Am I being offensive? Possibly. But enough is enough.

Another day, another mass shooting.
How can I say that when hundreds of people’s lives have been shattered by the ripples that will go on forever from this one event?
I can’t.
But that’s what America seems to be saying. Over and over again.
So sad, so tragic, let us pray.

Oh for goodness sake! Why aren’t you outraged? Why aren’t you marching on Washington in your millions, demanding this ridiculous bloodbath stop? You marched against the Vietnam War. Against racial inequality. Don’t these victims matter as much?

I guess it’s because you’re used to it. You’ve lived with guns all your lives. They’re so ingrained in your culture that life without them is completely beyond your comprehension. You are being brain-washed regularly with self-righteous rhetoric about ‘liberty’ and ‘freedom’ from organisations whose chief interests are power and money, and to hell with the ‘little’ lives lost along the way – the ‘collateral damage’. It’s in their interest that you believe the right to bear arms is somehow inalienable; that it somehow makes your culture superior; that you need guns to protect you from evil, your neighbours and the mentally ill. You seem resigned to powerlessness on this issue, and in the eyes of the rest of the world, this situation undermines your credibility: how can the world’s top nation be so helpless regarding its own citizens?

I’m sorry if you find that offensive, but as a fellow member of the human race – a parent, a sibling, a friend – I find it equally offensive that this goes on happening and nobody does anything about it. Furthermore as long as the US stands as the keeper of the world’s morals, deciding who else’s affairs they should become involved in, the world has a vested interest in US internal morality. There is no privilege without responsibility.

President Obama has again cited British and Australian gun laws as proof that gun control is possible and effective. The NRA has launched an attack on Australia’s gun laws in the latest edition of its gun-rights publication America’s First Freedom, cherry-picking half-truths to make its arguments and saying “The Australian people paid a massive price in liberty. Their reward? At best, an unexamined resolution that things were somehow better now,” and further, “Australia’s gun confiscation is indeed a lesson to America: It is a sign of what is to come if we hold our rights lightly.”

But here’s the bottom line. The price we paid – the ‘what is to come’ if Americans hold these rights lightly?
Australia has not had a gun massacre since 1996, when these laws came into effect.
The gun homicide rate in America is approximately 200 times that of Australia’s.
The majority of Australians don’t find our gun laws an infringement of our liberty. If we think about them at all, we’re just damned glad we have them.

Surely this puts into perspective the values of those fighting to ensure that nothing changes.

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28 Responses to Am I being offensive? Possibly. But enough is enough.

  1. bkpyett says:

    Well said, Helen!!

  2. Fran Macilvey says:

    There is a historical argument that the passion with which some American citizens hold to their gun rights as an atavistic response to threat. The story goes that after the 1745 rebellion in the UK, thousands of Highlanders had their weapons confiscated. As a result of losing their guns, and many other privileges, they were unable to hunt, and many of them starved to death. A kind of indirect ethnic cleansing. So, those thousands of Highlanders who were transported to the American colonies were very vociferous to keep their weaponry.

    We no longer need guns to hunt, do we? xxxx 🙂

    • Ah, but a lot were transported to Australia, too. Did the atavism not survive the climate here? One of the favourite arguments trotted out by the NRA is that armed citizens are a safeguard against government tyranny. Doesn’t say much for their faith in their government – but it doesn’t persuade them to vote, either. A mystery.

      • Fran Macilvey says:

        Indeed. Perhaps the wars of independence in the States hardened opini0n against the ‘Old Country’. I love your posts, Helen. Thank you! xxx 🙂

    • Thanks Fran. You might be right – we didn’t bother fighting a war of independence, but then we’re a lazy lot.

  3. steelcityman says:

    Again..Well said and well written Hellen…you are NOT being offensive at all, just talking common sense. The American constitution is full of amendments …just add one more … NO GUNS…eventually gun ownership will be at a minimum and countless lives will be saved..

  4. Relax says:

    Well said, Helen (and everyone). I can’t stand Obama, but I’m with him on this point for sure. I, too, am so sick of this hellish stuff. Someone’s 15 minutes of *fame* becomes decades of horror for victims and their loved ones. What we first need to do is stop giving the massacres their 15 minutes — no national coverage on tv and insane commentary, “We still don’t know why the shooter…” Duh, no shit. All the shooter usually knows is that he probably shouldn’t have had guns.

    • Good idea – but if you stop giving them their 15 minutes, the victims pass unnoticed as well, which would be awful.
      I’m interested to know why you hate Obama. I know nothing, but from the outside, he looks like a guy who’s tried hard to get things done and been blocked by Congress.

      • Relax says:

        He is in so many ways, perhaps even literally, a non-American. He has ruined and profaned so much, but worst of all, he has opened the door to worse terrors. I hope the next one (almost certainly a Republican) just simply shuts them.

  5. sallykj says:

    I don’t get why those who are so passionate about the right to life are only passionate about the lives of those who are yet to be born.

    • But that’s different, isn’t it. Massacres are all a terribly tragic mistake because people are mentally ill. Nothing to do with guns at all.
      I guess i’m just backward – or brainwashed by the nasty totalitarian Australian government that took our guns away – but to me it’s dead simple: no guns = no gun massacres.

    • mjennings says:

      It’s a question asked by many of us thinking individuals. The neocon hypocrisy is baffling. Carry guns to shoot to kill, and keep preaching we’re pro-life. (Nothing more dangerous than a moron with a weapon of mass destruction.)

  6. mjennings says:

    You already know how I feel about this. Keep in mind that we are a seriously divided nation on such matters — not everyone here is insane as the media makes us out to be. There are plenty of us around who’d like for all of it to go the hell away. If we could only get rid of special interest lobbyists who have clout…Hmmm… (Bernie Sanders, where are you, man?)

    • 🙂 I’m pretty sure the majority is admirably sane, but they seem to be constantly shut down by the clout weilders, whose sanity is questionable. Or maybe not. I’m guessing they just don’t want the rivers of gold to dry up.

  7. Tidlidim says:

    Great post, Helen. I don’t think you’re being offensive. I think you have the right to be angry at lives being lost and at the fact that nothing’s being done about it. The only people who will feel offended are those who want to keep their guns. Just had a conversation on a friend’s Facebook post about it. The pro-guns will come all gung ho about it, and will easily get offended. They claim that guns should be considered as tools, not as toys, yet they behave like you’re removing a kiddo’s favourite Barbie or Action Man. They have a weird relationship with their guns. I don’t know, I don’t covet my kitchen knives in the same way. There’s something not quite right there.

    • Maybe because neither of us is American, we’re both missing some vital piece of DNA that would help us understand. To me the whole American gun culture just seems seriously, incomprehensibly weird. Call a gun a tool or a toy, it’s still makes it ridiculously easy to kill someone. Or several someones if you’re in the mood.

  8. amommasview says:

    Spot on… what bothers me is how guns can still be legal but something like a Kinder Surprise Egg can’t be sold in the USA because it might do some harm to children… Shaking my head in disbelief for a long time already…

  9. Pingback: My Picks Of The Week #41 | A Momma's View

  10. Aunt Beulah says:

    I’m sorry my three week, technology-free vacation kept me from reading this until today. I am not offended. Rather, I’m in full agreement with everything you say. I don’t understand the inaction on gun control in the US any more than you do, and I find it hard to believe that an equal number of determined people cannot gain as much leverage as the NRA. I do what I can. And what I can do right now is share this post with others I know who do what they can as well, but sometimes feel downhearted. Thank you. Thank you.

  11. Ah, I have missed you Helen!

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