The massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School has most Australians asking ‘When will the United States get serious about gun control?’ Sadly, the answer is not any time soon.
Now is obviously the moment when Barack Obama should emulate John Howard’s stand after the Port Arthur killings but the difference between 1996 and now is insuperable. This is not a question of rational policy-making but a question of faith. For the true believers, the magical power and saving grace of guns is a religious tenet beyond rational argument.
The National Rifle Association’s mantra ‘Guns don’t kill people – People kill people’ has practically become a punchline but for many Americans it’s also a core conviction. Others espouse gun ownership as a bulwark against tyranny. Never mind that the argument was invented in the 18th century when kings relied on mercenaries that a popular rebellion could actually defeat.
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Damn that Obama. He bamboozles you with a powerful speech and it’s only when he’s finished you realise he hasn’t actually committed to anything. Well, he committed to doing something. But it wasn’t gun control, not yet anyway.
It remains to be seen whether America would ever allow a black man to take away their precious guns – but his speech to the mourning people of Newtown offered, at last, a glimmer of hope.
Meanwhile, here, there’s a hint of the smugs about Australian gun control. Why can’t those crazy Yanks be more like us?
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Federal MP Bob Katter is a throw-back nutjob bunker-mentality troglodyte. Well, we’ve known that for a while. But this just in: His close associates and financial backers are gun-toting redneck heartless bastards with a slimy influence on politics.
Today’s Australian unravels the ties between Katter’s backers and the gun lobby. Including trophy pics of the financial powers behind Katter’s Australian Party with the exotic animals they’ve shot. Including a rare scimitar-horned oryx – officially extinct in the wild – and there’s also the above picture of David Auger, another financial backer, posing with a dead giraffe which, according to The Oz, he has shot.
What kind of fuckwit shoots a giraffe? Or a hippo?
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