And so another disillusioned young American has shot some people for no other discernable reason than for the sheer hell of it.
Innocent people have died or are lying in hospital with half their heads missing because apparently he looked at a political website that had some target sights on it with links to various political figures across the worlds “greatest democratic nation (tm)”
In a country that allows anyone with $500 and a badly signed reference can walk into a 7/11 and order a hoggie (whateverthatis) and a 9mm Glock 19 for personal use (as appose to professional usage) it seems, and in fact, is inevitable that people will get shot when guns are so freely available.
But is it a bad thing?
Sure, the American constitution states that a man should be free to bare arms, but why can’t they just roll their sleeves up and show off the patch of skin between the wrist and elbow instead of blasting each other out of existence and going “YEE-HA!” all the live long day?
There are those nations across the world that hate America and all it stands for and call it a nation of devils and the root of evil.
And when terrible things like this happen it can be easy to see how these opinions are formed so quickly and widely.
From the capitalist expansions of McDonalds (I like McD’s by the way) and Starbucks, which are now synonymous with evil corporations etc etc.. To the role the US army has played in military action across the world (Iraq, Afghanistan etc) every monkey with a keyboard has an opinion in one form or another.
But then we are forced to acknowledge the existence of Jared Lee Loughner, who is just one stupid moron in an ever increasing list of humans who feel that for whatever reason they have the right to end somebody else’s life.
And let us be clear here. This guy was not under any immediate threat for his own life or saving the life of anyone else. Which could be seen as a reasonable time to use a hand gun. But he wasn’t.
He simply wanted to cause harm and fear and end the lives of as many people as he could.
That is wrong.
There is surely no other opinion worth any value that can be written in three words or less that sums up the validity of what happened.
But in a more general view of what is now a regular feature of news that finds its way across the Atlantic to our shores, it seems almost impossible, when faced with figures of nearly 30,000 gun related deaths in 2004 in the USA, to ignore the fact that gun crime and gun related deaths are a very important issue that somehow needs to be resolved.
According to Americas Centre for Disease Control and Prevention the figure of 29,569 people died in 2004 in the USA alone.
That’s the entire population of Vukovar in Croatia (2005)
Or the equivalent of 1 in 10 people in the city of Bradford.
Those facts may not mean anything to you but imagine if they were all your friends on facebook!
There you happily clicking away on city farm or cup-a-hoop or angry birds or whatever.. And you see a notification in you inbox....you click on it excitedly hoping for a link to a funny video of a cat stuck in a bottle or an invite to an online party but no... Horror strikes and you find a tenth of them have “un-friended you”
That’s what Bradford would feel like but much, much worse. Because PEOPLE HAVE DIED.
How would that make you feel?
Yea, pretty shocking stuff I think you’ll agree.
But what can be done?
The short answer is.. Not a lot.
Here in the UK we have one of the world’s smallest figures for gun related crime.
Mainly because guns for home use are illegal and therefore not many people have them.
Although we do have some of the wierdest looking female serial killers in the world - Rose West and Maxine Carr to name but 2. (im'm not even going to mention Fred west and Shipman or the yorkshire ripper)
America is different.
America has a constitution and America is proud of it constitution, and for the most part they should be. They are a nation build on a multitude of racial and ethnical diversities. They build on the success they make for themselves.
They have built a power structure to both military and economical and capitalist that spans the world and whether you like or not the world would probably be in a worse state than it is now. In general...
But for all the “love” and “honour” its citizens hold for the American dream and the way of life it proudly holds up to the world, it also allows manipulation of its own strongly held beliefs.
Guns’ being the one the world is looking at today.
There is no quick answer for how the USA can resolve its issues of gun control, as most countries would find issues with their own home grown problems, but there is one thing I am sure would make a difference to all our their woes.
It may not seem so at first, but slowly and surely the American people would eventually see the benefits of my simple one step plan for peace.
And that plan is?
Spell the word colour correctly.
It’s not color – its colour!
Oh, and stop driving on the wrong side of the road... that can’t help matters.
And stop ending really good shows half way through with no ending. That is what’s sending these kids crazy.
If you’re going to start something – then finish it.
There is nothing more infuriating than. . .