Saturday, 9 July 2016

America and Guns

The love of guns in the United States has been well documented, as have multiple mass shootings across the country such as those in Orlando, San Bernardino, Newtown, and Virginia. The ease of access to guns in American society comes at a shocking cost. For eight years President Barak Obama has tried to alter the gun laws with little effect because of the power of the Republican lobby.

Currently almost 6,000 people have been killed as a result of gun violence. Despite this high death toll, mass shootings in America show no sign of disappearing. The Stateside obsession with guns can appear baffling to UK observers like me unfamiliar with its origins. I live in the UK where police with guns is becoming more apparent because of terrorist actions world wide, but I can still not buy a gun in my local super market, thanks goodness.

Apart from the laws, the main difference between the UK and the US is the role that guns play in everyday life. In the UK, most gun lovers are involved in shooting sports and are mostly based in the countryside. The idea of using a gun for self-defence is generally pretty shocking in Britain, even within the shooting community, and most people believe that guns should be the preserve of the police or armed forces.

There is another side to America & Guns and that is black & white. Recently it appears that black people are being shot more by white people, is that an over simplification, no it is fact. Alton Sterling, Philando Castile both shot by white American police officers, their crimes unreported but probably didn't deserve the death penalty. They died within 24 hours of each other, Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge on Tuesday and Philando Castile in Minneapolis on Wednesday. Now on Friday Micah Johnson a black person has gone onto the streets of Dallas and started shooting white police officers. Is anyone surprised? Well they shouldn't be. However, sending in a robot with a bomb to kill him, that is a surprise!

This will not change anything as far as gun law is concerned because it is everyone’s right to own a hand gun in America, but personally I find the current situation untenable and the people in charge [the government] needs to address the situation.

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