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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Taking the guns off the streets

I am still not sure whether this article on Sarah Palin's reaction to the murder of Jo Cox MP, is a parody or some sort of sick joke. Whatever it is, the piece sums up the 'shoot first ask questions later' attitude of far too many right wing American politicians.

In 2015, the US suffered 371 mass shootings, where four or more people are murdered in one event. That is over one a day. According to this website, so far in 2016, 49 mass shootings in the United States have left 73 people dead and 178 wounded. That makes the Orlando atrocity even more of a tragedy as America's lawmakers seem unable to take the necessary action to deal with this phenomena.

Yesterday's Guardian underlines the point. They report that on Monday the US Senate failed to advance new restrictions aimed at curtailing gun violence. Lawmakers voted down four separate measures just one week after the terrorist attack in Orlando marked the deadliest mass shooting in the nation’s history.

They say that Democrats and Republicans had put forth competing amendments to both strengthen background checks and prevent suspected terrorists from purchasing firearms. But all four bills fell short of the 60 votes needed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate, in a near replica of a vote held in December when a pair of shooters killed 14 people and wounded 22 more in San Bernardino, California.

Taking guns off the streets is the only way to stop halt the increase in mass-killings in America. It is difficult to understand why their law-makers can not see that.
I perceive the majority of US citizens are woefully - or even wilfully - ignorant of life in other developed countries. They don't appear to get the concept that vastly fewer people are victims of gun shootings in most of Europe than in the USA and that the vast majority of European citizens don't keep guns in their houses.

And they appear unable to understand even rudimentary statistics - the fact that what happened to Jo Cox is extremely unusual here seems beyond US understanding.

And I don't think the US problem should be confined to looking at mass shootings - it includes one-off gang shootings, people shot by accident in homes, supermarkets etc. - perhaps because their kid got hold of the gun and played with it.

It has to be a sick spoof. Some of those expressions do not ring true. But it is all too easy to believe it of Palin and her ilk. Ted Cruz, campaigning for the Republican candidacy, said “You don’t stop bad guys by taking away our guns. You stop bad guys by using our guns”. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/ted-cruz-says-you-stop-bad-guys-by-using-our-guns-as-republican-candidate-campaigns-at-shooting-a6761691.html
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