Like many of my fellow Europeans, I look on in disbelief at the USA, where a guy who has a beef with society can wreak such havoc.
Such people are universal, we have them in the UK and other countries have also had gun massacrese, yet the USA stands alone in that it will not take hard action to limit the amount of damage aq disgruntled individual can do.
Having said that, I have no time for people who’ll lament about how bad this is, without also offering some solution. The real question is what we do about it.
I think this question splits into two parts:
- what do you do about sales of new guns?
- what do you do about the guns that are already at large?
For the first of these questions, I don’t even think that the issue has anything to do with guns. If you talk about guns, it is never too long before the NRA gets mentioned, as if its view presides on the issue, that it doesn’t matter what individual people think. But no matter how powerful the NRA might be, it doesn’t have a vote at elections. Sure, it can fund (every) politicians’ campaign, but it doesn’t have a direct say.
So I think to push the legislators into taking action, then the first step is to limit the amount of pressure that a group like the NRA can exert. All pressure groups. So we get to a point where politicians can take a view on a particular view on something, and their that their re-election pot won’t just evaporate.
Even when you get to that point, it’s not even clear that America wants gun control. It certainly sounds like that, but untril there is a free vote, who knows?
But for that reason, I think we’re looking at the bigger issue of political funding. I haven’t really thought about this, I don’t much have a preference, but the aim would be to have politicians unable to be bribed by pressure groups.
To the second question, I’m afraid I see no real solution. There is a need to take guns away from people, and certainly not everybody who owns a gun will be willing. I’d predict an amount of bloodshed if anyone tried.
I could maybe see a partial solution here, though, in banning the sale of bullets, say, but this isn’t foolproof. But some kind of consumable without which, the gun cannot be fired. But even that isn’t foolproof. For example, people can make their own bullets, at a push. But maybe you’re just narrowing that field of potential kilers?
I don’t know. Maybe because the lawmakers also see no workable answer, that’s why they don’t even try? I think that, on that point, the genie is out of the bottle and there’s no going back – the rest of the world just looks at the USA and thinks “thank goodness it’s not us”. I despair.