Please don’t tell me that I live in the greatest country in the world

“At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this kind of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. It is in our power to do something about it.” ~ President Obama.

I’m tired of hearing the phrase “We live in greatest, most powerful country in the world.” If any of that were true we would not be the racist, divided, and irresponsible country that we unfortunately find ourselves. The “Responsible” in responsible gun ownership would dictate that all firearms should be turned in and melted down for scrap metal. Let’s be real here, I understand the attraction that firearms hold for the cowboys and cowgirls in all of us but what has become painfully clear is that, as a people, Americans can’t handle them appropriately. Oh sure some men and women own guns and there are no problems and they use firearms with the respect they should, I acknowledge that fact but if you’re truly being honest your just stroking some childhood fantasy that has no place in today’s world. The gun you own safely today becomes a weapon in the hands of a deranged killer tomorrow.

If I could I would repeal the Second Amendment. Let’s put away childish things, the eyes of the world are upon us.

25 worst mass shootings –

The Australians were able to successfully implement gun control legislation that has drastically reduced all manner of gun-related violence for the past nineteen years. The Aussies, who share our frontier, Wild West heritage and mentality, have been able to put away their firearms and reduce the incidences of mass shootings to zero and suicide by firearm to less than 1:100K.

The Government took action within twelve days of a horrific mass shooting incident in Port Arthur, Tasmania, in April 1996. A lone gunman killed 20 people all in the space of 90 seconds. He achieved his final toll of 35 people dead and 18 seriously wounded by firing a military-style semiautomatic rifle.

“What was the political fallout? It wasn’t without cost to John Howard. Political interest groups among his conservative base raised hell, and the move met strong resistance from some in rural areas. His party’s coalition partner in those areas suffered in subsequent elections. But the majority of Australians, shocked by the mass killing, backed action. And it worked. Multiple homicides involving guns are exceptionally rare, none have been remotely as bloody and random as the Port Arthur massacre, and none have involved the sort of weapons whose importation was banned.

What exactly happened to murder and mass killing?

In the years after the Port Arthur massacre, the risk of dying by gunshot in Australia fell by more than 50% — and stayed there. A 2012 study by Andrew Leigh of Australian National University and Christine Neill of Wilfrid Laurier University also found the buyback led to a drop in firearm suicide rates of almost 80% in the following decade.

In the 19 years since the announcement of legislation specifically designed to reduce gun massacres, Australia has seen no mass shootings. As Howard wrote in an opinion piece for the New York Times in 2013, “Today, there is a wide consensus that our 1996 reforms not only reduced the gun-related homicide rate, but also the suicide rate.”

Any hope of repeating Australia’s success here in the United States would require a change or complete repeal of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by approval of three-fourths or thirty-eight states, an almost unachievable task considering Americans’ love affair with the gun and the powerful, wealthy forces arrayed against any such legislation.

“The National Rifle Association, with more than 5 million members and a powerful lobbying arm in Washington, reflects a vast interest group in a nation where there are nearly as many firearms (more than 300 million) as there are people.”

It looks to this writer that the population in the United States is doomed to periodically reduce its numbers by self inflicted mass shootings simply because we do not possess the strength of will to accomplish what the rest of the civilized world has done through legislation and control of firearms. Please don’t tell me that America is the greatest country in the world, that just rings hollow to my ears after the recent tragedy in South Carolina.

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