Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Gun Law

While the media speculates as to the possible motives of the gunman who killed nearly sixty people in Las Vegas, I have just three words for them: 'Country Music Festival'.  As someone who has to endure living in close proximity to a self styled music 'event' - Crapchester Shite, sorry, Live - every year, I can well understand how being forced to listen to a relentless cacophony for an entire weekend might drive you to the edge of insanity.  However, living in the UK, the most aggressive retaliation open to me is writing a sternly worded letter to the local council, complaining about the noise levels.  Whereas, if I lived in the US, I could instead just open fire on the crowds with an automatic weapon.  The apparent easy availability of firearms in the US always seems bizarre to outsiders.  To be fair, the types of firearms available and the restrictions on ownership varies enormously from state to state, but there are, nonetheless, places where it is legal to own such things as fully automatic weapons.

Now, I can actually understand why some people might want to own things like shotguns, or hunting rifles - quite apart from their sporting use, there are a lot of remote places in the US where you might want to feel protected.  I can even understand some handgun ownership - I used to know a guy in DC who, although in favour of gun control, owned a handgun and actually had some kind of carry permit (he was ex-military and worked for the government).  He carried while out jogging, his rationale being that gun control was so poor, there were already too many crazies with guns out there and wanted to protect himself from them. (To be fair, at the time gun crime, particularly street robberies, were pretty high in the DC area).  He thing I don't understand is why anyone would have any legitimate need to own an automatic, or even a semi-automatic long gun.  It surely can't be for hunting purposes.  I mean, the bears aren't that heavily armed, are they?  Yet people do own such things, perfectly legally, and we're all shocked when they use them to mow down other people by the score.  Then we all say how terrible it is and how it should never be allowed to happen again. But then nothing changes and we're all horrified when it happens again.  And again.  But I stand by my theory as to the Las Vegas shooter's motivation: I've even heard tell that he was heard shouting "In the name of God, shut that fucking row up!" from the balcony of his room shortly before he opened fire.  



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