Thursday, 15 February 2018

A little rant about guns and knives - but mostly guns!

Another crazy, mixed-up teenager has gone on a spree in a school in the USA, this time in Florida. Crazy, mixed up kids have changed a lot since I was a teenager!

I read that this is the 18th school shooting in 2018 and it is only mid-February!! And it’s the 48th in Donald Trump’s presidency! So they must be happening so frequently that we only get to hear about the big ones.

It makes the UK’s knife-crime seem slightly less horrific. but only slightly. According to Scotland Yard, the 17 year old boy killed in London last night is one of 12 people to be stabbed to death in 2018. That’s two a week!

Something odd is happening to society.

Of course the shootings and stabbings have always gone on but there seem to be more of them and you might think that as society progresses we should grow more civilised and the shootings and stabbings should grow less frequent.

Instead we appear to live now in a world where it is not only acceptable to make horrific threats on social media to people who offend you but it is also the norm for some people to carry out those threats in real life. The sense if right and wrong has got skewed somehow.

Knives must quite hard to legislate for. After all, every household has sharp knives in the kitchen. Most of us, however, keep the sharps out of reach of the small people and try to teach our not so small people to be responsible. And most of us associate with people who don’t carry knives around with them as a standard thing. Even as I write this, though, I think back to our childhood, when it was in fact the standard thing to carry a penknife around. Boys carried them more than girls but girls also possessed them, or at any rate I did. And so did my sisters.

Guns are a different matter. The 19 year old who carried out the Florida school shooting had an assault rifle. The authorities who searched his room think it is possible he had more than one. I have said this before but I say it again: why does anybody in ordinary society need an assault rifle? Why does anybody need a machine gun?

Even if you accept the premise that everyone has the right to bear arms (still in the 21st century) and has the right to defend himself, or herself, surely a weapon of war is not necessary! How hard is it to limit the sale of such weapons? Many of them, after all, are bought legally. How hard is it to ask the purchaser what is the purpose of their purchase? Most people would surely find it hard to justify such a purchase.

It’s almost as if some people live inside a shoot-‘em-up-and-kill-em-‘em video game. Those games are very realistic. Maybe they convince some gamers that it’s the way life should be. But our granddaughter has played, probably still plays, such games and she knows the difference between game and reality.

I came across a cartoon relating to the Florida shooting. Surrounded by bodies of dead schoolchildren is Uncle Sam who has thrown himself on top of a man labeled NRA and is reassuring him that he is safe now. Thatvsays it all! Until the authorities get the gun lobby under control this will continue. 

That’s all! Rant over!

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