I wondered why I felt strangely unaffected by this piece of breaking ‘world news’ this week. I listened yesterday to a TV program full of ‘experts’ discussing the ramifications of it and they made no sense, just talk. I listened to President Obama’s very ho-hum statement about it. I’ve seen the papers full of articles about it (and here’s another one…). And then I realised why it had so little effect on me.
– there are over 14,000, yes 14 THOUSAND murders in the US last year
– there are around 350 MASS killings in the US EACH YEAR
– most gun deaths in the US are black deaths
– the killer was an American, not a foreigner
– he legally obtained his semi-automatic gun from a licensed gun store
– it’s the 18th time in less than 8 years that the President has felt the need to make a statement about very similar events.
So this is just another massacre in the US. They actually have one almost every day, but they are mostly smaller (3 or 4 people), mostly black, often related to drugs or crime or gang violence and the killers are all local Americans, not foreign ‘terrorists’ (apparently Americans aren’t ‘terrorists’). This one was mainly white people and they were LGBTI people which is ‘news’. But it’s not news, because it happens every day in the US!
The US won’t change anything because of this. It loves its guns. It’s the only civilised society I can think of where shooting and mass killings are ‘normal’ in a society that is not at war. And it happens in virtually every state.
Whatthe US should be discussing is how to stop young men (it’s almost always men, not women) becoming disaffected with American society and radicalised to think that killing is a solution. Interestingly the LGBTI community in Orlando seemed to be calling for more love, not hate, to overcome this – a refreshing change, perhaps because they are a quite different and oppressed group themselves.
It should of course drastically change its gun laws. Everyone else in the world knows that, except the Americans. There’s no chance of that happening, so this will just continue, which is why it isn’t really ‘news’.
The US used to be a leader in solving world problems. Unless they solve this one of their own making and within their own control, unfortunately international respect for the US will continue to decline. This kind of behaviour is not becoming for a civilised society.