Gun Control   Leave a comment

This past weekend gave us memories that we would prefer to forget but will remain with us forever.

As I write this the death toll in the Las Vegas massacre stands at fifty-nine, with over five hundred injured. So many families devastated, ripped apart. Ours was lucky. My daughter is a publicist for the festival and was there, watching the show, along with over twenty thousand people. The headliner, Jason Aldean, who my daughter also works with, was five songs into his set when the bullets started spraying the crowd. She managed to get out of the venue safely by climbing, crawling, running, hiding. She is home, safe, obviously traumatized but time is a healer.

The horrific murders and attack have reignited the issue of stricter gun controls in the US. Eighteen guns were apparently found in the perpetrator’s hotel room, and another sixteen or so in his house, eighty miles away.

Nevada has one of the most lax gun control policies in the country – you don’t need a permit and it is legal to buy and own assault weapons.

It is unjustifiable why anyone needs so many guns and is even more indefensible that citizens can buy military style semi-automatics.

The Second Amendment states the right to bear arms, and I don’t have a problem with that, as such, it is just the background checks that need tightening and also I do believe, with certain exceptions, that most people be restricted to owning two guns.

The premise that having all these guns is for self-defense is, with respect, laughable. You only have two hands for a start, so a handgun and a rifle would suffice.

In February, Trump changed the law and made it easier for some people with a history of mental health issues to obtain guns. One has to ask whether the thirty million dollar contribution by the National Rifle Association had anything to do with this, and further, whether their other major contributions to people in Washington is the reason for the reluctance of congress to at least seriously consider legislation for stricter control and restrictions.

I understand the argument that if, for example, some people had been armed, other atrocities would not have resulted in so many deaths, but that is certainly not the case in Vegas!

Here in Tennessee a law was passed a couple of years ago that allows guns in bars, and there are now talks for teachers in schools to be armed. It is a vicious circle, out of control. If nothing else, what does this actually say about the state of this country today and the society we live in?

I also understand the culture – in Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and the rest of the south, hunting is a way of life. Only today the local paper in the small town here shows a photograph of a fifteen year old boy with the dead body of a buck that he has killed. Many people find this repugnant; I don’t actually and I’m a huge animal lover. I don’t believe in fox hunting, which is cruel and barbaric or hunting for sport at all, like trophy hunting which should be banned worldwide, but I do believe in killing for food, it is something after all that we have done as humans since time began.

How many more innocent people though have to die before common sense prevails and changes to an antiquated ‘law’ that is over two hundred years old and so out-dated are at the very least seriously explored.

Americans own the most guns per person in the world. There are more public mass shootings in America than in any other country in the world. Guns kill 1,300 children in the US each year – what if that was your child?

Here in Tennessee forty percent of people own a gun; in California it is half that, whilst actually on the east coast certain states have a percentage as low as five percent. Arizona has the highest percentage, nearly sixty percent.

As a comparison, after a couple of mass shootings there, Australia drastically changed their gun laws and there has not been one single mass incident there since.

Surely everyone would agree that something needs to be done, there is no argument that can be made against at least exploring possible changes.

“It’s the Second Amendment!” – well change that amendment, it was written in 1789, and it can be done, it was revised in 1992.

It is not healthy to have a President who is obviously a bought puppet, who has a conflict in interest, due to his accepting contributions. As recently as ten years ago Trump was for changing gun ownership laws, stricter regulation and strongly against ownership of semi-automatics; now, after that thirty million contribution, plus the endorsement of the NRA, he is a supporter of gun ownership.

It’s telling what money buys, but what price do you put on a life, be it a young child or a senior person?

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Posted October 3, 2017 by Jon Johanson in Uncategorized

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