Tag Archives: Guns

Open Carry: Would You Want To Be At A Festival Where People Carry Guns

I thought seriously about attending SXSW this year.  The owner of one of the sites I write for knows the organisers and a number of PR companies wanted to partner with the site for coverage at SXSW.

The festival falls a great time, it is still cold in the UK and festival season is still dormant here.  I have never visited Austin or Texas so SXSW would have been a great opportunity to put that right and with an always eclectic range of new and established musical talent on offer to photograph and interview I would certainly have found plenty to keep me interested and occupied.

Despite the temptation I decided not to attend SXSW and today I am breathing a huge sigh of relief.  This is possibly the first time ever that I have been really happy not to be at a music festival.  Why I hear you shout.

The answer is a very simple one.  Guns!

Those of you who live in the U.S. may not be aware but today is the 20th anniversary of the Dunblane school massacre.  Thomas Hamilton murdered 16 children and a teacher before killing himself.  This still ranks as the U.K.’s worst ever gun related crime.

If any good came out of Dunblane it was the fact that increased gun control since then has resulted in a significant reduction in already extremely low levels of gun crime in the U.K.

I what is the most bizarre irony Time reports today that gun supporters in Texas will “crash” president Obama’s keynote speech whilst openly carrying guns. Seriously, this is the worst kind of lunacy.  I fully accept that the attitude to guns in the U.S. is very different to that in the U.K. and every day I give thanks for that.  Put simply in my view anyone who wants to walk around carrying a gun should be locked up for a very very long time.  Anyone who believes that allowing more people to carry guns will reduce gun crime belongs in the Donald Trump school of race relations.

According to the Washington Post C.J. Grisham of ‘Open Carry Texas’ made the following statement which to me epitomises why I am glad not to be in Texas this week.

“The president is an American, just like every one of us is an American,” Grisham said. “He’s nothing special. Granted, he is the president, but him being there for us doesn’t change anything. We’re no threat to the president, and the president better not be a threat to us.”

Just read that last sentence again “the president better not be a threat to us!”  I don’t know about you but it seems that this idiot just made a threat to the president of the United States.  These are the people who are walking round in Texas openly carrying guns. The mind boggles!

Just look at the banners these idiots are carrying.  “Obama if you want my gun come and take it.” Again an implied threat.  These are the kind of people who would never get anywhere near a gun in the U.K. and for that small mercy I give thanks.

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Obama Promises Gun Control: Texas Allows Guns To Be Openly Carried

I love America, though I am not American.  I have many friends in the USA who I hold dear but on the issue of gun control the USA has simply lost it’s marbles.

The BBC reports today that president Obama is giving serious consideration to using his executive power to implement some for of gun control.  During his presidency we have seen  Obama stand in front of the American people on dozens of occasions lamenting the latest mass shooting and saying something must be done about gun control.

Mr Obama told Americans that he had received too many letters from parents, and teachers, and children, to sit around and do nothing.

“We know that we can’t stop every act of violence,” the president said. “But what if we tried to stop even one? What if Congress did something – anything – to protect our kids from gun violence?”

Listen up Mr president, you have had seven years to do something about it and yet here you are promising action now.  Why has it taken so long?  It wouldn’t by any chance be because you now have nothing to lose politically.  The mid-terms are long gone and you won your second term, this time next year year you will be handing the reins to someone else in any event.  If the republicans win the presidential election they will reverse any action you take.

On the same day that you promise action WNCN tells us that a crowd carrying holstered handguns rallied at the Texas State Capitol steps New Year’s Day to celebrate the state’s new open carry law.

The rules, which allow concealed handgun license holders to carry visible, holstered handguns, kicked in Friday with the start of 2016.

75% of Democrats support gun control, more than 50% of all Americans support gun control.  CNN reports that since 9/11 more than 406,000 people have been killed by guns [up to 2013] on American soil.

In comparison UK,where gun control is strict, figures are tiny but there is one similarity, most gun crime killings are carried out by people who hold their weapons legally.

This truly isn’t rocket science.  More guns means more gun crime.  It is simple, really.

How long do you think it will be before someone is killed by some cowboy wielding a weapon in Texas?

Please America, wake up and smell the coffee.  Do Something!

 

Is The U.S. Finally Ready To Tackle Its Insane Gun Laws

Over the course of recent years we have sat back and wrung our hands in despair at the repeated reports of mass-murder by guns in the USA.  We Brits really don’t get the U.S. obsession with guns.  Our gun controls are moderately strict and there are rigorous background checks by the Police before a gun licence is issued.

Certain guns, assault rifles and the like are beyond licensing.  We in the U.K. have some gun crime of course, there have even been a couple  of mass shootings but what goes on in the U.S. on a weekly basis both shocks and appalls us in the UK.

According to the BBC there have been 353 mass shootings in the U.S. in 2015, up to December 3rd, thats slightly more than one a day.  12,223 people have been killed in gun violence and a further 24,722 have been injured by guns.  Think about that for a second four times more people have been killed by gun violence in the U.S. in a single year than died in the 9/11 attacks.  Even more worryingly a huge percentage of gun violence in the U.S. is as the result of legally held weapons.

The awful attacks this week in Oregon and San Bernadino means that Obamas second term in office has seen 994th mass shootings.  It is estimated that there are at least 285 million guns in circulation in the U.S., that is pretty close to one for every man woman and child.  It is no exaggeration to say that gun violence is “routine” an acceptable fact of life.

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Every time there is an atrocity the NRA and some in the U.S. government trot out the same tired old platitudes.  It boils down to the argument that the way to tackle gun violence is for more people to have more guns.  This kind of skewed and warped thinking is madness almost beyond belief.  Since 9/11 (up to 2013) over 400,000 Americans have died by gun violence. The U.S. has spent trillions of dollars pursuing the “so called” war on terror as it ignores the slaughter of its citizens by its citizens.

During the same 2001 – 2013 517 people died as a result of gun violence in the UK.  Put simply you are 712 times more likely to die by gun violence in the U.S. than you are in the UK.  Even allowing for the fact that the U.S. population is five times larger than the UK these figures are horrifying.

The lack of gun control in the U.S. is insane.  Earlier this week it was reported that the federal authorities have seized nearly 2300 guns from passengers hand luggage at airports this year.

Newsweek reported earlier this week that authorities in South Carolina have seized an arsenal of 5,000 guns from one man!   A later report on CNN suggests that the true total of guns seized is more likely to be closer to 10,000.

Earlier this week it was revealed that people who are on terrorist watch lists and no-fly lists can still legally buy guns.  Obama himself has declared that this defies any kind of logic.  Seriously a person who is under suspicion of being a terrorist can walk into a shop and quite legally buy a gun!  It beggars belief.  It is insanity of the very highest order.

Obama said in his radio address that the use of military-style assault weapons in the latest mass shooting was “another tragic reminder that here in America it’s way too easy for dangerous people to get their hands on a gun.”

Can it be that these latest atrocities mean that the U.S. is finally waking up to the Insanity of their gun laws.  We can but hope.