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Sunday, August 19, 2012

America's Violence Problem

The Killer Gun

Recently, America's problem with violence has taken a turn for the worse as certain individuals have used guns to commit atrocities upon members of the public. Piers Morgan, host of CNN's Piers Morgan, Tonight! has been outraged by these continuing acts, and he is using his programme to call for strong measures to make it difficult for people, without previous criminal records, to buy guns legally if they are going to use those guns to commit acts of terror.

He invited a guest to his show who had written a book, entitled "More Guns, Less Crime." Piers brought the man onto his show only to savage him, calling his idea ridiculous. Unfortunately, the man was not well prepared to defend his turf, but his theory was that if the shooter who walked into a cinema knew that everyone inside was carrying a gun, presumably the shooter would not have started shooting in the first place, as he could have expected a very robust response.  That idea is no more ridiculous than Piers Morgan's own idea.

The National Rifle Association say that guns don't kill people, people kill people. That is correct! It is also a silly thing to say, but if you placed a gun on a table and left it there for a hundred years without anyone touching it, it will do no harm. It requires a human being to pick it up and pull the trigger.

However, in the real world of America, the gun is used daily in the elimination of humans. It is used for exactly the purpose for which it is manufactured and sold. The gun, and the knife, and any other weapon that may be used to kill humans is not the real problem, these things are merely the tools through which very angry people express their violence.Why are Americans so angry? What made a young man walk into a movie theatre with the intent of killing as many of his fellow Americans as possible? Why would a stranger walk into McDonald's and shoot families? Why go into a church that is in session and kill people who are praying?

The American Indian suffered at the hands of the Europeans and their guns as his country was stolen from him. Now, he lives on Indian Reservations, laughing his ass off as he sees the violent foreigner turning his guns on his own. Reuters reported in 2010 that 129.9 out of 1000 American males,  aged between 15-60 will likely die. Compare that with Iceland where only 64.9 per 1000 are likely to die between the same ages.

Is the difference diet, or even gun ownership, or is it simply lifestyle and a sense of contentment and happiness? I think you can own as many guns as you wish, but if you don't point them at humans, especially in anger, and pull the trigger, humans won't be bothered. I should add that I am not in favor of owning a gun, and I don't approve of hunting for sport.

Americans seem to regard as something sacred their right to own guns. If a person has a criminal background he will have to buy his gun illegally where a shooting gun seems to be as easy to acquire as chewing gum. The bottom line is that no-one can do anything to affect the buying and selling of guns. America has to work on its anger/hate/sickness/violence problems before it can earn the sobriquet of Greatest country on earth. There are some very small and under-developed countries that count GHP as more important than their GDP. What is GHP? Gross Happiness Product! They consider that it is more important that their people are content with what they have, and that they are taking the time to smell the roses and to enjoy love.

If you can live in relative harmony and peace with your family and your neighbours, you don't need all those fancy things that are so much a part of the American culture. Life is idyllic in the small but quiet countries where people go about living out each and everyday in enjoyment.

Why Americans are so angry with themselves is a question for another time?

Copyright (c) 2012     Eugene Carmichael