No idea why, but I woke up thinking about guns this morning. I often hear shotguns going off around here, mostly farmers shooting crows or pigeons, sometimes rabbits. Then there are the ‘Game Shoots’, lucrative massacres of thousands of Pheasants, bred for the sole purpose of being shot out of the sky. For ‘Sport’.
But that wasn’t actually what I was thinking about. For some reason, I had the Dunblane killings on my mind. A tragic event that completely changed the laws regarding gun ownership in Great Britain. If you have never heard of that, here’s a link. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunblane_massacre
Sixteen children and one adult teacher were shot dead by a man who later killed himself. Such was the shock and outcry, that personal ownership of handguns and many other types of firearm was banned in the UK.
Compare that to the regular mass shootings in the United States.
Despite a never-ending cycle of mass shootings, including those of school children, gun ownership continues to increase unabated in America. Many states have even changed the restrictions on buying guns, to make it easier. Other parts of the US allow gun owners to carry their weapons on their person, either openly displayed, or concealed. Even President Trump advocated arming school teachers in classrooms, to combat the next inevitable atrocity.
I know that many Americans, some of them valued online friends, cherish their right to continue to own personal weapons. Some keep them because they fear for their safety, others because they just enjoy firing them at things, or hunting animals. They have the Second Amendment to the Constitution to support them, the famous ‘Right To Bear Arms’.
Then there is the powerful gun lobby, The National Rifle Association. https://home.nra.org/ They have popularised the much-quoted saying, ‘Guns Don’t Kill People. People Kill People’.
They overlook the fact that someone armed with a selection of assault rifles and automatic pistols can kill a lot more people that one person armed with a knife or a club.
I feel for America, I really do. It is never going to end.