Death by the Gun

More news is coming in all the time about the harrowing aftermath of the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut, and it’s hard to imagine that someone would come out and state that ‘the only answer to a bad man with a gun’ is a good man with a gun’. That however, is what the President of the NRA propounds. Not only that, he believes that every school on America should have an armed security presence. Irresponsibility comes in many forms it seems.

I have to admit that I was always a big fan of the film ‘The Big Country’. Funnily enough it’s two main male stars were diametrically opposed to each other when it came to many things, but firearms in particular. Well, we know that Charlton Heston was the President of the NRA and we all know his position concerning the bearing of  firearms. I do hope the rifle has been taken from his ‘cold dead hand’ by now. Gregory Peck did not like guns and sat on Handgun Control Inc. with others. In the film, at the dead of night when nobody is watching, the two men have a fight. They beat each other till neither can stand, though I favour Gregory Peck’s character could have gone on. Peck then says, “ Now, tell me. What did we prove?” What he proved was that more American citizens should have listened to a member of an anti-handgun campaigning group than listen to leaders of the NRA. The only people profiting from the sale of all these guns are the manufacturers of them.

In light of the fact that approximately 30,000 people die from gun violence a year in America, and not withstanding that that is over 6 times more than have been lost in the Middle East in the line of duty since 2003 (4300), and further taking note of the fact that there actually was an armed presence at Columbine when that massacre took place, I rather hoped that right thinking Americans would finally realise that in the 21st century there shouldn’t be a need for people to go armed during the normal course of their lives in a civilian environment. However, we hear that more and more weapons are being sold in case there is an embargo on weapon sales, and not only that, body armour for children is fast becoming necessary school wear. The insistence on the right to bear arms is creating a nightmare from which only further harm is guaranteed. Perhaps a little more attention needs to be paid to children’s right to have a life without the fear that always accompanies firearm misuse.

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