I’ve deliberately neglected to join the debate over the massacre at Sandy Hook Grade School, partly because I imagined others more competent than I (like the US President) would make the obvious case for gun control (which he hasn’t), but mainly because I’m tired of telling Americans what utter prats they are for indulging in childish games, with deadly weapons that regularly result in just the sort of carnage we’ve seen this week in Connecticut.
(A true political leader would have signed a presidential order banning automatic weapons, before shedding a tear onstage).
The post-massacre indulgence of emotional outburst and pseudo-religious fervor, professionally roused by a media intent on milking every ounce of anguish, is so well stage-managed one could be forgiven for thinking the whole thing was a fiction constructed entirely for our dubious entertainment.
CBS actually sent a reporter to the Scottish town of Dunblane, scene of a 1996 school massacre, to broadcast advice from parents of children murdered in that attack for the supposed benefit of bereaved parents in Newtown, Connecticut. Personally, if I were a parent whose kid had been slaughtered that day, I doubt I’d be settled in front of the TV watching the evening news.
CBS did mention that the British government imposed a ban on all handguns following the Dunblane shootings, but failed to acknowledge it was the only school massacre in British history and there hasn’t been another in the sixteen years since the ban was imposed. Maybe, just maybe, gun control works, after all?
Prat of the Week award must surely go to NRA vice president, Wayne LaPierre…
…for his inane statement:
The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.”
He obviously lives in a fantasy land where everyone is either a John Wayne ‘good guy’…
…or a John Wesley Hardin.
(If you don’t know who John Wesley Hardin was, look him up).
Apparently, LaPierre wants us all to walk around sporting the latest fashion in lethal hardware, ready – though, possibly not able – to take down the next killer of innocent kids before he has a chance to fire his weapon.
I use the masculine third person deliberately. Ever heard of a woman shooting up a school, or anywhere else, for that matter? No, testosterone is the real problem here. It’s male hormones that drives the gun rights lobby.
(And, please, don’t write and tell me how many women are gun freaks. Women have been mimicking men since time immemorial. Women don’t keep guns to protect themselves from other women, now, do they?)
Frankly, don’t you think it’s slightly sad when grown men believe we should all return to the days of Hollywood’s highly romanticized ‘Wild West’? Particularly, when it’s more important to them than the safety of their own children?
There’s much rubbish spouted by gun rights activists on the internet – everything from protecting themselves from their government (fat chance!) to the UN wanting to take over the world and gun control being responsible for World War II, but the plain fact is that civilized societies don’t need guns, don’t have guns, and most importantly, don’t WANT guns.
It’s a simple choice, admirably demonstrated by the UK: if you control firearms you’ll limit the number of tragedies like the one at Sandy Hook.
If you don’t, you won’t.