By now you’ll have read of the horrible events in a Colorado movie theater today, where a lone nut opened fire on moviegoers watching the new Batman flick, killing at least 12 and injuring more than 50.
I’m fully aware that the British are the reason for the Second Amendment, but that was a long time ago in a very different world so here’s an ex-pat Brit’s two cents.
Firstly, the decision handed down by the rightwing majority in District of Columbia vs Heller was plain wrong, a product of ideology rather than just and precise interpretation of the Second Amendment as stated.
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
The U.S. has a well regulated militia, it’s called the National Guard. Title 10 USC Â§ 311 defines the militia of the US as all able-bodied male citizens at least 17 years of age and under 45 years of age and all female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard – but the militia other than the Guard aren’t “well regulated”, they’re officially described as “unorganized”. No right to guns at home for you!
Secondly, even if this were not the case – for the love of heaven have you no humanity? In the UK it took exactly one incidence of a nutcase walking into a classroom of young children and shooting them to create an overwhelming groundswell of support for stronger gun control. Let me tell you, if you’ve never been at the site of such a massacre, I was in Dunblane two days afterwards. I went to university a few miles away and had several friends living in the small town, including one couple who’s apartment overlooked the scene. The emergency services were still clearing up, the media were everywhere and I spent several hours with two good friends who had heard and seen things no-one should be asked to witness. Which is more important to you – the words written in a very different age or young lives right now?
Look, my homeland of Scotland is supposed to be the most violent country in Europe. Even so, there were 93 homicides in the entire country of 5.2 million last year. people were outraged because that was a 30% increase on the year before! The place I consider my home city in the U.S. – San Antonio, Texas – by contrast had 97 homicides for 1.3 million people. Don’t tell me that the U.S. being the most heavily armed nation on earth doesn’t have anything to do with that, with 90 guns in private ownership for every 100 people – ahead of even Yemen and Iraq.
Massacres are the price America pays for easy gun ownership and massive arms stockpiles in private hands. Americans need to decide whether that price is acceptable.