BBC had a reporter in a gun store somewhere in the US. One gun happy customer or staff member said this latest shooting wasn’t a gun issue but a mental health issue.
OK, so keeping automatic rifles out of the hands of a person with issues wouldn’t have prevented the deaths?
And would that same commenter be happy to pay the taxes to solve all the mental health problems in the US, so honest decent sane folk can have their guns? As if that would be possible.
But he may have a point. It might be a mental health issue really. An issue of the mental health of these people that see their particular right to bear arms and their right not to pay taxes (that might help to improve the health of the nation) as being so essential.
The American Dream turned nightmare (again). Automatic firearms in the hands of a people steeped in religious ire, enabled by conservative greed, and libertarian I’m OK so sort yourself out because I couldn’t give a fuck and I’m not paying taxes to help you fix your shit. What could go wrong, so often?
Just in case you think the right to bear arms and religious nut-jobbery are independent carzinesses, try this: What Does the Bible Say About Gun Control?
Maybe all this lunacy is hard to avoid in a place like the US. Diversity doesn’t guarantee sanity. The UK is smaller and it’s easier to manage the craziness. Our total population is only about twice that of California; about 20% of the US as a whole. There are fewer backwaters where craziness can unfold unseen in plain sight, though we’ve had our share.
In Hungerford UK in 1987 Michale Ryan killed 16 people. How did he manage to kill so many? Semi-automatic rifles and a hand gun. Surprise. In 2010 Derek Bird killed 12. His weapons: a double-barrelled shotgun and a .22-calibre rifle with a scope and silencer. But part of the problem in this case was that he was on the move. The death toll could have been less had he tried a single location spree. Without automatic weapons there’s the opportunity to fight back at some point, or to evade the shooter. Without any firearms the nut case is even more limited in the damage he can do.
This is the armoury of James Eagan Holmes, suspect killer of 58, as reported on wiki:
On May 22, 2012, Holmes purchased a Glock 22 pistol at a Gander Mountain shop in Aurora, and six days later bought a Remington Model 870 shotgun at a Bass Pro Shops in Denver. On June 7, just hours after failing his oral exam at the university, he purchased a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle, with a second Glock 22 pistol following on July 6. All the weapons were bought legally. In the four months prior to the shooting, Holmes also bought 3000 rounds of ammunition for the pistols, 3000 rounds for the M&P15, and 350 shells for the shotgun over the Internet. On July 2, he placed an order for a Blackhawk Urban Assault Vest, two magazine holders and a knife at an online retailer.
His defence at the moment is based on his mental state. But would his mental state have enabled him to kill so many without all the firepower?
Obviously not. Surely that is obvious, right? But I’ve got it all wrong it seems. Gun control isn’t the answer!
Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, believes we should arm the teachers. This, from the New Yorker:
“Following the Newtown shooting, Larry Pratt, the Executive Director of Gun Owners for America, suggested that these massacres might be avoided in the future, if only more teachers were armed.”
Be prepared, for your next job interview:
Yes, you have a PhD in your subject, have taught at several prestigious schools and come with glowing references. But I see that you are only expert in small arms. Is there some reason why you never trained with semi-automatics? You’re not a God-damned Darwinian Evolutionary pacifist sun of a bitch are you?
The New Yorker again:
“As Pratt’s sentiment should make clear, the United States has slipped its moorings and drifted into a realm of profound national lunacy.”
Slipped? Drifted? As in dived headlong?
Anticipated teacher training: