Make My Day ... And Think About It First
It's not often that I write something and then come back to it a few days later, but the aftermath of the Connecticut shooting is really getting to me. First of all, you can't address mental illness by banning assault weapons. Secondly, even if a law is passed banning any sale of any weapon to anyone in America, you can't change the fact that America will still be nation with too many guns. You would have to throw every single gun into the sea to stop people from using one. Thirdly, tragedies fade with time. Even if Obama gets a bill through Congress, it will only be matter of time before the state legislatures start chipping away at it, or before someone gets it before the Supreme Court, who strike it down just as they struck down the Brady Law in Printz v United States (1997) and also the ban on handguns in Washington DC in DC v Heller (2008). Either that, or the law will simply expire, just as the last assault weapons ban did, in 2004. Fourthly, a new law will not prevent Americans from insisting on gun ownership. Even a constitutional amendment to neutralise the second amendment (which is not going to happen any time soon) will not take away the significance of the gun in American culture. Christ, only recently, people in Utah were trying to make the handgun the symbol of their state. Gun sales soared just after Obama got re-elected last month.
The other thing which nobody seems to be asking is, why the hell weren't people talking about 'action' after the Denver shootings a few months ago? I realise that the Connecticut one is more shocking because it involved a large number of young children, but this only suggests that American politicians are only prepared to act when something horrific happens and makes it necessary. But then, if the kind of 'action' they like to talk about (i.e. a new law) had been taken after Denver, would that honestly have stopped Adam Lanza from doing what he did in Connecticut? The other horrifying thing, of course, was that while the Denver shooting happened at a cinema (which allowed the press to talk all that crap about the 'Batman' films), this one happened at a school, which makes it even more shocking. I recall the aftermath of the Virginia Tech massacre, when some silly sod was interviewed on 'Newsnight' and claimed that if those students had been allowed to carry guns on campus, they could have shot back and killed the perpetrator and saved lives. Based on that logic, where do they go from here? Surely teachers should have gun training and be ready in the event of an attack? Or the school children themselves? The point I'm making is, how can you reverse anything with a law which addresses nothing other than the accessibility of guns? If it's really the case that 'guns don't kill people, people kill people', then why, if guns are not the problem, are Americans only talking about guns after Connecticut?