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Saturday, 3 October 2015

People with Guns Kill People

It's always tricky when we say things are like other things. It's powerful but it doesn't have to be right or accurate.

An example at the moment being the idea that the argument for Britain keeping a nuclear deterrent, is the same argument given in the United States for having a gun.

Well, I don't get that comparison. The reason we in Britain mostly get away with having very few mass murders is that the laws against just anyone owning just any gun, are backed up by a police force who can do something about enforcing the laws. By criminalising guns, we make it much harder to buy them, sell them, get hold of them. And we assume that the police will remove them from people who get them - with the use of superior force, if required.

On a worldwide nuclear scale, there is no such police force. Wanting nuclear weapons as a deterrent is actually the equivalent of somebody in the Wild West wanting a gun. And when I say the Wild West, I don't mean Bristol. I heard of a Bristolian who used to take a gun hidden in his coat when he went out in the evening because "there's so many nutters about". I apologise for the language, that is what he said. And I can't do the accent, of course. All I can say is that certainly there was one person out in Bristol in the evenings that you would do well to steer clear of.

If we had a worldwide police force, capable of detecting and confiscating nuclear weapons, the comparison would be valid in my opinion. We don't. The UN is ineffectual a lot of the time, and incapable of developing nuclear-weapon-removing technology. Let's face it - they couldn't even find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which is something the old West Midlands Serious Crimes Squad could probably have done in their sleep.

All of which is not to say we should or shouldn't have nuclear weapons. Just to say that the comparison is invalid. Now let's look at America.

You see, the thing is, Americans do have a police force. Quite a well-armed one. Probably too well-armed, but then the problem for the American police is that there are guns all over the place. No wonder they need arming. The could be less well-armed, and less trigger-happy in some cases, if only the general public themselves were less likely to be armed.

But they're not, are they? In parts of the country, the public are armed to the teeth. If you asked them why, they'd say "protection". Not gathering that, if guns in general were seriously restricted, the need for protection would largely go away.

I guess I'm not saying anything that isn't obvious - nor anything that the average American gun lobbyist would completely ignore on the grounds that they have a right under God to arm themselves with shotguns, AK47, missile launchers and anything else they feel they need for protection. They got this right so their militias could protect them from the British, I believe. But honestly, we really don't want them back.

If you want to know why so many Americans die in mass-murders in places of education, there's two components. One seems to be a kind of narcissism that says that somebody who gets their name attached to a massacre is not a useless, pathetic, half-arsed loser, but some kind of celebrity. And the other is that if you give a useless, pathetic, half-arsed narcissistic loser a gun, you give them power and the ability to get what the crave.

A useless, pathetic, half-arsed narcissistic loser armed with anything other than a gun is gonna last about three minutes before some jock puts him in an arm lock. Think your gun laws are protecting you, strange American gun lobbyists? No. They're just putting your children at risk from losers. What an odd view on life you have. People with guns kill people. Even pathetic people with guns can do it. People without guns have a much harder job.

4 comments :

  1. There is a conundrum here.

    First let me say, I'm not a gun advocate. But just listen. In the 1940s (no, I don't remember them either, but according to my elderly relatives) the country was awash with guns. There were thousands and thousands of ex-Servicemen and ex-National Servicemen, and just about every one of them took away from his experience, along with the rude version of "Kiss me goodnight, Sergeant Major", a gun and/or a knife/bayonet/grenade of some kind as a souvenir.

    I remember, myself, about 1960 playing with a gun which some National Service uncle had left lying around - a Luger, IIRC, unloaded.

    And they had been thoroughly trained to use these weapons to kill. And quite a lot of them had been mentally destabilised by their experiences. But here's the thing: violent crime was at an all-time low in the 1940s and 1950s. Gun and knife crimes were almost unheard-of. And of children being killed, or killing, by some weapon which a dickhead (sorry, ArchD!) had left loaded and accessible, not a trace. Nor was there a trace of armed police, either; One reason W. Churchill was looked at askance was the Siege of Sydney Street, which involved armed police, when he was Home Secretary.

    What has happened since? Something has changed, drastically, in the general attitude to guns and knives, but what?

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  2. There weren't so many people, of course. And the drugs scene wasn't what it became. The rise of crack forced rates up.

    And these mass events are just the tip of fthe iceberg. Lone-twerp killings make up a small proportion of the seething regularity of US gun crime.

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  3. Agree with you there. As I understand it, the argument goes: A burglar might break in and kill me. Therefore I'll keep a gun in my bedside table. But of course I won't have time to unlock a cupboard, load the gun and take the safety off if a burglar does come through the door, so I'll keep a loaded, cocked gun in an unlocked place (that is, if I don't have it lying out in the open, which might be quicker for when the burglar, etc).

    On a similar theme, over here I understand that many people, especially young, are carrying knives in, they say, self-defence, because everyone else does, especially the bad people.

    Somehow I can't see this particular genie going back in the bottle.

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  4. Agree with the principle entirely. However, we should remember there was no jock available when Lisa Potts defended the little children in her care from a machete-wielding attacker.

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