My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones in yesterday’s shootings in Florida by a 19 year angry ex-student.
Just a few months ago I blogged similar thoughts on the LA shooting and talked about the immaturity of the human psyche; an even more obvious case happened yesterday as we can all see. But while Trump emphasises the need for better mental health it is pretty obvious to everyone with half a brain cell that the ability to carry guns in the US means that this type of atrocity will go on and on.
Mental health improvements will never eradicate mental health problems. Decent gun control can achieve this. Allowing teenagers to buy automatic weapons is frankly obscene.
Here in the UK very few people have a gun and aside from the occasional criminal, the police and the army, no one has automatic weapons. Strangely, gun massacres are fairly rare. Perhaps there is a connection?
As a Druid I campaign for peace. That is to say I would be completely opposed to any relaxation of weapon laws here. That doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy an occasion go at archery or that I don’t fancy trying fencing, but these are simply sports played in very controlled environments where safety is paramount. Their use to shoot animals for sport is appalling though.
There is also a fairly constant debate about the use of athames and swords in rituals. I still don’t completely know where I stand on this although I am probably fairly comfortable with their use. Those opposed are often wanting to keep an instrument that is designed to kill away from a religious ceremony – a position that I can understand. Those in favour see the weapon as a symbol, often of masculinity, that draws and directs power.
Our occasional controlled use of weapons for sport or ritual is in stark contrast with the US obsession with the right to bear arms, a right that is leading to the slaughter of children and adults on a very regular basis. There were 372 mass shootings in the US in 2015 and around 12,000 murders annually. Plus this from the Guardian: In 2014 88 Americans were shot dead, on average, every day: 58 killed themselves while 30 were murdered. In that same year 18 Americans were killed by terrorist attacks in the US. Put more starkly: more Americans were killed by firearms roughly every five hours than were killed by terrorists in an entire year. Then you look at toddlers… 43 people short dead by toddlers in a year compared to 18 by terrorists yet Trump isn’t calling for toddlers to be banned! It beggars belief why no one is prepared to stop this.