Friday, 21 December 2012

A Moment's Silence

A week on and a moment of silence (CLICK). Here are five sadly familiar young faces, all victims of mass murder in Newtown, Connecticut, USA. They are Noah Pozner, 6, Jessica Rekos, 6, British-born Dylan Hockley, 6, Grace McDonnell, 7 and Emilie Parker, 6. President Obama has called for US gun control proposals by January. This morning Wayne LaPierre, chief executive of the powerful National Rifle Association, countered Obama's call with something that sounds like a rejected line from a John Wayne script: "The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun". He wants a gun-toting guard at every school in the country. In short, his answer to gun crime is a proliferation of guns! The one question that nobody seems to have asked is: Why should the killer's mom, living in a peaceful suburban neighbourhood, have felt the need to buy two handguns and a military assault rifle? Was she expecting the Taliban to parachute into Newtown?

8 Comments:

At 23/12/12, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whilst we would like the guns off the street it is impossible to get all of them off the street. The home owner has a right in The United States to protect themselves and their family from harm. Sadly if you allow guns to be taken away from responsible citizens the country will be no safer. It will give carte blanche to every nut to use the illegal guns. My condolences to the families. May all of those who suffered during the shooting including those who witnessed it find peace.

 
At 23/12/12, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

You make a valid point. It will probably take generations to clear the USA of illegal guns. But that doesn't mean a start shouldn't be made. The killer's mum was presumably a "responsible citizen" and it didn't do her any good. She's dead, shot by her own gun.

And of course any responsible citizen can go mad or become suicidal.

The American right to keep and bear arms was enshrined in the days of the muzzle-loading musket. It made sense then. The slaughter last week wouldn't have been possible with such a gun. Now there are machine pistols and assault rifles that spew out bullets like rain. There is no legal use for such guns, whatever the NRA says. They should be outlawed.

 
At 23/12/12, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whilst you make a valid point about never a right to use a gun morally, tell that to the nuts and killers. Americans need to protect themselves. There is still a need sadly to have a gun as it can protect your family only in self defence. Taking them away from responsible adults will only put the law abiding citizens in more danger.

 
At 24/12/12, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Because the country's so full of guns, it is impossible to take them off the street. Anonymous above makes a valid point that it will make it no safer when all the legal guns have been taken away. In fact it will have a worse effect. The homeowner has a right to protect their property and morally their family. If they no longer have that right then the criminals will have a field day and you miss the point Coxsoft, although it was enshrined in the American Constitution in a day when there was lawlessness and fewer guns, the amount of illegal guns nowadays is totally catastrophic. Therefore taking them away from the “responsible citizens” only allows them a disadvantage. You will never stop tragic shootings whether or not the legal weapons have been collected by the police. If someone wants to kill then they can get hold of an illgal weapon. You can however stop the killers by shooting at them however vile this sounds only by allowing the responsible citizens a chance to defend themselves. Making a change to the law in such an emotional state can only do damage.

 
At 24/12/12, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The NRA's spokesman puts his case wrongly. Although he is trying to say that there are good guys with guns who can defend those without a weapon against the bad guys with guns, it would have been better if they had sent someone to represent them who could have put their case more sensitively. The problem is that with such a volume of guns on American streets legal or not, there is no way of guarding America's children against a madman. The sanest person can snap and although fewer would have died if he had gone in and stabbed the children the problem is still the same, it is impossible to guard against such a man when you don't know when it is happening nor from whom. Sadly you do need legal weapons whether you like it or not to counteract those who would could not care less who they harm. There are too many illegal guns on the street and too many legal weapons for a nut to get hold of them for it to be a viable idea to get rid of the lot.

 
At 24/12/12, Anonymous Anonymous said...

May they rest in peace. There was an incident a few years ago of a boy called Ben Kinsella and my apologies to the family if I have spelt his name wrong. He was a lovely young man who was fatally stabbed. We have a knife problem in this country and people called for the introduction of frisking in schools and and airport type of machines to see if youngsters were carrying knives. A gun problem is America's problem. Guns in schools are rare and school killings are still rare as tragic as they are. It is more irresponsible to take them off the street to disadvantage America's population. The killer who is determined to wreak tragedy on someone will do so with a legal or an illegal weapon. The responsible citizen as it has been stated above should always have the right to defend themselves against the lunatic and against the wicked. Just like it is the right of Britons everywhere to defend themselves from someone with a weapon it is also the right of Americans to defend themselves however repugnant that appears.

 
At 24/12/12, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fully agree that such guns should be taken off the street as there is no place for a fully automatic weapon. However, it is wrong to stop Americans from protecting themselves with a hand gun or rifle or shotgun against someone who wants to harm them or their family. Some guns have to be taken off the street and I don't know if there are any states that allow a fully automatic weapon. Although when the constitution was written there were muskets, today there are so many illegal guns that people should be allowed to defend themselves. It is the type of gun that makes the difference and whose hand it is in. My condolences to the families.

 
At 24/12/12, Blogger Coxsoft Art said...

I'm not suggesting that the USA should make all guns illegal. There are many legitimate uses for guns: hunting, skeet shooting, duck shooting, target practice, Olympic sports, civil-war battle recreations, fairground shooting ranges, making movies and yes, self defence. But none of them requires automatic firepower.

The only use for powerful automatic guns such as machine pistols, sub-machine guns and assault rifles is to kill enemy soldiers, as many and as quickly as possible. Their only legitimate use is in warfare. These are the guns that should be banned.

That still leaves many guns with which the angry homeowner can shoot his neighbour or his wife, but mass murder of schoolchildren and college students would become slower and more difficult.

 

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