It isn’t often I get stunned into speechlessness. I was reading the paper earlier (that is where I found out about the Elgin Marbles transfer – I really ought to read the papers more often, it turns out they are full of blogspiration) and came across this letter, relating to the recent tragedy in Virginia.
I’ll just copy it in full, I think:
“I was not surprised to see the barrage of rash anti-US sentiment in Metro‘s letters yesterday. Paul Murphy says all he sees is “hopelessness” in the US and Rita Jones even goes as far as to try to point the finger at the US’s “international relations”. For the record, Virginia Tech is a gun-free zone, meaning that only those willing to flout the law can enter the campus armed, in this case Cho Seung-Hui. I can’t help but think that this tragedy would have been far more limited if a handful of professors or students were able to stop this lunatic with their own firearms.” – Brian Corbett, London
Brian, you are a twat. I will not lower myself to comment on this crapulence.
More generally, I know I am not an American, and so really have no right to comment, but is it possible that the constitutional right to bear arms is a tiny bit out of date? Yes, I know that rednecks like guns, I am talking about whether people actually need them like the constitution implies. Seriously America, you are fairly well ensconced as a world power now; it is unlikely that England is going to invade to get our property back. Shall I have a word with Tony? I could get him to write it down and sign it and everything. Then you could get someone to read it aloud to George, and we could all sit down for a cup of tea or a beer and chill out.
A lot is made of the fact that guns don’t kill people, and that it is the person who is holding the gun, but on the tiniest reflection this is a complete non sequitur; I can hold a banana to someone’s head, squeeze it, shout “bang” and there is a reasonable chance they will end up alive. They tend to die when you do it with a semi-automatic weapon. Guns help to kill people, okay?
Pro-gun lobbyists wield a disproportionate influence over mainstream US politics, and it is unlikely that any change in the law is imminent. But I have a dream*: Average Americans, having the confidence to admit they are being manipulated into living in fear. Forcing their politicians’ hands. Come on America, use your heads and say “no” to the spiralling violence. Tighten up your gun laws.
Then I might dare to come and visit. I’d love to see the Grand Canyon.
* I seem to remember this style of rhetoric working for someone before…