We are still all in shock at the massacre that took place at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday (US time). As President Obama said, the children who were killed had their whole lives ahead of them.
Around the same time, another unstable young man attacked students in central China with a knife. Twenty-two students were injured but none died. (I wonder if they are crying out for knife control in China?) The thing is this: at least you have a chance of overpowering a guy with a knife – as opposed to someone with a high-powered automatic rifle.
Will Obama be able to do anything? One seemingly insane ‘man in the street’ on Fox News today said that if there were more guns available then people would be less likely to pull the trigger! Can you believe that? That is the attitude the President has to overcome. Good luck to him.
As John Oliver, from The Daily Show, said: ‘One failed attempt at a shoe bomb and we all take off our shoes at the airport. 31 school shootings since Columbine and there is no change in our regulation of guns.’
Anyway, the tragic incident reminded me that when I was in Texas recently there was a gun catalogue in the local newspaper, the Austin-American Statesman. Yes, just like your Dick Smith or Myer catalogue, here was a brochure with pictures and prices. I think the Bushmaster (used in Newtown) was in the brochure. I certainly recall my surprise at being able to buy an automatic rifle with 100 rounds of ammunition for under US$500!
On radio, people have been referring to John Howard’s gun amnesty. You might not have agreed with him on everything but he got it right there (of course, it took a massacre to prompt action). Michael Bloomberg pointed out that if there is no gun gun control in the USA in the next four years, 48,000 people will die from gunshot wounds. Incredible!
Chalk up another good reason to live in Australia!