A primitive society?

I haven’t written about the recent American gun shooting. Or even the Chinese knifing. Although I have read plenty of views on both.

I did read one article that pointed out that every time there is yet another shooting in America, there is a lot of outcry – and nothing happens. Yet other countries (I think UK, Canada, Norway and Aus were mentioned) change their gun laws.

The same article concluded with a comment that it was hardly surprising the rest of the world considered America to be dangerous and mad. Sorry I didn’t save the link, but if I find it, I’ll add it. Link here to the ATLANTIC.

American citizens’ right to bear arms is just totally whacky and anachronistic. Should I be able to wander down Main Street in Gib toting a gun like I was in the OK Corral?

Guns are meant for one thing. Killing.

Yes, I know some people do it for ‘sport’ with clay pigeons, or hunter target whatever it is (all using animal targets I might add, even if they are fabricated. They could use fake people perhaps. That might be more fun). Or even just shooting at a range. Why not play darts, or learn fencing or martial arts?

Many of the multiple shootings are put down to mental illness. But making guns easily available hardly controls the issue.

Here is an excellent article that says everything I want to, so saves me writing it. Please take time to read it. It’s not long – and it’s where I took the title of this post from.

Herald Scotland

I read a few more internet comments about prayers and thoughts are with all those involved. That will so help won’t it?

America, you are a new country. Part of you lives in the past. The other part wants to run the world. Can’t do both. It’s time you brought in gun legislation. Or go back to the wild west, sort out your own problems and stop invading the rest of the world.

I wonder if Dunblane would have received as much coverage if the internet had been around back then?

Dunblane? Where? What?

Wiki link for those of you who want to read who kills how many and where.

And a discussion about guns in America, whether gun legislation works and, those wicked statistics.

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About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
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24 Responses to A primitive society?

  1. I agree with you again (how scary is that?) In the American mid west in 1996 I found myself sharing a tablle in a bar with a ‘native American’. As he became more inebriated his volume control broke and he started to become a bit of a nuisance. When the waitress came by he insisted on buying us all a drink and then the subject turned to firearms, ‘What sort of a gun have you got?’ he asked and we explained to him that we don’t generally carry six shooters in England (unless you live in Nottingham) and he seemed genuinely surprised, ‘I’ve got a gun!’ he proudly announced and drew back his immaculate buckskin jacket to reveal a colt 45 sitting snugly in a holster under his arm. OMG! The hairs on the back of my neck stiffened and I was all rendered completely speechless. It was all a bit surreal and scary, we were sitting with a pissed up Indian warrior with a loaded pistol. I don’t know if he was supposed to be on the loose in town with a sidearm, I suspect not, because very shortly after this his wife bundled him away and out of the door and I for one was glad that he had gone!

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    • I’ll write about dogs soon again. You can disagree with that.

      But I have no understanding of the need to carry guns when you leave the house FFS!

      I read one comment about how it would be better if all teachers carried guns and were taught to use them!!! ‘Hello little roughseas, welcome to your new school, I am your teacher, carry an armalite/AK47 (whatever guns are called) and am qualified to shoot the shit out of people.’ Great education that.

      Physical violence is bad enough, knives are just as bad, but guns? As you say, it is actually surreal.

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  2. Vicky says:

    An excellent post!!

    What I find so scary is the fact that as soon as this terrible news broke, T and I looked at each other and both said ‘oh it’s America again’……. as though we’ve come to accept it.
    Any other country, the Norwegian one for instance, was ‘OMG!!! It’s in Norway!!’

    It happens so often in America, surely that should tell them they’ve got something drastically wrong with their gun laws. What will it take for them to realise their laws are not the action of a so called civilised country.

    Your link to the Herald Scotland is an excellent article too and yes, so true!

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    • Thanks V. I have met loads of extremely nice and sensible Americans. I just don’t understand this need to have the right for a gun. If society is so frightening over there in God’s own country (which as we both know is elsewhere), then societal changes need to be made. But everyone carrying guns does not do it.

      Roughseas remedy:

      Stringent gun controls.
      Wake up to the 21st century.
      Want to lead the world? Act like leaders.

      Because none of that is happening.

      And as for prayers and thoughts? If someone had killed one of my family and I got gushing sentiments like that I would lose it. Prayers and thoughts don’t prevent the next incident. Gun control and better health services might.

      Of which America has neither (to my knowledge).

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      • Vicky says:

        Pray to god it never happens again….WTF is that supposed to mean??
        How come ‘god’ let it happen in the first place??

