Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Guns are Americans Mutant Gene

This is a guy in a Virginia bar have a few beers with his mates.

Yes, indeed that is a pistol of some kind poking out of his jeans.

Overseas people like me view picture this with a mixture of (a.) amusement  (b.) unease.

I certainly would not want to be in a room with a bunch of intoxicated guys carrying weapons designed to kill everyone in that space.

Yet, Americans view this as being part of their DNA, be it a mutant gene of some sort.

Like an out-of-control alcoholic the way to solve any issue is to go out and drown their sorrows.

In light of Sandy Hook we have some Americans now wanting teachers to be armed.

Why not go the whole hog and arm the kids?

Make it compulsory for everyone?

Tourists could be given lessons on how to kill (American for ‘self defence’) on arriving at LAX, JFK etc.

To elaborate on the analogy of the drunk, unless you can first accept you have a problem with alcohol you can’t solve the issue.

Americans can’t accept as a country they have a problem with guns, cling on to a piece of paper that was penned when Red Indians roamed the plains, bears the forest outside their door and when the local sheriff was a day horse-ride away.   

There is much to admire about America’s libertarian ethos, but the countries gun culture is frankly dangerous.

I am proud to live in a country where even the Police don’t carry guns in the normal course of their duties.

I enjoy going to my regular pub and having a beer without having to pack a gun.     

1 comment:

The Vicar said...

"Why not arm the kids?"

Actually, gun advocates have been pushing the idea of compulsory universal armament for decades now, although most people don't know it even within the U.S. because it sounds like a crackpot idea even to most of us.

The reasoning, for lack of a better word, is that people will be afraid to shoot because of the increased likelihood of retaliation.

Of course, these mass shooters generally aren't in a frame of mind where they care about retaliation anyway; most of them don't survive the attacks anyway, so clearly they aren't thinking about it from that angle. The best you could hope for is that the increase in shootings resulting from arming the mentally unstable and very stupid would be offset by armed prevention, which is definitely a gamble -- and if you did arm everyone it would probably be impossible to undo that.

The idea, strange though this may seem to outsiders, actually gets more play in the wake of a mass shooting than it usually does. In a strange way, that actually makes sense: if you refuse to admit that easy availability of guns is the cause of these events, then you have to offer some sort of defense against the obvious and immediate calls for bans and disarmaments, and the only direction to go, if you're going to move at all, is to double down.

(A saner move would be to say "well, yes, these things happen, but this shooting is no more a reflection of average gun owners than of average vegetarians; overall, gun violence is down, but we notice is much more when it occurs for that very reason". Which is all true, although not really a very good argument in favor of guns, but the gun lobby over here is just not sane.)