Friday, December 14, 2012
The horrifying event in Connecticut has totally consumed my day. I have strong feelings of sadness and anger; not sure which one is to the fore. I see the usual comments on Facebook about Americans’ having a Constitutional given right to bear arms. They also have to endure massacre after massacre of their young people and those who try to protect them.
The world has to watch along with the USA because most news networks are either based in the USA or have strong links to them. As tragic and mind numbing as these killings are, we should not forget the needless deaths in other countries, that occur through war, corruption, pollution and natural (and not so natural) disasters.
Americans will witness more and more of these events because their society (and that of many other countries, including NZ---it is a matter of scale) has evolved in a way that makes them possible. How many can be blamed on the Constitution is open to debate, but huge questions must be asked about how America sees guns.
For those who say that ‘mentally disturbed people need help and that such massacres will occur anyway,’ should think a little more outside their narrow reckonings. Surely if knives or other weapons were used, the killers could be stopped by the sheer force of the adults who are there to look after the (our) kids.
Yes, resources need to go into the management of individuals with mental health issues and we all know that such resources are incredibly hard to extract money from the tax paying public.
USA---we mourn for your dead, but please take a big hard long look at where things have progressed, simply because you feel that it is your inalienable right to bear arms.I need to take a break from the TV and escort Perdy (my Jack Russell) to the Bay for her swim in the water (or mud if the tides out!).
The scenes of ‘forced celebration’ in North Korea are enough to make me want to puke. This psychopath leads a starving population and seeks aid from neighbours and the West while his people go hungry. The hordes of soldiers and other citizens look entirely fake as they are paraded across our TV screens.
How can this man spend billions on an unnecessary ‘space programme’ that is nothing more than a front to manufacture a nuclear ‘deterrent?’
China, Kim’s neighbour stands by with this threat on its borders and makes comments that reflect its inability to come to terms with the ramifications of a nuclear capable despotic regime. When China finally wakes up it will be under the shadow of a mushroom cloud.
The UN and major powers protest and say ‘there will be consequences.’ What the hell does that mean; make the suffering people of North Korea starve even more? Kim knows this and uses the sympathy of the world to manufacture aid while he continues to pursue his dangerous dream.
That the people of North Korea are unable to fight against their ‘Emperor,’ is sad. They are too down trodden to organize meaningful resistance. The best they can hope for is to escape---to anywhere, because ‘anywhere is better than there.’
Horrible, revolting, sad and unexplainable, or is it? The news of yet another mass shooting of young students in the USA has shocked the world and sent the USA into a tail spin about the inalienable right of Americans to possess guns. I ask---is this latest slaughter, this time in a state that one would not expect such slaughter so unexpected? Connecticut is hardly a ‘red neck’ state.
The debate about gun ownership in America is a passionate one; adherents to that right to bear arms spread across the social divide. Each time we hear about another incident, the debate is renewed. Some claim the right to bear arms goes right back to the formation of the American Constitution. They claim that such a right allows them to defend themselves against danger, and perhaps equally important, the right to defend their rights against an overzealous or tyrannical Government.
This has spawned other groups who claim that they too have had an historical right to own and use arms for personal defence and for that very American sport, of hunting. At the time of the Constitutional formation, those reasons may have been valid, but in a modern and very much more populated America, those reasons seem only to make life more dangerous.
Having said the above, we must also look beyond the USA as other countries also have mass killings. In New Zealand we are not immune from mass slaughter as we too have a high gun ownership regime, albeit not as high as the USA. We have an energetic group of hunters and farmers who own weapons and of the course the criminal element of our population has always had and probably always will have access to weapons. There is something different about the USA; something entrenched in the psyche of the country. I do not believe that a large majority of Americans agree with their strong ‘gun lobby,’ but that later group has huge influence in the USA, far outweighing their actual numbers.
I suspect that even with this latest massacre, nothing will change in the USA. The usual ‘voices’ will plead for change and the same old network that supports the ‘gun lobby’ will force their will on politicians and the guns will still be relatively easy to obtain.
When there is historical justification for a policy or ‘right,’ then such constitutional rights become entrenched. Children will continue to die and communities will continue to be ripped apart. No amount of input from psychologists, teachers, community leaders and others ‘speaking out’ will change this insidious blot on American society. I fear for the people of the USA as their population increases and the stresses of everyday life become even more apparent. It takes little to light the flame of hate or frustration; thereby making it almost inevitable that we will continue to see the slaughter in Connecticut replicated in other towns and cities in the USA.
The President will speak with passion but nothing will change unless the people on mass line up behind him to work for change. If anyone can, Obama can.
PS. I just watched the president speak. He had tears and as a father of two daughters, he must be thinking of those families who have lost young ones. Use those tears to bring about change, Mr President.