'No we can't' lame duck President Obama is outgunned by vile NRA
Published 30/06/2015 | 00:00
THE fact that Charleston mass murderer Dylann Roof got a .45 calibre gun for his 21st birthday is not in any way surprising.
That he went on to kill nine people at a church in America is also (sadly) not all that surprising and this is a terrible indictment of a country which has persisted with lax gun control laws in the face of countless deaths.
'This type of mass violence doesn't happen in other advanced countries,' Obama said following the tragedy. 'It doesn't happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is within our power to do something about it. I say this recognising that the politics of this town foreclose a lot of those avenues. But it would be wrong for us not to acknowledge it.'
President Obama was elected to bring change to a country standing on the precipice financially. He achieved this, in part, but there was an expectation that he would do so much more. The Newtown massacre in December 2012 saw 20 children killed along with six adult staff by 20-year-old Adam Lanza after he burst into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. In the proceeding 24 months at least 95 school shooting incidents took place in 33 states across the nation. 95. And this is only at schools. As someone who has family living in America, I am afraid to look every time I hear about another massacre in America such is the alarming regularity of these tragedies in the US.
President Obama is well intentioned and he has come out strongly this time, but there is an air of hopelessness to the prospect of any real change.
The mighty dollar is calling the shots so the 11,000 plus people who die from gun crime each year will remain a sad reality. At the root of this evil is the NRA. Faced with an online backlash, a member of the National Rifle Association's board deleted comments criticizing the Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, a South Carolina lawmaker who was one of the nine people shot and killed in the attack on his church in Charleston two days previously.
The N.R.A. official, Charles L. Cotton, argued in an online discussion that Mr. Pinckney, a state senator, bore some responsibility for the other deaths because he had opposed a change to South Carolina's gun laws that would have made it legal to carry a concealed weapon into a church.
'Eight of his church members who might be alive if he had expressly allowed members to carry handguns in church are dead,' Mr. Cotton wrote. Moron!
President Obama has pointed to Australia's swiftly introduced, post-Port Arthur massacre gun laws as an example for America. He vented his frustration at a Congress which he described as being in the 'grip' of the National Rifle Association, before calling on the US public to be more vocal.
'When Australia had a mass killing it was just so shocking to the system, the entire country said, "We're going to completely change our gun laws". They did and it hasn't happened since.' Mr Obama said gun manufacturers 'make out like bandits' after each massacre with spikes in gun and ammunition sales because of fear the government would take Americans' guns.
'New laws need to respect the traditions of gun ownership in the US,' he added, walking a linguistic tightrope.
'The question is just, "Is there a way of accommodating that legitimate set of traditions with some common sense stuff that prevents a 21-year-old who is angry about something or confused about something, or is racist, or is deranged, from going into a gun store and suddenly is packing and can do enormous harm?"' President Obama asked.
'I don't foresee any legislative action being taken in this Congress and I don't foresee any real action being taken until the American public feels a sufficient sense of urgency and say to themselves, "This is not normal. This is something we can change and we're going to change it". If you don't have that kind of public and voter pressure, then it's not going to change from the inside.'
He has called for an honest debate in a military, gun mad country where you can buy guns in supermarkets often with minimal backgrounds checks.
The rising body count tells its own grim story in freshly spilt blood.