Nothing New Under the Sun



Forty-four years ago, I visited a casino in England where a lone gunman armed with 2 hand guns murdered 7 people. I was fortunate to have been in the function room rather than the gaming room when an aggrieved (big roller) punter went on the rampage.


This was in a town of 50,000 people, which meant the death toll per capita was much higher than the recent Las Vegas incident. The killing ceased when the gunman ran out of bullets. One could only imagine what carnage would have eventuated, had semi-automatic weapons been readily available as they are now in Las Vegas.

On that occasion, availability or lack thereof of munitions mitigated the number of victims. Alas with the relaxed gun laws of Las Vegas it is possible for anyone over 18 years of age to purchase semi-automatic weapons that will discharge up to 30 rounds a time. The fact that the gunman in the Mandalay Hotel amassed 23 weapons in his room without attracting attention from security is a chilling thought. Nonetheless it is commonplace on the Strip to see would be Rambo’s wandering around with high powered weaponry slung over their shoulders.

A response from the National Rifle Association to this latest incident is eagerly awaited. On previous occasions the pro-gun lobby (via Fox News) has argued that America needs more guns in the hands of good guys to deal to the bad guys. One can only look upward in disbelief as to what place a John Wayne mentality has in modern society. Meanwhile, the world looks-on as America descends into an Armageddon of its own making.

Unfortunately, President Trump, the NRA and just about every pro-gun supporter refer only to the predicate of the amendment and totally ignore the preamble.

The Second Amendment reads as follows: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

To appreciate the legislation fully, one needs to acknowledge that in 1791 when the constitution was drafted, individual States had no law enforcement agencies. Hence the Second Amendment made provision for citizens to bear arms for the twofold purpose of serving in the militia and protecting individual families. Yet in 2017 with sophisticated law enforcement departments in place, hordes of extremist rednecks still wander around armed to the teeth in the misguided belief that the Second Amendment empowers them to so. Such behaviour proves beyond doubt that much of America is in La La land.

Most gun owners argue that carrying a firearm is necessary for personal safety. It is something of an irony that gun carrying U.S. citizens are four times more likely to be shot that unarmed people.

Twelve months ago, America had problems, but today things are far more intense. Right wing “Good Ole Boys” in the southern states are enjoying new-found freedoms to spread prejudice and hatred in a way that hasn’t been seen in decades, while an unhinged president actively seeks out confrontation on every front.

Determined to undo every piece of legislation created by his predecessor, President Trump loudly boasts about aid packages delivered to the Caribbean in the wake of hurricane Irma while those on the ground talk of starvation, lack of drinking water and medicines.

For the rest of the world, it is sad to see a country that gives and goes on giving in terms of technology, innovation, medicine, education, music, culture descend into what is rapidly becoming a living hell. The President may jut-out his weak chin in defiance of climate change, but the world can only take solace in the historical fact that tyrants sooner or later meet a sticky end!

Copyright © Julie Carter

Last modified on Wednesday, 04 October 2017 15:15

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