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        • Well, it does happen again. And each time, the prayers are fairly useless.
          They hardly bring anyone back from the dead.

          I just read this news in disbelief. And the subsequent comments too. Everywhere about how sorry everyone is. Well, fine, but do something about it!!

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  3. cobbies69 says:

    There are many gun toting maniacs in this world, and America has it’s share, But I feel most of the maniacs wielding guns are in the Arab worlds, fighting for so called freedom, and kids being killed daily, and some humiliated first. It is not the gun, it is mental cases carrying them. an extension to their rather sad ego. good post as per se’

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    • I think there is a difference between a supposedly civilised society that wants to impose its views and morals on the rest of the world, and nations that are in a state of conflict, (ie civil war) and some of those are Arabic, or part Arabic. Did you click on the wiki link that shows the statistics? The top three positions for school massacres was America, followed by UK (Dunblane) and then Germany. Out of the top ten, America occupied half the positions. Not an Arab country in there. If you look at some of the other statistics, America again occupies four out of the top five places for workplaces killings. It has had three mass murders this year alone.

      I do agree that the people carrying out the killings are not, hopefully, the norm. But the ease and availability of guns, plus the totally different culture that makes it acceptable, hardly makes for a calm and peaceable society.

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  4. I concur – I think the US law’s on gun ownership is ludicrous. What worries me though is that, even if (by some small miracle) they actually change their law’s, the people that want a gun will find a way to obtain one anyway…

    I do find it slightly insane though that you can just pick one up after a few background checks (or however it works). I must admit I’m not familiar in the how-to of buying a gun.

    Funnily enough, as a Scots Woman, I too thought of Dunblane when I heard of this also…

    No matter what peoples views are as to how it happened or what will done about it, nothing can change the fact that small children and adults have once again been slaughtered for no real reason, outwith a war zone, in a supposed ‘safe’ western society.

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    • Excellent article by the way. Interesting to note that the second amendment was written in 1791, and we are now in 2012…!

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      • I think that is a key issue. To me, there seems to be a lot of emotion wrapped around the American constitution, which we don’t have in the UK. Who even knows what is in Magna Carta these days? But that was nearly a thousand years ago, and it took many hundreds of years for most of the document to be re-written. Two hundred years isn’t long in historical terms – but the change in society has been so rapid.

        I thought it was a great article, thoughtful and looking at the issues sensibly.

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        • Yes, old relics that need to be scrapped! Or at least, re-written in parts to match modern day living. I find it hard to relate to the constitution, as I’ve never been part of one.

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          • I was interested reading around that some old acts in the UK still do exist, although they have been amended. I think that is the right approach. Acknowledge your history, but move on and adapt to changing circumstances. Magna Carta was written when the king was in charge of everyone and many people were serfs or villeins. Equally so, the American constitution was written in a very different era and they could learn from the rest of us. Maybe.

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    • Isn’t that the same with all laws though? Ban alcohol, prostitution, drugs – people will always find them. It’s not just about making them less easily available though, it’s about changing the culture and I think that is the major problem.

      I’m not familiar with it either. The only thing I read in the last few years was on a forum where someone wanted a licence in the UK, and he was discussing potential references for it who obviously had to be right-on members of the community. Sounded a bit like getting referees for your passport!

      I think most of us over a certain age can not forget about Dunblane, especially as it led to the changes in gun laws in the UK. I remember the Hungerford killings too, I was working in London and had a colleague who lived near there. Australia too legislated at a similar time to restrict gun ownership.

      Good article here comparing all three countries:

      http://world.time.com/2012/12/17/when-massacres-force-change-lessons-from-the-u-k-and-australia/

      Your last comment sums it up so well.

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      • Yes, I think you’ve nailed it there! It’s about changing the culture. Hard to do, especially considering the second amendment has been set in stone for so long. The rifle institution (is that what they are called?) V’s the average person.

        I never read about that, although I always find it funny someone needs to be an outstanding member of the community to sign these things. I’ve known some ‘right-on’ community members and can safely say that whilst some might be right-on on paper, that it does not necessarily correlate with their real life actions…!

        Yes, Australia changed their laws along with UK and personally, I think it has been beneficial. Obviously, people that are determined enough to get something (guns, alcohol, drugs etc) will no doubt obtain it. Like you say though, it’s about changing the culture and the way we think / relate to things.

