The Australian, 7 Nov, 2017
Responding to a US mass shooting for the second time in six weeks, President Donald Trump said that it wasn’t “a guns situation” that was behind the slayings of more than two dozen worshippers at a Texas church a day earlier.
As he did following last month’s Las Vegas massacre of 58 people, Mr Trump resisted any discussion of gun control during a news conference in Tokyo, where he was beginning his first presidential trip to Asia.
Instead, Mr Trump characterised the shooting as a “mental health problem at the highest level.”
Yes Donald, it is, as you so presidentially put it just hours after another mass shooting in your ‘land of the free’, a ‘guns situation’.
It is also, obviously, a land of those in fear, and a land of the blind, with your propaganda around mental health issues copping the brunt of your blame for another US citizen’s decision to use a firearm to lash out in anger at his fellow humans and community members.
No. Having a ‘mental health problem’ is not a choice, but automatically identifying guns as a practical option to hurt people – an entire nation, the world even – physically and emotionally, to exact what can often be petty revenge, is a common choice, and seen as normal behaviour in your land.
Using and owning guns is a normal everyday activity in your country because despite the well-known lyric, yours is not the home of the brave. Yours is the home of the shit-scared, and with good reason.
13,203 of your countrymen, women and children have died from a gunshot so far in 2017, and devastatingly, by the time I finish writing this piece, that figure will be inaccurate because more people will have died due to a bullet fired from a gun by someone who saw it as an option to solve a ‘problem’, or accidentally because the gun was just ‘there’, not securely locked away or respected for the ultimate life-and-death power it wields when care is not taken.
For more sobering statistics, like the fact there have already been 307 mass shootings in the US in 2017, go to http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/
Donald, you continue to perpetuate this ‘solve my problems with a gun’ culture, by blaming everything else, even the pathetic ‘you are crazy’ line.
Guns do not solve problems; they create them. They are designed to cause death. That’s why people use them. That’s why armies and militia and terrorists and murderers use them – because they kill, efficiently.
Because successive US administrations have failed to exert gun control, it has become more and more entrenched as a way of life, and ultimately death. You choose this death culture by not owning up to controlling guns. We can’t always control people. We can control guns.
Look at Australia. Guns are feared and respected because they end life – life is sacred, isn’t that what you believe? Guns are rarely seen or used in Australia, except for the purpose they were designed. To kill or maim, or to warn that this could be the outcome if you disobey the operator. If you are an animal, you have no idea what is about to hit you or yours. We don’t have that luxury.
Look at the US. Mothers routinely ask the family of a child who wants to invite a new friend on a playdate, if there are guns in the home and if so, are they securely locked away. This is how she decides if little Johnny can play with his new friend Olivia. Is there a greater chance that little Johnny could be killed, either accidentally or on purpose, while playing hide and seek with his new friend Olivia? How chilling. How anti-social. How anti-human. How anti-life.
Because you all know little Johnny could be accidently or on purpose shot in a drive-by either before, during or after said playdate, or while he’s still at school, or even at church or doing the shopping. These activities – playing, learning, worshipping and shopping – are normal. Doing them with a gun is not.
Why is this so hard for you to understand, Donald? Or are you really as dumb as they say?
If guns were not seen as an option for dealing with a problem, your administration might better support organisations who are trying to provide all important mental health support to American citizens who need this help – that would be a normal thing to do. Having a mental health problem is a normal thing for most people at some time in their life – even you. Will you resort to using a gun to solve your problems? Or will someone take that option and use it against you? The stats show either is a strong possibility in your country.
Talking to someone, each other, reaching out, offering help would be a normal thing to do. Eating a healthy diet, participating in regular exercise and committing to belong to your communities would be a normal thing to do.
Not stocking up on ammo, sleeping with a gun under your pillow, buying the right suspender to discretely and fashionably tote an undergarment gun, or shooting a classroom of innocent children.
Do you get it yet? Your nation has a ‘mental health issue at the highest level’ which you are enabling: that gun ownership and use is normal.
It is not.
When Americans make up about 4.4 percent of the global population but own 42 percent of the world’s guns (according to a 2015 study by Adam Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama) via http://www.nytimes.com, life is cheap.
You continue to nurture a nation of civil terrorists. And hypocrisy kills.
With profound sadness,
An objective outsider.
Image credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images