So Glad I’m Not An American!

What is it with these people and their guns? Another nut job with high powered firearms has gone on a rampage in a school in Newtown, Connecticut. 20 kids and 6 adults murdered. Imagine the sheer bloody terror those children and adults experienced in the last moments of their lives! The murderer kills his mother, a kindergarten teacher, then  her entire class! What the f…. is it with these Americans and their guns? I know there are 300 million of them and over half own guns and so very few go berserk but… one is one too many.

On Tuesday a man killed two in an Oregon mall, raking the place with fire from his semi-automatic then he killed himself. In July a man killed 12 and wounded 58 at a screening of a Batman movie in Colorado. Let’s not forget  Columbine or Virginia Tech or the Amish school a year or so ago. What is it with modern day Americans and their fetish for firearms? Is it a small dick thing?

I know if you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns… ok. But it is not the ease with which guns can be had, legally or otherwise although that does make it less inconvenient to tool up. It is the mentality of the people who must have their guns. They point to the 2nd Amendment of the US Constitution which states:

‘A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed’

That is all about keeping and bearing arms so they can maintain a militia to defend the state, most likely against the government if it got out of hand but also against natives and neighbouring countries. In 1791 the average soldier was armed with the same basic longarm as the average citizen could own; a flintlock musket. Today a hunting rifle isn’t much use on the modern battlefield but semi and fully automatic assault weapons surely have no place in home defence unless your home is in downtown Kabul. That amendment is about keeping the power, the ultimate power to change government, in the hands of the people who elect that government to represent them. When they stop representing their will then they need to be replaced and if they refuse to go or use the power of the military against the people they are there to serve; then the people have the ability through the well regulated militia, to force the government to do their bidding. That’s pragmatic democracy.

Today the American fears their federal government and not without some justification. Americans believe in small government and lots of it, it seems. They vote for sheriffs, judges, school boards, city councils, stage governments and federal representatives, school presidents and class presidents and lord knows who else. They love voting and elections and feeling they are in control of those who control them. The gun is merely an extension of this need, a tool they feel empowers them yet a handgun in every home isn’t much use against a UAV armed with a Maverick missile or two. There are tons of guns in Iraq, Afghanistan, the Yemen and elsewhere and that doesn’t stop Obama’s drones doing the dirty work of cleaning up America’s enemies, foreign and in some cases, domestic.

So why the big gun gig thingy? If everyone carried a gun, openly, then it would be a deterrent to some. If everyone could carry a gun but concealed then it would deter many more. Although some would simply switch tactics and pop a cap in the back of people’s heads before they knew they had to go for the draw. Of course having a gun is a deadly responsibility. How many times do you think arguments that end in fisticuffs or foul language would end in bloodshed and dead bodies if more people were armed and packing heat at the time of the altercation? There are enough unstable, mental midgets out there masquerading as sane citizens as it is. Arm them with 9mm hand guns with 15 round magazines and you are asking for a decline in peaceful anger management outcomes.

You watch; as many people cry out for fewer guns, just as many there will demand the right to carry and protect themselves. I firmly believe the body count would be lower if more people on the scene had their own gun and knew how to use it. Not just point it and shoot it but really knew how to employ that weapon effectively and legally. The dilemma is that to achieve that you risk arming a bunch of people who may not react well under stress, might add to the friendly casualty list and even add their gun to the murderer’s arsenal as they become yet another victim.

In 1941 Japanese Admiral Yamamoto advised against invading the USA because there would be ‘a rifle behind every blade of grass’. Wise words. Today there are more people, more guns and more chances of your kids not coming home from school thanks to one of these people and their pistols. If you are unemployed or working a job that doesn’t include ‘benefits’ (health insurance), then you are plum out of luck if you happen to survive the shooting with just a debilitating, long term, incapacitating, life changing wound. We grieve over the dead and rightly so but we forget those who survive being wounded face months, even years of rehabilitation and that anywhere in the world that is expensive. In the USA it can be crippling, bankrupting the victims who may never see a dime in compensation. Like the title says, I am so glad I’m not an American. Nothing personal guys, just sayin’.

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