        I’m away to make a cuppa tea and read those articles 🙂

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        • Thanks. I think it is cultural even more so than legislative. To quote a cliché, it’s a hearts and minds thing. I think it is called the gun lobby actually 😉 it is also big business apparently.

          Yes, you can be an upstanding member of the community and be an absolute toe-rag. We all know someone like that.

          Australia has certainly reaped the benefits since Port Arthur as EllaDee has commented. Sadly Britain did have another shooting in Copeland Cumbria, so we can’t claim quite the same success.

          I think what has been interesting reading around people’s blogs is the similarity in the British and Aus perspectives about guns, or more accurately the lack of them. We have no concept of this gun culture and therefore we see no need for it. Americans have grown up with it and seem reluctant to give it up. Different countries, different lives, but we all need to change.

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  5. EllaDee says:

    A collection of wonderful articles, your post included, echoing my feelings on gun ownership in the US, even prior to the latest tragedy. The Mother Jones graph detailing legal gun ownership used in mass killings paints the picture without need for words. The US appears to be a country hooked on gun ownership to protect itself from itself…
    I don’t think anyone in Australia regrets gun reform, and certainly people who need or want guns still have access legal or otherwise… regularly in the news are incidents of individual being shot usually in bikie, drug or debt disputes in targeted situations with no collateral damage (other than about a year ago before certain parties smartened up and stopped using out of date address info and peole who couldn’t read street numbers & signs… ). I don’t think many people give it a lot of thought, so long as it’s contained.
    Not before or since Port Arthur has Australia had mass killings of the kind that appears prevalent in the US. Australia’s self interested pro-gun lobbyists predicted the end of human rights as we knew them but like the 2000 computer virus threat it was all a big non event. Life went on.
    I’d like to think the same thing would happen in the US sans guns but I doubt it, as the breadth and variety of pro-gun citizens and their influence is far wider than in Australia.
    The US gun laws need to catch up with reality, and until they do, the out of date, out of step guns laws are creating the reality and no amount of praying, or blaming it on madness, mental health issues, funding or people will change that.

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    • Thanks ED. I know people don’t always click on the links, but it seemed easier than me repeating it all, and sometimes I think it provides a more ’rounded’ post. I usually click on links on other posts, but you can tell from the stats that a lot of people don’t.

      If you look at a link to another article I have posted to organic lassie above there is an interesting analysis of the gun legislation between UK, Aus and USA. And a great pic of some of the guns that were handed in when Aus changed the law. What were people doing with all those guns??!!

      Crims will always find guns, just like they will always buy and sell them. Legislation won’t change that because they don’t live by the law.

      Restrictions on gun ownership is a bit like free speech (!) And don’t even start me on the Year 2K computer issue, I was in charge of our Millennium Plan. What a lot of work for nothing, co-ordinating heatlh, social, police and goodness knows what across a population of more than a million.

      Regarding America, and the culture, angryricky’s comment below is an interesting one.

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      • EllaDee says:

        Both the subsequent links you posted are very interesting also, and the comments.
        I well recollect Australia’s gun culture. I lived in a small country town where the gun shop was the most prosperous and well known business in town, and people also travelled from the country to a particular gun store near Central Station in Sydney… both widely known by name and both no longer there.
        No-one is talking about removing legitimate and reasonable gun ownership… and indeed never will all illegal guns be removed but those that are obviously have a huge impact on the resulting culture.
        I don’t believe in the gun for a gun concept… I’d account for that phenomena as damned lies and statistics… for that every child would be toting a gun… just not possible.
        On a side note, while I appreciate the cultural heritage aspect of hunting to eat and lifetsyle choice, it’s possible the poverty in the areas referred to by angryricky is a by-issue that needs to be addressed.
        Good post from you that elicited a range of considered comments 🙂

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        • I always enjoy when you post links (often to SMH) and its good to hear that you – and others – actually do visit them.

          I didn’t live in small town Aus as you know, although I did visit central station – but don’t remember a gun store although I probably wouldn’t have noticed it anyway. Having said that, I do remember seeing gun stores in my younger Brit days, the hunting, shooting, fishing shops for example invariably had rifles in the window. So you brought back a forgotten memory there.

