The President’s New Gun Control Bill or Sandy Hook Re-visited

So the President has submitted for our consideration a new gun control bill. Just looking at the bare essentials being presented via the internet I don’t really see why the NRA has taken the automatic (pun intended) stance of deriding the Presidents bill. In case you’ve missed it the bill sets up banning automatic weapons, limiting magazines to 10 bullets, introduces universal background checks for all firearms buyers and increased scrutiny of mental health patients. Personally I see nothing wrong with the above measures.

Taking an overall look at the measures it looks like the most sensible for a gun culture society. In a nutshell (to me anyway) the bill says to me that psychotic nutcases with a hard-on against anyone cannot easily get access to an automatic weapon with 20 rounds in the magazine and more importantly if the prospective gun owner has a history of mental issues he has no chance to purchase one either. Yet the majority of the population will still be able to purchase fire arms. I do think that semi automatic weapons should be left out of the equation, because that is one step away from banning Mr or Ms Average from owning a handgun.

I expected the NRA to scream like a raped panther and I was not disappointed. In a perfect world the NRA would not necessarily embrace the new bill, but would actually use their powerful lobby to fine-tune it. Unrealistic I know.

I have always firmly believed that the right to bear arms is not open to debate. To open this constitutional right (that is spelt r-i-g-h-t and not p-r-i-v-i-l-e-g-e) to debate leads to the inevitable issue of the common man not having the right to own a firearm to protect his family and property and letting the criminal (who does not follow the law) own whatever weaponry he wants. It could be argued that the new gun control bill will be ignored by the criminal fraternity.

Of course it will. There is a huge black market out there for illegal weapons up for purchase by whoever has the contacts and the money already. The only thing that is a guarantee in all this controversy is that the criminal fraternity will make money out of all this. I have become a more fervent believer in the right to be armed after spending most of my adult life in a country where no one owns handguns and only a few have shotguns. I hasten to add that this is the law-abiding citizenry here, although a “law-abiding” citizen took his “legal” shotgun and killed a lot of people in Wales not too long ago while he drove his taxi cab around a village; the criminal’s are armed and not just with shotguns, automatic weapons and handguns are used when they feel it necessary.

I can also tell you that in a country where guns are illegal the government do not want you as a private citizen to protect yourself. It is far better in the law’s eyes to let yourself be shot, stabbed, robbed, raped or murdered first and then let the overworked wheels of justice grind on and solve the case (or not). In essence it is more or less a law that you as a private citizen can only be classed as a victim, otherwise you can find yourself locked up with the very people you were protecting yourself from.

But let me get off my soap box for minute, I did not really mean to step up there anyway. The thing that brought all this issue to the front of my mind was the reference to the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown Connecticut. The current administration is waving the massacre around like a “Remember the Alamo” flag. The very act of surrounding the podium with school children reeks of purposeful emotional blackmail. “Look” it says, “look at what is at stake here. Don’t you want to save your children?”

Emotions are running high.

The very fact that they feel comfortable trotting out the young corpses of the Sandy Hook tragedy says a lot. I am not going to trot out old tired statistics here. I’ve done so in another post. But in a sort of recap, I will point out that fewer people die each day as a result of gun violence than in a car accident. Don’t get me wrong though, the numbers are damned close. But if thinking that reducing the average law-abiding citizen’s access to guns will lower this number, I think you are being too optimistic.

The whole Sandy Hook thing has a touch of unreality to it. Not only because it seems unreal that anyone, madman or not, would shoot little kids; but also the parents reactions to the situation seemed bizarre. One news coverage video on the day of the massacre showed parents who were saying how awful it was and how frightening, etc while they both stood smiling for the cameraman. That in itself is disturbing on a deeper level, but just as disturbing are all the cries of “hoax” and “staged” and the seemingly inevitable conspiracy theorists.

In 1984 a man entered a San Ysidro California MacDonald’s and shot 21 people to death. The killer, 41 year-old James Huberty only stopped after a SWAT sniper took him out. No one suggested there was any staging going on nor did anyone come up with a conspiracy theory.

Too long ago? Okay, how about the 1999 Columbine shooting. Two senior students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed 13 people; 12 of which were fellow students, and injured a further 21 fellow students. This duo of death then committed suicide. The great outcry at the end of all that death and violence was not one of conspiracy, but one of anguish and looking for a reason for the horrible thing that happened.

People interviewed the day of the shootings were in shock. Tears were shed by people who had not lost anyone in the tragedy, but they cried at the very thought of it. Sandy Hook for some reason has fallen into a Twilight Zone event in the public’s eyes. The two parents with their child in the video clip I referenced *But guess what? I cannot find that clip anywhere.* seem to have a problem of deciding whether to be cheerful for the camera or concerned as parents. The whole country seems confused and that concerns me. Apart from the usual, “Let’s blame this on violent video games,” argument; the country has descended into a sort of conspiracy madness.

