Thursday, 24 November 2022

America's Second Amendment.

The sun rose today in America - so did mass killings

If you are a writer and can't come up with a newsworthy item, America's gun sickness is always a fallback. I have resorted to it several times. People - except those who experienced the loss of loved ones - are now at the yawning, "what else is new?" stage. "Imagine all the people Livin' life in peace ..."

It has always been tough to actually do something about guns in America. I want to say gun problem - so does virtually every other country on earth - but most who own guns don't see it that way. The odd time people who have lost family members join the hue and cry - but they still won't give up their own guns.

We have all heard the same old comebacks which owners try to push and will never change. Guns don't kill people - people kill people. I have never seen a robotic gun wander into a store, home, hall etc. on its own and then slaughter a bunch of people. It might come one day and I have no doubt the same proud owners will buy one. But right now it is always a person who is operating those killing machines. NRA loved to push stopping bad guys with guns with more good guys with guns. They would be delighted if clergymen and clergywomen hid guns under their garments in church while preaching, performing marriages, or funerals. We all know why - it sells more guns.

I live in Canada and 
apparently my country and every other one have it all wrong. We are lying about our statistics or misrepresenting them. The world would be more peaceful if everyone owned a gun. Many of America's leaders actually believe this crap.

As I have written here before, Google "Guns in Norway". Gun Ownership in Norway - Life in Norway They also love guns but are about 10th in the world per capita for ownership. With them however the only valid reason to apply for one is hunting and sports shooting. Weapons are limited to rifles and shotguns. The nation truly loves this and there are many competitions and other events. Compare this to the false claims in America that people want automatic weapons for hunting and target practice.

You will also find in your search lots of comments by Americans who will cite the very few mass shootings in Norway over a long period as justification for America's attitudes and gun laws. They would say the same thing about Canada where mass killings have also taken place - from time to time.

Even if you accept that American's want to be able to "protect" their family if someone breaks into their house, this does not justify assault weapons in the hands of the public. The problem with that attitude is that too many innocent people who were not intruders and had no harmful intent have still been shot 
in many states with few consequences.

I could carry on - so could you.

I will however, suggest a couple of approaches. The GLs (gun lovers - if that was not an acronym before I just made it one) will once again cry foul and wave the 2nd in our faces but that will always be true no matter what actions are taken.

The #2nd Amendment mentions "arms" without definition, but makes no mention of ammunition. Limiting ammunition sales and the size of magazines would violate nothing and it should be addressed federally. What good is an assault weapon without a cartridge or bullets you ask? Thanks. My very point.

Two other points I mentioned before:

1) Because the word "arms" is open to interpretation, GLs claim that any weapon is covered by it. In brief if something is not specifically prohibited it must be OK. To say that the 2nd did not specifically state that an eight year old kid could not obtain and carry "arms" of the day to shoot another kid who teased him/her. Why? Because common sense plays a part in a lot of legislation including the 2nd Amendment and indeed the Constitution. Interpretation was subjective then and is subjective now. When in doubt, legislators and judges interpret the subjective elements. Obviously kids must not carry guns. The same applies to non-military people carrying military weapons.

2) The second missing piece is any definition of how and when you are allowed to use these "arms". Common sense should also prevail. This is one area where most of the world differs with America. What is misuse of a weapon?

Point 2) above is where real effort should be concentrated. State laws that permit you to shoot someone just because you felt "threatened" really should be tightened. Very severe punishments have to become commonplace and strictly enforced. The Ahmaud Arbory case was a good example. Many were elated when the shooters and accomplice were found guilty and punished.

Cases like that and many more of them will deter at least some gun owners from shooting someone in their neighborhood just because they "don't belong."

This is an entirely separate debate but punishment CAN make people think twice before acting. We just need more examples. A lot of gun owners claim to be responsible. Prove it. Get after your leaders to clamp down on defining justifiable use of guns and encode strict and standard sentencing.

This will not stop all criminally minded, simply reckless, or mentally ill shooters. But if some people think twice before shooting me while I am on my long jog or when I knock on your door to ask directions it will be a giant leap forward. This does not address mass shootings but a huge portion of the over 600 fatal shootings in the USA this year were individual and domestic in nature.


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