Thursday, 26 April 2007

Bananas


In the aftermath of the college shootings in the US it has been both interesting and depressing to see the gun lobby rushing to man their battlements, to defend their 'God given' rights to fire a piece of high velocity metal through the body of another man.

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14 comments:

  1. Algernon Sidney Montagu26 April 2007 at 18:23

    Hi Lee,

    Events such as the Virginia Tech or Port Arthur massacres strike a raw nerve in everyone. The general public is rightly horrified and cries out for legislation to prevent such a thing ever occuring again. The N.R.A. tries to justify its existence by defending the constitutional right to own a gun. But neither position appears to have the slightest effect on the 30,000 plus gun related homicides each year in the U.S.A. In the U.K. draconian gun control legislation was voted in following the Dunblayne massacre. Mr & Mrs General Public abide by the law and hold a F.A.C.(firearms authorisation certificate) for the rifle or gun they own to have a shot at the occasional bunny or pheasant. But one of the upshots of the British legislation is that there are now far more illegal guns in circulation than there were before Dunblayne. In most European countries it is not the gun that is licensed but the owner. To own a gun you must be a qualified member (with examination and annual renewal)of a target shooting club or hunting association. That does not stop criminals using firearms (or even more powerful weaponry) to hold up banks or bullion trucks. But no legislation in the world will keep guns out of their hands. The answer lies not in legislation but in a change of public mentality. And I doubt that even a change in public mentality will prevent the massacre of innocent members of the public by a mentally unstable person.

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  2. No, no gun laws will stop the odd massacre. Australia has fairly strict gun laws and for some time the Port Arther massacre 'out scored' anything the US could manage. But it is not the massacres that define the issue, it is the countless small pointless killings. No less traumatic for the family concerned.

    30,000 people die from gunfire in the US every year.

    That's ten times the death toll of September 11.

    Every year.

    ---
    Of course the media loves to sensationalise things but one story that went around the media here some years ago was of a woman who had an argument with a bus driver. She pulled a gun, he pulled a gun. Both dead. Was it worth it? Whould it have happened if gun toting weren't so endemic? (I tried to find this story on line and in snopes.com with no luck I assume it is true.)

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  3. Hello Lee!..I was thinking of your poetry a while ago...I taught it in my class last year....been some time since I was here...take care!

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  4. Thanks Lux. It seems so long ago...

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  5. I agree with you Lee.
    Thank you for this post and your response to Sidney.

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  6. There was a story that was told to me during my Police training, where an off duty cop stepped into a lift in the US only to find himself face-to-face with a wanted felon. Both pulled guns, both fired a full clip (about 15 rounds) at each other INSIDE the lift, and both walked out of the lift unharmed. Maybe it was one of those rounds that hit the banana!

    Having had that light hearted view, I am gad we have such strict gun ownership laws. We could still do more to prevent illegal guns entering Australia, but we've made a start.

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  7. And once you make gun laws legal you end up with the mess in South Africa, the guns gets bigger and bigger, so that the police walks around with R1 or R7's, just to have bigger and better guns than every Jo.

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  8. Is that a banana in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

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  9. What answer would you like? ;-)

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  10. Lee,

    Who ever said they are defending "their 'God given' rights to fire a piece of high velocity metal through the body of another man"? No one is defending that right. I think the gun lobby is defending the right to allow people the natural right to defend themselves from the idiot who wants "to fire a piece of high velocity metal through" their own body.

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  11. Now isn't that interesting. That is not a fear I have in this country.

    Thankfully.

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  12. I don't have that fear either. I don't even actually own a gun, though I am licensed to carry one if I wish (a hazard of being an opinion writer). And I am sure the students are Virginia Tech did not have that fear, either. I am sure the kids at Port Arthur did not have that fear. I am sure the German Jews in 1933 did not have that fear either when the Nazis took their guns away from them.

    Live in ignorant bliss if it helps you sleep nights.

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  13. Ad hominem again Thomas; stick to the facts.

    Are you now telling me that the Germans disarmed a populace even though they carried arms? Doesn’t that undermine your argument that such guns would stop that happening?

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  14. Simple math, irrefutable fact:

    More Guns = More gun deaths
    Fewer guns = Fewer gun deaths, and fewer murders.

    Funnily enough, guns make murder easier and more impulsive. If you carry a gun and are prone to impulsive behaviour, you are are more likely to use the gun if confronted, or find yourself in a stressful situation. Without the gun, you are more likely to use your language skills (or your fleet footing) to escape the danger.

    I am glad that in my 7 years of Policing, I only had to face one violent, gun toting offender.

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