Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

Another 14 killed in San Bernardino (USA)

3 December 2015

Fear | USA


Yesterday it happened again in the United States of America, the most powerful nation on Earth. A disgruntled employee angrily left a company party and returned heavily armed with a woman. They killed 14 people and wounded another 17. The US media and the FBI didn’t exclude a terrorist motive given the “military clothing” of the perpetrators.

Americans are each others worst enemy by now. The USA does not even need Chinese, Russians or terrorists to attack them as they will just kill each other. Day by day. Week by week. Month by month. Year by year. Especially, as their solution to this gun violence problem is MORE guns. See my24 November 2015 blog: Catch-22 – US domestic terror(ism).

The official response by the US President was quite revealing: “The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world. [..] And for those who are concerned about terrorism, some may be aware of the fact that we have a no-fly list where people can’t get on planes, but those same people who we don’t allow to fly could go into a store right now in the United States and buy a firearm and there’s nothing that we can do to stop them. That’s a law that needs to be changed.” (White House)

Yesterday evening, when I was notified about this new gun related incident, I told a friend that nothing would even change in the USA when another American would kill an entire US city. The only response would be MORE guns – to protect yourself.

The official response by the US President is still along the lines of “common-sense gun safety laws, [and] stronger background checks”. To some extent, I agree with the criticism on this but from a very different angle: it is totally inadequate. As long as ordinary citizens have the right to wear arms then nothing will ever help. The USA does not have a gun problem but has an attitude problem with respect to guns. Its neighbour Canada is the living proof of that.

A US friend just told me this: “I don’t know what it would be like to live in another country, I just think living here stinks. Crime is terrible, I have been blessed to live in a nice quiet neighbourhood”. I think and feel that her answer is crucial: Americans do no longer know how it feels to live without fear and (fear of) violence. Their – logical – response is to live inside gated communities and also to buy guns for their protection.

The only remediation is a far-fetching one: collect all firearms from ordinary citizens and only allow the police and military to have guns – as in most other civilised countries. The mere idea that your neighbour – or employee – does not own a gun would normally prevent you from considering owning one too. Obviously, implementing the idea of disarming an entire population – of some 330 million people and some 370 million guns (Wiki) – would take some serious time and effort.

I feel sorry for the clear helplessness that the US President and others must be feeling.

Crosby Stills Nash & Young – Helpless – Déjà vu – 1970 – artists, lyrics, Wiki-1, Wiki-2


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