          I’m pretty anti-guns (you wouldn’t have guessed 😉 ) mainly because I’m anti-killing. There probably is a reason for some people to have guns, but I would take an awful lot of convincing before I agreed with it. I can’t get away from the bottom line. They are used to kill, whether it is people or animals. And like you, I don’t agree with arming everyone ‘just in case’. To be pedantic, what about people who a) have bad eyesight even with contact lenses or glasses? As you get older you need different glasses for long and short sight. ‘Hello. Excuse me, please wait for me to put on my near-vision glasses to check the gun, and then change those for the long-vision ones to shoot you?’ b) people who lack manual dexterity c) people who don’t co-ordinate well. Some people fall into all three categories. It defies belief to me.

          I think the poverty issue is a major one and that was my thought too. But I don’t think social welfare is a big item on America’s priority list. And in the past, I have read so many comments on blogs and on FB where Americans have said they really don’t care about poor people, they need to work hard and get somewhere just like we all do. Life isn’t like that though.

          Thanks for your comments too. I really appreciated Ricky’s comment because it was good to have an American perspective, when the rest of us are basically coming from a different world. I think everyone commenting has also been thoughtful without being hot-tempered on such an emotive subject.

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  6. angryricky says:

    There’s a bumper sticker going around the US that I think sums it all up nicely: Guns don’t kill people, I kill people. The guns are often used for killing animals for food, particularly in the area where I recently lived, and those families are sometimes so poor that they can’t afford to buy from the grocery store, and so uneducated that they can’t get better work. I think it would be cruel to remove a family’s primary source of nourishment without providing a better.

    Someone told me once about a town (probably in Texas somewhere) that passed a law that required all residents to own a handgun, and know how to use and care for it properly. Violent crime rates dropped to almost nothing. This is America’s idea of a solution–more guns, not fewer. Generally speaking, people with guns shoot people without guns, so if you remove the victim there won’t be any crime. It’s always the victim’s fault.

    Often I am very pleased that I don’t live there any more, and I scheme to get my kids out of there. I want them to know that there’s so much more to life than the rural South.

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    • Thanks angryricky for taking the time to comment and provide an American perspective. Much appreciated as the gun culture mentality is totally alien to me (and others) so we really don’t understand it.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jan/10/gun-crime-us-state#data

      is an interesting article comparing the US and the UK, 89 guns for every 100 people in the US compared with 6 in England and Wales. That statistic alone explains why so many of us don’t get the gun thing.

      Have to say I couldn’t envisage living in a society where it was mandatory to own a gun to protect myself. How fear-inducing is that? And how seriously spooky? It’s like a science fiction film.

      And on the rural south, those states seem pretty high on gun crimes. So how many guns are there in Saudi?

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  7. Jean says:

    I have been away from blogging for so so long for so many reasons too many to recount. But at long last catching up. I was totally shocked at the reaction of some people from the USA to the latest horrific gun tragedy. So called “Facebook friends” who I only knew via innocent dog blogging so long ago. I knew them via their dogs, not via their morals or outlook or beliefs. As you well know we have experienced the awful and horrific terror of Dunblane, when I seriously thought that day my youngest was gone from our life. So to be faced by certain people on the book of faces, the next day, encouraging gun ownership and the right to bear arms made me feel physically sick.
    There is no place in a normal society for guns. We lived in the last place on earth you would imagine to be affected by such a horrific act. And thank god (well I don’t believe in god) but thank feck the gun laws in the uk were changed because of our tragedy. I saw so many funerals that tragic week, so many small coffins, so many broken families, I never want to live through anything like that again. And when the latest tragedy happened…..yes, I thought to myself no one now remembers Dunblane. We are just another statistic. Thank you for writing such an insightful post.

    I have stopped dog blogging way back in September , there is only so much a nearly 14 year old but healthy and fit lab collie can report on! Hope Pipparoonie is doing ok! J xx

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  8. Can’t remember if I ever told you that we had friends who moved to Dunblane. Either way, I certainly thought about you when I wrote this post, and about another friend in Oxfordshire who lived in/near Hungerford.

    Indeed, I totally agree. The way to sort the gun problem is not to arm everyone up to the eyeballs. But America has a very different culture to ours and most other Western/English speaking countries. Arm the teachers? Send your kids to school with gun-toting teachers? It is beyond belief and enters sci-fi realms to me. Tackle the root of the problem and stop dishing out elastoplast.

    Any country that advocates gun use for everyone for personal protection is so not the greatest country in the world at all. Not that the UK is brill for a minute, but guns for everyone? Seriously flawed thinking there.

    Pippita only blogs occasionally because I have far more to say than he does to bark. Apart from being slightly arthritic he is OK, and good to hear Marv is still well.
    K

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