Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

Guns.

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 found this image online. For someone in England, it is staggering to behold. And this was in 2015. (Click on image to enlarge)

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’.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/second_amendment

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 found another interesting image online. It shows how much personal firepower is available in each state, often much more than the armies of major foreign countries. (Click on image to enlarge)

I feel for America, I really do. It is never going to end.

54 thoughts on “Thinking Aloud On a Sunday

  1. This is a great article and a perspective which resonates to mine, coming from Australia. I just wrote an article on American mass shootings, I would be really interested to hear your thoughts on my article if you have time. Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have to click on the photo and enlarge it to see the countries concerned, Theo.
      No problem about your comments, they are always most welcome. 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

  2. It seems to be pretty tight here on gun control, only hunters are allowed to have them and to become a hunter you have to jump through hoops, take a two year exam and get checked out by the doctors, oh and have the money to be able to afford to do it! It seems like a good solution as gun crime is minimal. Maybe there will be a culture change in the US one day, but it will be a long time coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That Polish system sounds very sensible, Eddy.
      As for anything changing in America, I doubt that. In fact, I actually believe it will get worse, fuelled by paranoia, and the growing class differences there.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post 🙂 It is hard for me to form a coherent argument for or against guns – much like any complex issue in the world today. Nevertheless, speaking of The Dunblane Massacre, I have two video links that you might be interested in:

    One is a documentary about it

    The other is a message from Dunblane survivors to survivors of the 2018 Douglas High School Shooting in Florida (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stoneman_Douglas_High_School_shooting)

    Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, John. I have seen many documentaries about Dunblane, and the message to Florida was also shown here. The difference in culture shows that we may use almost the same language, but we are still very different people.
      Luckily, none of that stops many of us being great friends! 🙂
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What to write here? 😉 I understand the desire of US citizens to own a rifle. Its part of their meaning of freedom. This does not excuse the problems some crazy people have, and if anyone wants, she/ he will get a rifle, even its forbitten to buy. ;-( Michael

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am an American and I find it difficult to understand the “mania’ around gun ownership. Having read the 2nd Amendment, I wonder where the reluctance to regulate guns come in since that amendment is stated with an interesting preamble about “well-regulated militia” and the “security of a free state.” Congress is prohibited, not the states by that language. I am not anti-gun in any sense, as I own several. However, I had enough training when I was a security guard in the 1960s to know I would be more likely to die from someone taking the gun away from me that my successfully defending myself at 75 years old. No, I need an explanation for the “desire of US citizens to own {even} a rifle.” An explanation that makes sense and not one based on the desire itself. Please, I am not picking on you; you simply raise the point; I do not expect you to know the answer. Warmest regards. ed

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Sadly the Second Amendment had totally different meaning when it was written. It was to allow militias, not individual ownership of machine guns. The history of gun control is very interesting here. Republicans and Democrats both used to support it. And of course I live near the first grade classroom where many children were shot to death by a teenager whose mother thought teaching him to shoot was a good solution for his autism.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I cannot pretend to understand why many Americans really have such an obsession with firearms. But the shootings like the one you mention are the inevitable outcome of freely-available guns.
      It’s so sad, almost self-destructive.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just finished reading Jill Lepore’s book “These Truths” which helped me understand the context of the amendment. For originalists, the Supreme Court seems to have forgotten the origins.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I am not a gun owner, but I understand the desire of many Americans to own a gun. My son asked for a shotgun for his high school graduation present (I had difficulty processing this and accepting it, but I eventually did.) What I will never understand though is any person’s desire or need to own assault rifles. The unfortunate thing is that these acts of violence have become so commonplace that we are no longer shocked when they happen. The NRA is such a powerful lobby that I don’t see significant reform taking place. In the meantime, it will be more thoughts and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What will your son do with that shotgun, Pete? Such a weapon has great destructive power, and if it is pump-action, can hold around up to eight rounds too. I am from England, obviously, so will never understand why anyone would give such a thing as a gift.

      But thinking about it, perhaps he intends to hunt birds with it, for food? In that case, fair enough.

      Thanks for adding your own thoughts. I do appreciate that Americans are unlikely to agree with the British take on firearms. Even before the Dunblane incident, personal gun ownership here was minimal, and almost all shotguns used here are of the double-barrelled variety.

      Best wishes, Pete.

      Like

      1. So far, he has only used it to shoot clay pigeons, although it wouldn’t surprise me if he became a hunter at some point. I am proud of the man he has become. He is a good human being who always treats others with respect, but as someone who has an aversion to guns, this was hard for me to rationalize.

        Liked by 2 people

  7. People with guns kill. And people with guns save lives.
    There are good people who own guns. And there are homicidal and crazy people who own guns.
    I own a rubber band gun. It’s great for attacking bugs on high ceilings.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. In 2010 I went to a gun show here, not because I like guns – not at all – but because I wanted to see one of those “absolutely American phenomena”, and I posted about in in my that-time blog [https://wp.me/pM6X1-dZ]. This article is In Germea only, though. I’ll reblog it some time in my “Pit’s Fritztown New” blog in the “Thursday’s Retrospectives” series.

        Liked by 1 person

              1. What I found out is that my style of writing [long, winding sentences with (many) subclauses and/or parentheses] does not lend itself to computer translations. Short sentences would work better, but that, as you will certainly have seen, is not my style.

                Liked by 1 person

  8. It is horendous, especially if your son gets posted to USA for three years and your grandchildren go to school there! On his last trip back I asked him to bring me some magazines ( me thinking women’s, gardening, history ) . One of the mags he brought was a gun magazine, looks good on our coffee table.. an eye opener. Now I have a little insight that rural children whose Grandpappy taught them to respect guns and shoot at tin cans and rabbits have a sentimental idea of guns. But to see ads assuming ladies automatically put in their ‘purse’, money, doorkeys and personal pistol ( or whatever they call them ) is chilling. Not to mention articles about the best telescopic lens to get for your ‘sporting’ giagantic automatic assualt rifles.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I used to be able to see the appeal of guns as a boy of course. And war films made me very interested in weapons of all kinds. But I never expected to own any, and never really understood those who were obsessed with firing them.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I was a sergeant in the ARmy Cadets in a previous life, and did learn how to strip a bren gun down and put it back together blindfold 🙄. I’ve fired one on a firing range at Colchester Army barracks too, but that’s about it. It didn’t fire me up to go shooting as a hobby, or massacre a few schoolkids. Or even politicians 🤣

        Liked by 3 people

  9. WE Americans work off perceived threats not actual…..the NRA has made it dangerous and the internet has made it deadly…..the sad part is the the killings now are treated like a part of life…no big deal…..we are letting stupid rule. chuq

    Liked by 2 people

    1. As you are well-aware, chuq, the gun culture over there is very strange to us. I never understand why people act so surprised when there is a mass-shooting. Such things are inevitable in America, given the levels of gun ownership.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Many cite ‘protection’, Jack. Whether from burglars, car-jackers, or whatever. Not living there, I have no idea how much those fears are based on reality, but if so many people have guns, sooner or later many of them are going to get shot. I think it is ingrained in their psyche now, and cannot be undone.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

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