The recent school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut shocked the world. Yet again, a maniac with guns caused carnage in a US institution. President Obama's proposed solution: ban assault weapons. The NRA's solution, put armed guards in schools. The first suggestion is just tinkering, the second insane. Neither will do anything to prevent the next atrocity.
On the same day, a maniac in China ran amok in a school. He was armed with a knife and hacked away injuring more than 20 children but killing none of them, despite his obvious intentions. Why didn't he have a gun? Because they are not available to Chinese citizens. The message is clear. Whilst you won't prevent the insane from occasionally going postal there is something that can be done to minimize the impact of those tragedies. Get firearms out of society.
After the Dunblane killings in Scotland in 1996, the UK made it illegal for private individuals to own any firearm with hard case ammunition. The UK gun lobby protested but so far, that tragedy has not been repeated in the UK. The USA could do the same thing but don't for one minute think it will be easy.
The US constitution protects the right of its citizens to own and bear firearms. This article, the second amendment, was added to the constitution in 1791 in light of the very real threat of invasion. That threat has long receded. The USA has professional forces to protect its interests and its citizens. The second amendment should be repealed simply because there is no need or justification for it. Arguing to the contrary is similar to supporters of radical Islam justifying terrorism on the basis that the Koran says that infidels should be killed. Whilst there is much to admire in Islam, the Koran was written a long time ago for different times. Interpretations such as those spouted by mad mullahs have no more place in the modern world than the insane spoutings of the NRA and its supporters.
Whilst it is easy to pour scorn on the NRA, it can't just be ignored. It is the largest lobbying group in the USA, spending huge amounts on protecting the "rights" of their members. Like the mad mullah's they trade on fear and superstition, spreading their lies far and wide.
So, what America really needs is an attitude adjustment. Ordinary citizens need to be convinced that gun ownership is against their interests not for them. The NRA says that the only effective solution to a maniac with a gun is another maniac with a gun to kill the first maniac. That's the kind of argument that led to the Cuban missile crisis that came so close to destroying the whole world. After a long time, the end result to that crisis was disarmament, exactly the right reaction and exactly what's needed here to solve this crisis.
I was dismayed to learn that the mother of Adam Lanza was preparing for the breakdown of society by stockpiling weapons and making sure she and her son knew how to use them. I too think society is on the verge of a crisis and I too am preparing for it. Not by arming myself and my family but by making sure I can raise enough food so we can be self-sufficient and hopefully have some excess to help those less fortunate or less prepared. Hopefully I can keep my loved ones safe that way and hope that people like the misguided Mrs. Lanza stay away from my property. If instead armed thugs come to take our food then we will do the best we can to defend ourselves (without firearms) and hope that when society reconvenes the thieves and murderers are brought to justice. I'm sure the NRA would pour scorn on my views but I am convinced that my attitude is right thinking, moral and just. All we need now is for the majority of Americans to agree with me and they can then make a start down the road towards sanity.
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