I could go on, of course. Another week of guns and blood across America and before a public and polity so astonishingly impervious to the carnage that it is treated almost as if it were measles.On average, guns kill or wound 276 people every day in America. Of those shot, about 75 adults and nine children die. That adds up to just over 100,000 victims of gun violence a year. The rate of firearm murders in the United States is about 16 times that in Australia and 26 times that in Britain.
It's difficult to deny that we've become inured to this level of violence. I think many, on both sides of the argument feel it's hopeless, that nothing could possibly change it. How often have we heard, "the genie is out of the bottle?" But, is that true?
The article goes on to describe the difficulty something like this would present in the U.S., given what he calls "the red-necked rage of the National Rifle Association." When asked about the promised gun law reform, White House spokesman Ben LaBolt said there isn't support in Congress at this time.
Martin Bryant was the Tasmanian misfit who, on an April afternoon in 1996, used two military-style assault rifles to take the lives of 35 people in eight, dreadful minutes.
To his lasting credit, the then newly elected prime minister, John Howard, seized the moment and stared down the gun lobby to give Australia one of the tightest sets of gun ownership laws in the world. He declared at the time: ''I hate guns. One of the things I don't admire about America is their slavish love of guns ... We do not want the American disease imported into Australia."
Australia endured 11 mass shootings in the decade leading to the day Bryant ran amok. There have been none since.
What's your opinion? Is it possible that gun law reform is only being prevented by the lobbying efforts of the NRA and gun manufacturers? If it weren't for those efforts, isn't it conceivable that America could enjoy the improvement that Australia's had over these last decades?
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.