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Thursday, 18 April 2013

America's shame in one photo

This photo is of some of the families of the Newtown shooting victims yesterday at the White House. This is their reaction on learning that the US Senate had rejected expanding background checks for gun purchases.

It should shame America.

Last month the BBC's Panorama showed how easily anyone could buy a gun when a British reporter got one. It's called straw purchasing and it feeds guns to criminals and that's what the vote was about.

America is so far gone that checks to stop terrorists buying guns are rejected by the gun industry lobby and thus politicians*. Anything that resembles gun control is rejected because the country is caught up in an insane culture of worship to an ancient text and a belief that a cycle of violence, guns begetting guns, is a good thing.

Yesterday I saw the former Conservative MP Louise Mensch expressing exasperation at the country. Last year the conservative former Australian Prime Minister John Howard wrote in the New York Times of how Australia united for gun control after a massacre. He did this following Newtown, to show how the rest of the world has managed to control guns and gun violence.

America's friends want to help. But how to stage an intervention with a 1000lb gorilla?

This photo shows that America wants to be different from the rest of us. It refuses to join civilisation. It will pompously talk of its culture and history so if the rest of us can show cultural relativism elsewhere, to say, 'well, actually, our way of doing things is better than yours' to other people's backwards and antidiluvian cultural practices, then we should do it to Americans as well.

This photo is not the result solely of 'gun nuts' or the 'gun industry lobby'. It's because America won't make it stop, enough won't get angry enough to make sure this never happens again. Most of America doesn't see this picture as shameful.

The liberal Ana Marie Cox writing today in The Guardian tries to explain the vote. It is because the 'NRA culture' is dominant, then she relates that culture to her own experience.

It is a bizarre read. She talks -- I am not kidding -- of a zombie apocalypse and how best to prepare for it and who she would want to be with should a 'tyrannical government' take over, like that's something which even crosses the minds of citizens of normal countries.

Cox cites her Texan upbringing and I am well aware of how this psychosis is well rooted in the US, and not just in 'flyover country'. It's all excuses. Cox and her fellow liberals needs to grow out of it. Other countries (Serbia, Germany) have done far worse and changed.

I floated shunning as something friends might do on a liberal blog I read and most thought Americans were so far gone it wouldn't work, though I do recall a time last decade when American tourists would pretend to be Canadian, so the idea does have form. But one person wrote this:
Please shun us. Try our politicians for war crimes. Issue ongoing travel advisories to our major cities. Advise tourists to our states to take out special medical insurance for acts of violence.  Caution against eating our genetically modified food.  Refuse to work alongside our election observers until we get our own in order. Really, make us feel like a pariah among Western democracies.  Nothing else has worked.
Worth a try?

Watch video from the Rose Garden yesterday after the jump:

* After posting this I read this: How the gun lobby has already blocked Boston’s bombing investigators. This country has lost its mind.

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