. . . we should all have guns ! The horror which reinforces in many of us the determination to ban personal firearms (as Australia has done) is the same which the NRA and its fanatical, pistol-packin’ supporters use to defend their right to possess automatic weapons. After all, the gung-ho gun-slingers, both Redneck and White Collar, might say, knives, automobiles, iron bars, hammers and golf-clubs kill people, and no one is proposing they be made illegal. These John Waynes, Bruce Willises and Charlton Hestons (the IRA icon) conveniently ignore the fact that the ONLY purpose for firearms is to kill or at least maim. Some of us would prefer that the prohibition to possess them include even arms used for hunting. But possession of weapons for hunting (necessary culling) requires approval. Easy access to handguns and military weapons has put them in the homes and hands of 8 out of 10 Americans ! None of that is news to you. It’s all been said before – and the dialogue of the deaf will continue after the next massacre which is waiting to happen. Every week in the U.S. a school is attacked by a gunman. The kids have taken to the streets to protest, while teachers are toting handguns. Someone is going to make a fortune in kid-size bullet-proof vests.
Gun deaths are a symptom of a lethal violence latent in all of us. Most of us set limits on the harm we are prepared to do to others to punish injustice, cruelty and physical or psychological harm. For some, fear of the legal punitive implications of violent, personally executed vengeance, is deterrent enough. For others, even “an eye for an eye”, let alone a life for a life, is seen as unworthy of decent human beings.
One cannot overlook, however, the apparent contradiction between the religiosity rampant in the U.S. and its uncontested rank as world-champion in mass-murder by firearms. Church-going, pious, hymn-singing, gentle folk might be expected to abhor violence. But even their preachers recognize that “Thou shalt not kill” is a conditional commandment. And no one – except maybe Christianity’s Founder who demanded we turn the other cheek – is going to condemn self-defense. Americans tote guns so as to protect themselves. The gun-lobby and its supporters say it can’t be helped if some bozos bust a cable in their cranium and turn a school room into a shooting gallery, before the gunman suicides or is shot. Hundreds of kids murdered ? Collateral damage, the price we pay for our constitutional right to bear arms. Don’t expect red-blooded Americans not to defend themselves. Circle the wagons ! Let ’em have it, right between the eyes ! Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition !
P.S. See also an earlier post, “Slaughter of the Innocents”, August 3, 2013. Remember Sandy Hook Elementary School ?