of an armed defence force). Because interpretation of the constitution is strictly literal, the Supreme Court has on (I believe) two occasions determined that this means that anyone can own firearms.

In a country with a population approaching 300 million, it is difficult to identify the power held by individuals. What has happened is that individuals with a cause have grouped together to form pressure groups advocating their particular cause. And the more money a pressure group has, the better it can exert pressure:  mainly by "buying" politicians - politicians require funding for their election campaigns. America seems to be in a constant state of electioneering and electioneering is expensive, so a quid pro quo develops where politicians have financial backers who expect their agendas to be supported.

Thus it is with "socialised medicine" being opposed by commercial interests, and reform of the gun laws by the NRI and the hunting lobby. There is no major source of money to support the abolition of the second amendment.

Someone earlier suggested that Obama does not have the guts to reform the gun ownership laws. Not really so, it is constitutionall impossible for him to do so. In the first place, the separation of powers means that he can only suggest to the legislature that it changes the law, and in the second place, the legislature contains too many politicians committed to their supporters interests. Now, if the funding of political campaigns could be changed ...

And in the meantime, there will other mass shootings by deranged malcontents.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have seen figures for 2011 which listed the numbers killed by hand guns in various countries un europe and North america. All had figures much less than 100 except for the UsA which was well over 10000 so it is not so surprising if we regard the USA as having a problem with hand guns.

It is so embedded in their culture that it is naive to think any change will happen  soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Whilst I don't believe it is possible to radically change the gun laws of the USA I have a theory that the 'concealed carry permit' situation, if repealed totally. may well be a first step.

If anyone legally owning a handgun had to carry it openly, on full show to everyone, would it bring home to people the sheer number of handguns in circulation?

Would it make people start to think?

Could it be a very small start to other gun laws driven by the public demand?

I obviously have no idea but...........
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My mother in law wrote this on her facebook page today:

"I teach Constitutional Law so please do not tell me about the second amendment or the latest Supreme Court decision. Instead, tell me about the innocent people who have died at the hands of the evil and mentally ill that gun advocates so often state are the " people" not the guns, who kill. To that I say: Yes there are mentally ill and evil people in society and always will be. Those people get firearms with ease and always seem to be rational enough to make a very calculated choice to use them in the correct way...........mental illness does not override their conscience choices. Every mentally ill person is not so overt as to demand "the system" help them before they act in such a way. They are among us so gun advocates should stop blaming the system for not addressing the mentally ill. The problem is THEY HAVE GUNS. Evil people too always seem to go straight for the firearm so they can achieve their purpose. SO, society needs to keep guns our of society AND from those people. It is as simple as that and perhaps the next time a crazy as a fox person or evil monster decides to kill, he or she will have to work a little harder to get a gun; or maybe not get one at all; or maybe not go though with it, or choose another weapon which will not be as successful. So spare me " people kill, not guns" because "people" include the evil and mentally ill who just always seem to conveniently have a gun!"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So very true. I'm sick and tired of hearing the "people, not guns" argument from people being interviewed this side of the pond, too.

About a million years ago, I had a cutting of a piece from the NY Times in which someone was comparing the reaction of people in a restaurant to a smoker. It was an excellent article and essentially pointed out that, these days, if someone lights a cigarette in public, there's such a hue and cry, and yet it's absolutely not out of the question for someone to walk into the same restaurant with a loaded gun and nobody would bat an eyelid.

Funny world.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the Daily Mail there are some statistics regarding guns, shooting etc comparing the US with some other countries. It makes the US look extremely sick.

I have not reproduced them here in case of copyright problems but if you get a chance of seeing the paper do have a look.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good to see Obama looking to do something about it. I agree completely with his statement and it perfectly sums the situation up:

"If there is even one thing that we can do to prevent any of these events, we have a deep obligation - all of us - to try," he said.

"The fact that we can't prevent every act of violence doesn't mean we can't steadily reduce the violence."

I doubt the second amendment will ever be scrapped, but at least there should be greater control and measures to eventually stop the serious weapons in society. Who knows, the second amendment may even be twisted and manipulated back to its original meaning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If they could just get the Second Amendment back to its original meaning that would be a good start. I can't see any necessity for anyone carrying a weapon like an AK47 although there are many places in America where I would be happier if I had a gun. Just as they seem more necessary in the countryside in England and France.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in

Sign In Now

  • Create New...