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Thursday, 13 January 2011
SOCIETY: AMERICAN GUNS
First of all, my apologies to any American readers of this post. It's likely to prove extremely offensive to you because I approach the topic from a very different direction to you. This post is only partly inspired by the Tucson tragedy but, more importantly by a piece of information I discovered an hour or so ago.
American gun laws and the attitude of the average American to guns are, by the standards of British culture, irrational.
To me, they are bat-fucking insane.
The argument, I believe, starts as follows. It is a constitutional right of Americans to bear arms. Not that simple apparently. Wikipaedia goes into some detail about the interpretation of particular clauses concerning this. It should also be noted that the constitution was created at a time when the USA was a frontier state and conflict with other counties (like Britain) and with its own indigenous inhabitants (and we all know what happened to them) was common. I have no doubt that the right of its citizens (which didn't include slaves) to bear arms was vital to its survival. However, it's been a long time since anyone tried to take over the USA and the indigenous inhabitants stopped being a threat over a century ago. The need to bear arms is long since over. I should note that this right is also enshrined in the constitutions of 44 individual states.
The argument continues: "If guns were outlawed, only outlaws would have guns." Americans need guns for self-protection. Good heavens, how many outlaws are there in proportion to the general population? How many innocent people die from accidents with hand guns and how many die at the hands out outlaws with guns? I don't have any figures, I'm jus' askin'. Guns in this country, apart from a few strictly licensed, are in the hands of outlaws and yet the proportion of deaths from guns in this country is about 10% of that of the USA. Now I personally don't know anyone who has a gun. Is there anyone in the States who doesn't? Here's another quote: "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." Sorry, not quite: people with guns find it much easier to kill people than if they didn't have a gun to start with.
And now the quote which I found today.
US states with the most lax gun laws and highest
gun ownership have the nation’s highest per capita
gun death rates.
In other words: the more guns, the more deaths from guns.
This is a simple and obvious correlationand the corollary is this: the fewer guns the fewer deaths from guns. This sofucking obvious that it's unbelievable that the average American can't grasp this simple concept.
But it explains why so many nut-jobs can get hold of guns and massacre people at rally, at schools and university campuses, and shoot senators and presidents and John fucking Lennon.
Until American realises this and can overcome the vested interests of those involved with guns, then thousands more innocents will die because the sale of guns is not restricted as it is in most other western countries. Simple statistics prove this. But until then, Americans are going to keep of dying because of national institutionalised insanity.