For the last few weeks I’ve been playing with a variety of topics to blog about. I’ve been a bit consumed by Song Contest: Almost Eurovision, which is a musical our local theatrical society‘s about to begin performing, as I’m part of the musical direction team.
I’ve toyed with all kinds of subjects – our current plebiscite on same sex marriage, the death of the man whose legacy is basically smut in its lowest form, and Australia and space.
But once again, I’m writing about another gun massacre in the US.
I just don’t get it.
I don’t get the obsession with guns.
I don’t get why Americans (not all of you obviously) fight so hard to prevent what the rest of the world sees as responsible gun laws.
Sadly, if Sandy Hook didn’t do it, I’m pretty certain that this episode won’t. And Nevada, where this happened has pretty well no restrictions on gun ownership.
No-one needs an automatic or semi automatic gun for anything except to kill other human beings. Farmers can justify guns for pest control and livestock and so might others who travel out bush (I do understand the issues with large predators in the US) but that’s really about it.
Why would you need a gun for anything else?
I hear all kinds of excuses. “I need it to protect myself.” “If I had a gun, I could stop a shooter.” They go on and on. Seriously, how would you protect yourself if someone’s already waving a gun/weapon at you? If you were a responsible gun owner, you’d have your gun locked in a gun safe. And how could you stop a shooter without accidentally shooting someone innocent? Maybe someone might think you were the shooter.
And now I hear things like ‘My thoughts and prayers are with the people of [insert latest gun massacre site.] Well, as readers of this blog know, I’m a person who does pray, but I saw a cartoon today that summed it up nicely.
Deeds and action.
I will be forever grateful for John Howard, a past prime minister, who, along with the bipartisan support of both of our major political parties, initiated the gun buy back scheme and Australia’s strict gun control laws.
No matter your political persuasion, or what you think about some of his other policies, his legacy to Australia is his gun control laws. Even our suicides and homicides dropped as a result of those laws, and we haven’t had a gun massacre since.
My husband and I were in Tasmania last year, and we visited Port Arthur, where the worst gun massacre ever in Australia occurred. It was the prompt for those laws, and a very sombre reminder of what we never want to happen again.
The above picture is part of the memorial at Port Arthur.
If you want to hear what it took to get our gun laws through, then listen to the interview I’ve linked below. It’s long, but it’s Richard Fidler, talking to John Howard about the political cost of pushing those laws through. Some of our politicians supported the laws knowing that they would lose their seats – that takes moral courage.
It was indeed, deeds and action, not simply thoughts and prayers.