Sunday, 22 July 2012

Hostage to the Lunatics

Nothing reveals the fault lines in American society so much as their regular, almost routine, firearm massacres. These tragedies occur over and over again, and the responses are entirely predictable.

The president (and before an election) the opposing presidential candidate, make statements condemning the brutality and express sympathy for the victims.

The NRA usually issues a statement, but reaffirm their stance that everyone (including the 5% of the population certifiable or close to it) has the right to bear arms.

Then everyone carries on as if nothing has happened, and we wait for the inevitability of the next tragedy.

It's a strange blend of collective denial and pure lunacy that is central to what is fondly called the American dream. There are scores of families in Colorado at the moment living something else. They would probably call it the American nightmare.

The sad fact that a significant proportion of Americans live in a fantasy land in which they pine nostalgically for the violence of the frontier wars is quite remarkable. The fact that US legislators (with a few exceptions like Bloomberg) lack the courage to change this deplorable state of affairs is beyond sad.

This piece in the Daily News sums it up pretty well. The most disturbing element of this article is reading the comments from the gun crazies.

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