Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Rethink your guns, America

Bang! Bang! Bang!
And another little child falls lifeless, splattered in their own blood while their classmates watch and await their turn.
I can’t begin to imagine the horrors those little children must have passed through in the final moments of their lives. How could they fathom what was happening? In their world super heroes prevailed over fictitious villains. In their world there was Santa Claus and the Tooth fairy. No guns.
It would be slightly more comforting to think Adam Lanza walked into a classroom and shot at random, catching some of the children in the crossfire. But no, that was not how it was. Adam Lanza walked into that school, armed with assault pistols and a rifle, legally purchased by his mother, to take the life of every living being he came across. And most of those beings were little children. Little children.
Stop for a moment and paint the horrific picture. He must have reloaded twice while the little ones watched him in abject fear, just before they were shot.
Sandy Hook Connecticut. What? Where is that? Exactly, but only before the 14th of December 2012. Adam Lanza put that little town on the Map for all the wrong reasons.
But why do we feign shock? Why so we pretend to be surprised? It is not as if it has not happened before, time and time again. And (I say this with utmost confidence) it is not as if it will not happen again. You play with fire long enough, chances are you will get burned by the by. I am by no means about to politicize the deaths of the little angels and their teachers (May their souls rest in peace).
Cynical you think? Remember Columbine? April 20th 1999, Virginia tech April 16, 2007 and now Sandy Hook, each one worse than the previous.
Then there is the shooting in Tucson Arizona in which 6 people were killed and Gabrielle Gilffords was severely injured, and the Colorado movie theatre in which twelve people were killed.
People should go about their usual business without the fear of some madman going berserk as so happens in the United States where guns are rife.
As I write this I fear our human nature will kick in; everyone expresses shock for a while, shout at the top of their voices that something should be done, while harbouring some relief it did not affect them directly, then something else (as it always does) makes even bigger news and this is confined to the back pages and pushed to the recesses of our minds only to be revisited when something similar occurs in future.
The saying ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’ has got to be one of the most stupid thing ever said to defend the culture of harbouring guns. It is human nature to have a thousand thoughts rush through your mind at certain times (that is what makes us human). And I can tell you it is easier to store negative thoughts than it is to keep positive thoughts. Then there are deluded people – those who live in their own parallel world and are completely consumed by what they believe to be right. Some, like Adam Lanza must have been, are outright crazy.  So what you don’t want is letting these people have access to weapons that could do maximum damage. That might be the reason why America and Israel are presently doing their utmost to make sure Iran does not lay hands on the atomic bomb.  As much as Ahmadinejad and Hamas want to destroy Israel, they DO NOT have the means. So don’t keep rattling nonsense about people killing people. IT IS THE GUNS THAT KILL PEOPLE.
I just heard Christine Amanpour of CNN quote something interesting: to get a gun in Japan, you must pass a drug test, go through safety checks, take training, and a whole bunch of hurdles – for one gun. In America you just walk into a store and get one, or ten if it so pleases you; easy as buying a pack of cigarettes. For every hundred people in the United States there are 89 guns. In Japan there are 0.6 guns for every hundred people. In the whole of 2008 there were 11 gun deaths in Japan (less than half of the deaths in Sandy Hook alone) in that same time span in the United States there were over 12,000 gun related deaths.
And to think there are actually people out there advocating for more guns, ‘to protect ourselves’ They say. From what? Tigers and lions in the streets. Insane!
There was a time when the folk of Sandy Hook thought Columbine was world away, that their closely knit community would never see anything quite like that. Just how wrong were they? Right now, different parts of America are going through the same denial. It is time to stop being ostriches and get your head out of the sand.
Who would have ever thought this could happen to six, seven year olds? If you can imagine anything worse then, trust me, it can happen. We need to stop it before it gets to that. We need to go to times when the sight of a gun was shocking.  If not it won’t be long before we hear it again.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
And this time, it might very well be you.