This past week in the otherwise pretty sensible and civilized state of Oregon there was another mass slaying. I won’t bother enumerating how many whack-job bloodbaths there have been the US in recent, but the toll is horrific when compared with other countries that the US deludes itself that it is just as civilized as.
In light of these horrific events and its steadfast refusal to invoke laws to protect its populace it, quite frankly, is not as civilized as Belgium, the UK, or even Canada.
This is not a diatribe against the US. I love the US, I was just there last week and have traveled in many states and have always felt at home. I love America and I love Americans. But, and this is a huge ‘but’, American gun carnage is ghastly and it isn’t being addressed. Even Obama’s statements the other evening – well-intentioned and civilized as they were – will not change a fucking thing. They won’t change it because apparently there is no will to change. You might have thought Sandy Hook was the watershed moment for change, and there was a great deal of rhetoric at the time, but ‘wrongo’ much as Columbine meant diddly in terms of changing anything.
And nothing has changed. And if there is another mass slaying next week, month or year, the same tsk-tsk platitudes will be trotted out and nothing will change. The likelihood of Americans getting a gun-law change is about the same as the chance of them getting universal health coverage for all American citizens. Zippo.
One of the reasons why a gun-control bill goes nowhere in the US is because it’s all tied up in politics and the notoriously inefficient congressional system. Currently Congress is a bunch of right-wing, Ted Nugent loving arch-conservatives who are devoid of original thought – or so it seems. And if they aren’t devoid of basic decency they aren’t about to let anyone know because they believe it would be political suicide to express a ‘liberal’ thought. And for the most part those of liberal bent – OK, I am showing my bias here – don’t want to go around blasting the shit out of anyone.
I was once in a little store in a tiny Oregon town and the proprietor – who was a bit like a character from a Hunter S. Thompson tale – let it be known quickly that he was a survivalist. He then offered to sell me a handgun, and further opined that when the day-of-reckoning we anti-gun Canucks were going to be SOL with nothing to protect ourselves.
I graciously declined his offer but bought a packet of frankfurters instead. The wienies seemed safer to me.
As for guns, I have no answer, but it would behoove Americans to find one sooner rather than later. Other nations are watching.