A madness that implied that the event hadn’t even really occurred; it was staged by the US administration. It was a publicity stunt set up to allow gun control to be legislated. Fingers are being pointed at anything that doesn’t “look right” by some arbitrary standard that seems to change daily. I am not jumping on the conspiracy train here; I’ll walk if it’s alright with you. I will admit that deep down the very timing of Sandy Hook seems wrong and (if I am really honest) pretty damned convenient for a President who is very much for gun control.

Conspiracy has been a watchword or catchphrase of America since Watergate. But I honestly think that someone in the White House is secretly glad that Sandy Hook happened. I do not doubt that someone up there gave a victory fist-pump in the air and went, “Yes! Just what we have been waiting for; a target that will appeal to every single parent out there, Mr President the time is now for our new gun control bill.”

So there you have it, a new gun control bill and a re-visit to Sandy Hook and the horror associated with it. You’ll have to forgive me if I don’t take a walk down that memory lane with you. In the meantime, I will worry about the unreal direction this entire thing is taking and I am hoping that I do not see Rod Serling hanging around. Of course the other thing I’ll be watching for is whether or not there will be a concerted effort to change the Constitution as it is currently in respect to the right to bear arms.

Our right for how long?

Dear Lord, Now I Take Me Off to School…

Sandy Hook  trauma. Photo courtesy of International Business Times.

Whilst reading my blog comments and perusing my Facebook page, Twitter, et al, I noticed a few more references to yesterday’s horrific events at Sandy Hook elementary school.

It seems to be the sort of thing that has become popular with the crazies who own a multitude of guns. This particular nut had two 9mm hand guns and what looks like a “sniper” rifle.

Someone on Twitter posted a Twitpic of the sniper rifle and asked the question, “What does your average citizen need this type of gun for?” The “old” me would have said, for deer hunting of course or other such big game. The new me says, “Yes, why would you need that type of gun?”

More accurately, why do you need two 9mm handguns and a .223 sniper rifle? Yes, the constitution states that all Americans have the right to bear arms. But do we need an arsenal of guns to protect our hearth and home? Is the right to bear arms for our personal defence inclusive of an armoury of weapons for both long-range and short-range protection?

It seems to me, in this day and age of computerization, that we have the ability to track and trace applications for weapons beyond the residence test. You will excuse me if I am not up on the more recent requirements necessary to purchase firearms in America. The last gun I bought was in 1981. But back then you only had to have a valid driver’s license to prove your age and that you had been a resident of that particular state for over six months.

Since that long time ago, we’ve become more computerized. There are a plethora of data bases out there with our names on them. It should be possible for someone to notice when an individual starts buying more than a couple of weapons.

I am not sure if that will help to “keep a lid” on the amount of nut cases out there who collect guns for their own personal Armageddon or apocalyptic shoot out, but it couldn’t hurt. At least then, we would have the chance to ask, before allowing a further purchase of weaponry, as to why they need it.

Answers in triplicate and no misspellings, please.

We’ve had at least two horrific events in a public place in America in this year alone. A movie theatre and an elementary school, please forgive me if I’ve missed anyone who lost a loved one in another mass shooting. I’m not overly familiar with all the news, just the ones that strike a chord in me.

There has been a rise in the number of school shooting in the last decade. Who can forget the massacre of the Amish children in a small school-house in 2006? There are more – a disturbing amount more – cases of young children paying the price of one (or more) man’s madness. Sadly so many more that I can’t remember them all.

There must be some way, besides adopting the British form of gun control, which can help to prevent this type of thing happening in the future. I suppose you could say that if one or more of the teachers could have been armed and possibly could have blasted the gunman out of his shoes, but do we really want our children to receive their education at the OK Corral? But that is a lot of could‘s with no shoulds to balance them out. So what should be done?

I still believe that if the government decide to pass any sort of “extreme” gun control that American‘s have the right to bear arms. That should never change. But I also believe that the right to bear arms does not mean the right to own a huge amount of weapons. Unless you are a “survivalist” the average family doesn’t need a huge stockpile of weapons and ammunition.

But that is not what this blog post is about. The issue of gun control will rage on until enough innocents pay the price for the lackadaisical attitude about weapons from the government.

This post is about a group of children and unarmed adults who were massacred in a school on Friday. When I say down to write this post I had a prayer jump in my conscious thought. It was the first prayer I was taught as a child, it is possibly the first prayer a lot of children learn.

“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.”

If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

“Amen.”

I think that perhaps the prayer could be changed. A little something to help kid prepare for life today in the educational playground of death that could await them when they depart the bus at school.

“Now I take me off to School.”

“Lord please protect me from some gun-toting fool.”

“If I am shot before I leave, please help my folks learn how to grieve.”

“Amen.”

This is not meant to be funny or poke fun at what children have to face at school each day. This is not intended in any way to make light of what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School yesterday – 14/12/2012, just eleven days before Christmas.

What this is intended to do, is to show just how dangerous it is out there for our little ones. We cannot protect them when they aren’t at home, neither can the police or other public services. I think that it’s time for everyone to rethink what is going on in the world and change their way of seeing things.

We need to take control before the madmen do. Let’s keep the lunatics under the control of the asylum and not let them  run it.

Amen.