What is American gun violence teaching children? As I write this post the news headlines are dominated by the latest mass shooting in America. As if that weren’t sad enough it’s yet another school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in Florida. My initial feeling about the breaking news notification on my phone what that of normality – this is becoming normal.
Let’s break that down a little: I now feel that seeing news of mass shooting in America is perfectly normal. That’s crazy isn’t it? But sadly this is the way it is now. It’s not longer a shock when these headlines traverse the Atlantic ocean and land with us here in the United Kingdom. Of course I know it’s wrong, what’s happening there isn’t right on any level. I feel so much for all those affected by these horrific incidents. But what does these headlines tell our children?
My daughter asked me why so many people get killed in America? My instinctive answer would be to say “I don’t know” but in truth I do know. The blame has to lay with the leadership. America is a country that has a constitution that give people the right to bare arms. A succession of Presidents have failed to act on this problem – the problem of zero gun control. Some might argue there are protocols in place but frankly they aren’t worth anything. People can still legally purchase weapons and head out to kill as many people as they can. Obama came closest in recent history after Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook. Sadly he had no real power to do anything, and those gun-toting politicians, likely fed generous donation by the NRA (national rifle association), failed to do ANYTHING at all.
What does it teach children
My worry is that the example set by the US set’s a seriously bad example to children. I don’t mean that our kids are going to go out, source a firearm and cause gun violence. It’s something else. What does it teach them about leadership? My children are wise enough to understand countries are led by people and that those people are meant to take car of us. So what is the leadership of the United States telling children? It’s telling them they are incapable of doing what is required, not because they cannot do it but because they won’t do it.
What should they do?
It really extraordinary that this country, supposedly the biggest world power and one that happily interferes in the business of other countries, is so outward looking it can’t deal with what is going on within it. Political analyst I am not, nor am I an expert in such matters and thank goodness for that. I am a normal bloke with children who see the news and wonder what the hell is going on. I see it rather simplistically – they need to stop allowing people to buy guns. Yes, that means they will have to change their constitution – so what?
If I here another pro-gun twit spouting that guns don’t kill people but mental people do I could scream. Maybe if mentally ill people didn’t have such free an easy access to weapons then guns truly wouldn’t kill as many people. But don’t just blame mentally ill people as I am fairly certain some of these mass murderers knew perfectly well what they were doing. Any why would a normal, everyday person need the semi-automatic assault weapons as well? It’s like me walking into Asda and coming out with an AK47 – madness.
Maybe US politicians should take a look at this mass shooting tracker and consider what they see. They should look at the statics, the one above being an excellent place to start, and just consider them. The most powerful country in the world has that glaring problem hitting them in the face – and they do nothing at all.
What will I do?
I could rant all day about this. Frankly I am so glad not to be America and so glad we live in a country with reasonable common sense in the leadership. Yes we have our problems but people walking into schools and shooting kids dead isn’t one of them. And long may that continue.
When it comes to out girls I will simply explain that leaders get it wrong. It’s okay to get it wrong sometimes, so long as you recognise that and sort it out. We’re just waiting for those leader across the pond to sort it out!
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