Two news items caught my eye today. First up, Hillary Clinton:
In an emotional speech that heaped scorn and blame on America for failing to pass gun control measures while it supposedly perpetuates racism, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said white Americans need to “question our own assumptions and privilege.”
“We still allow guns to fall into the hands of people whose hearts are filled with hate. You can’t watch massacre after massacre and not come to the conclusion that President Obama has said, ‘We must tackle this challenge with urgency and conviction,’” she said to applause at the 83rd annual U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco.
Clinton then outlined the steps she’d want to see.
It makes no sense that bipartisan legislation to require universal background checks fail in Congress despite overwhelming public support. It makes no sense that we couldn’t come together to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, or people suffering from mental illnesses. Even people on the terrorist watch list. That doesn’t make sense, and it is a rebuke to this nation we love and care about.
Second, Karl Rove:
WALLACE: How do we stop the violence?
ROVE: I wish I had an easy answer for that, but I don’t think there’s an easy answer.
We saw an act of evil. Racist, bigoted evil, and to me the amazing thing is that it was met with grief and love. Think about how far we’ve come since 1963. The whole weight of the government throughout the South was to impede finding and holding and bringing to justice the men who perpetrated the [Birmingham] bombing.
And here, we saw an entire state, an entire community, an entire nation come together, grieving as one and united in the belief that this was an evil act, so we’ve come a long way.
Now maybe there’s some magic law that will keep us from having more of these. I mean basically the only way to guarantee that we will dramatically reduce acts of violence involving guns is to basically remove guns from society, and until somebody gets enough “oomph” to repeal the Second Amendment, that’s not going to happen.
In the aftermath of the latest shooting, that seems to be saying that both Republican and Democrat big shots now want gun control in the USA. Which suggests that it may not be long in coming.
And just when I’d become pro-gun!
I used not to be. I never saw any need to own a gun.
Two reasons. First came with the smoking ban. If they ever ban people smoking in their own homes (and they probably will, the way things are going), I’m going to want to have the heaviest weapon I can buy to gun down the law enforcement agents hammering on my door when they try to force me to stop. Because I intend to go down fighting.
Second reason is related to the first reason, and was touched on yesterday. If you foresee a looming civil war, even very far in the distance, wouldn’t you want some protection? Wouldn’t you want a gun?
The only reason that the USA is an independent state today is because it didn’t have gun control in the days of King George. Back then Americans didn’t have guns because they intended to fight the redcoats (who were, after all, their own people), but because they needed them for hunting and self defence. But it also meant that when the War of Independence broke out, there were plenty of people with enough guns to be able to fight the British army, and win. But for that, the British army would probably have won quickly against a defenceless population.
Ten years ago I thought differently. But the modern pogrom against smokers, and the growing division between the governed and the governing classes (as exemplified by the war on smokers) have flipped my opinion. In ‘normal’, civilised times, nobody really needs a gun. But in ‘abnormal’ times, when governments become tyrannical, and people start being persecuted, or robbers abound, everybody needs a gun. In my view, in the UK ‘normal’, civilised times ended on 1 July 2007, and we have been in ‘abnormal’, dangerous times ever since.
And if there are now US politicians who are calling for gun control, it’s probably because the USA has also entered ‘abnormal’, dangerous times, and they want to get as many guns out of their enemies’ (the US people’s) hands before it breaks out. I bet King George had similar ideas way back when.
I hope American citizens fight to the death for the right to bear arms.
We can’t buy guns in the UK, of course. And that means that UK politicians can trample all over UK citizens as much as they like: because they can’t really fight back. Not really fight back. But if anyone feels charitable, they might want to send me something a bit like this:
…plus a few thousand rounds of ammo.