Gun culture

The recent mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, were terrible beyond words and yet, sadly, not at all unfamiliar to Americans. Mass shootings have become all too common here.

It’s worth noting that in New Zealand the immediate reaction by some citizens was to turn in their guns, whereas here in the US such shootings usually precipitate a rush to buy even more guns. Americans already own more than one gun per civilian, and yet that still isn’t enough.

Something we’ll probably never see in the US:

Guns handed in to Tasmanian police during the second national gun amnesty in Australia since the Port Arthur massacre in 1996. (Photo: Tasmania Police / AAP)

Makes you wonder which country is more civilized.


21 thoughts on “Gun culture

  1. No, it doesn’t make me wonder. The answer has been clear for decades and is even more obvious since the orange has been in the White House.

  2. The worse part of trump is the cult he has amassed and played to a tee. There is where the real danger lies. Remember he has some of the military, police force and bikers ready to roll, not to mention the mindless rally attendees and Fox News faithful followers.

  3. From an article in today’s USA Today:

    Australia and Britain both changed their gun laws in response to mass shootings.

    The Australian government overhauled its guns laws in 1996 after 35 people were murdered during a shooting spree in Tasmania. Australia banned all semi-automatic weapons and restricted certain handguns. It offered to buy back prohibited firearms.

    A 2016 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that Australia hadn’t had a fatal mass shooting – one in which five or more people are killed – since the 1996 shooting. In the 18 years prior to the new laws, there were 13.

    The turning point for Britain came in 1996, when a man used a legally owned handgun to kill 16 young children and a teacher at a school in Dunblane, Scotland. In the aftermath, all private ownership of handguns was banned.

    Since then, there has been one mass shooting, in 2010, in Britain.

    1. I read a similar rundown on CNN (?) or somewhere. It’s heartbreaking to see our lawmakers letting this country become a shooting gallery while other countries have acted immediately to eliminate or greatly curtail such horrible events.

  4. I think the biggest issue that we face is gun regulation and just how far we should go. 99.9 percent of law abiding gun owners wouldn’t ever think to do something so insane. Whether it’s a matter of how civilized or how barbaric this country may be well, I’ll leave that up to personal opinion. We have to find the medium here, I dont think one side will win peacefully either way without both sides compromising on one level or the other.

    1. Ah, compromise. What ever happened to compromise? It was a good thing, treated everyone fairly, settled all kinds of issues for the betterment of the country. Now you just breathe the word and you’re a traitor, loathsome in the eyes of many. I believe in moderation, compromise, a thoughtful centrist position. Yeah, I know, I’m a dinosaur.

  5. I think the difference is that we, the Australians and British people have grown up.

    Perhaps it’s time for our Yankee cousins to follow suit!

    Stop playing and get rid of the “Cowboys and Injuns” mentality

    1. That’s what I always end up telling myself … That we’re a much younger country and haven’t “matured” yet. But the problem is already so far out of control that I don’t know how we’ll ever rein it in.

      1. The English took well over a thousand years to sort themselves out, but I think it’s been well worth it, sadly I think it’s much too late now for the US, they’ve had their chance and have missed it, I dread to think of what kind of world we’re leaving my grand children.

  6. Difficult to compare apples to oranges – even NZ own citizens are saying that.
    The current shooter was a nut case who hated a group of people and left his country and went into another to kill.
    It’s much different here – form of government as created (for a reason – and judging from the abuse of local police power, still a good reason), lack of enforcement of existing laws (it is already agains the law to kill…apparently those are not painful enough/too many excuses because the violence continues without a pause by repeated offender ….), population composition (so many new arrivals who do not recognize the laws – /authorities of their new location), huge problem of mental illness (cause of so many big murders and crime – if one cares to look at the facts. Mental health assistance/ available emergency beds/ help for families struggling with a family member – all still ignored…cause it’s easier to say take away all the toys – but that will not stop the violence – people have to change. People, especially women, are learning guns for self defense – few legal,safety trained gun owners are causing the problem. )
    Those who are lucky to live in calm peaceful places with accommodating, congenial, law abiding citizens are lucky – but please realize others live in different circumstances.
    It’s the criminals that need to be addressed. Those with violent histories and mental issues. Respect for the law and respect for human life has to be restored before people feel they will be safe and protected by authorities so they have no need for weapons….other than cars, baseball bats, high heels, rocks…
    We’ve got a very violent bunch of young people who do not fear the laws, do not feel any kind of afterlife punishment (which whether you like religion or not, managed to keep some of the easily lead in check) – hard to raise a kid with violence/ though guy lifestyle being lionized by much in society: music, videos, celebrities, athletes…
    Not a good situation in any case, Correction will be slow – and only occur if attitudes towards human life change. Will take parents, schools, media, everyone on board going the same direction: “Stop killing. Violence is wrong, those who do it bad and society will be tolerated it any longer.”….here that will be difficult.

    1. It will be impossible here in Colorado if our sheriffs (so called “law enforcement” officers) keep insisting they will not enforce gun laws they don’t agree with. We now have counties declaring themselves “sanctuary counties” where gun laws will not be enforced.

      It feels like the whole country is stampeding back to the Dark Ages, when the only law was protect your own. Whatever civilization we managed to achieve is going out the window.

      1. Boulder! Of all places, Boulder. (apparently NM, also.)
        Mexico is gun free zone – and a narco state. No matter what Beto and mayor of El Paso say about safety, the reality from people we know there still includes bullets flying across the border (towards playgrounds and school) running shoot out car battles running through border entry points and down US city in the streets as drug cartels try to maintain territory control,….gads. Once couple just left a gorgeous house on a hill with massive view due to worries about safety there.
        Odd bit of info: European and other countries developed/have historical tradition with a single authoritarian ruler like a king – and have the tradition of bowing totally to single authority with mostly complete obedience. People forget the US was created by the people of the colonies had witnessed the abuse of a single head of government/king and took great steps to elevate the individual is important – giving them specific right to back the government off if necessary (although they seem deaf to citizens now)
        But everything depends and rests on the rule of law and people obeying the laws they create. Sigh
        Your last paragraph is so on target. I guess if you look back, it’s always that way with humans and civilization…hopefully it will be only 1 step back, not 100.

      2. I want to say that much of the lawlessness and hate is due to encouragement from Trump. And it is. But the mass shootings started before he was elected. (Sandy Hook was in 2012.)

        “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” ― Edmund Burke

        We’re busily doing nothing.

      3. Yep, a universal, endless human thread – sadly a sickness that seems to have infect many elected officials – name calling and insults by anyone are not constructive – only enflames emotions and makes impulsive people do stupid hateful things – and as you said started long before Trump unfortunately. – and no one muttered a thing. It will be a long road back., but achievable…if everyone wants to get on board, become more willing to walk in another person’s shoes, Listen to understand before talking, regain a sense of humor with less thin skin. Stop encouraging victimhood. Back to the “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me” – and stop expecting that everyone to like you – ain’t gonna happen and no reason it should – diversity of personalities/opinions makes life more fun and interesting. Just go play with someone else if that person is mean or irritates you.
        Maybe if people acted like adults in stead of needy emotional crippled children desperate for attention…(Of course we should demand our leaders be good examples…which may be asking too much? haha)

      4. A big part of the problem, I think, is that too many of our elected officials have sold out to the lobbyists. They’re more interested in lining their own pockets than in doing what’s best for the country. As long as the wealthy can buy what they want in Washington and the nation’s state houses, the problem will continue. I don’t see how we get around it.

... and that's my two cents