Dallas: Just the beginning?

Like many people, I was doubly saddened by the news from America this week. Seemingly pointless shootings of young black men by police in Louisiana, followed by the deliberate ambush of police officers in Texas. The black communities in that country have a case indeed. Despite the fact that more white people are actually shot by police across that country, the percentage difference is still worthy of note.

Of course, nothing can justify the pre-planned killings of police officers attending a protest rally. After all, many wrongs do not make a right. It could be argued that they just make things worse, for all concerned. In a copycat-obsessed society, the biggest worry is that this will just be the beginning. People who consider themselves to be victims, marginalised by authority and society in general, might see this as a valid way to protest.

Time after time, everyone from President Obama, to local police chiefs, and on to the relatives of the victims, complain about the issues. Racism, white power, and intolerance of minorities. They all miss the salient point, that of easy gun ownership across the Atlantic. The authorities in Texas should learn a lesson from the shootings last night. There are little checks or requirements in that state, (and others) to allow ownership of firearms of all kinds, including assault rifles.

If police forces across that country could be sure that the majority of suspects had no access to firearms, then their activities and responses would be subject to far greater scrutiny. They would have little or no excuse to respond so violently, if it was known beforehand that most people would not, or could not, be carrying guns. Given the current demand for gun ownership, the power of the arms companies, and the NRA, this seems unlikely to happen.

So, America, sad or not, you reap what you sow.

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9 comments

  1. lividemerald2013

    I’m all for gun control (i.e., background checks, limiting the types of guns that can be legally sold), but not for confiscation, as criminals can always get hold of weapons. Look at what has happened in Mexico, France, and elsewhere around the world where the general population has severely limited access to firearms. As for the rise in violent racism in this country, a lot of that rests squarely on the shoulders of Barack Obama. Ironically, the more he speaks out about gun control, the more guns are sold in this country, and the more brazen criminals become. I don’t know what the answer is, but I think everyone can agree that the U.S. is, at times, a violent place, and that the roots of violence are stubborn and will be difficult, if not impossible, to eradicate.

    Like

    • beetleypete

      Thanks for your thoughtful reply, David. I especially welcome comments from Americans, as this is very much a problem for you, and our opinions originate from a very different starting point. One issue that is always raised here though. If so many Americans legally carry guns for the ‘own protection’, how come they never use them against the perpetrators of these incidents? They still seem to rely on the authorities to intervene, when presumably it would be perfectly legal for them to produce their weapons, and take on the terrorists/killers/mass murderers in self-defence?
      Just a thought.
      Best wishes as always, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lividemerald2013

        Intervention does happen, but usually not at “soft targets” like marathons, nightclubs, holiday parties, and street protests where well-intentioned people are unlikely to carry a weapon. Most states are open carry now, as is Nevada, and so, for example, I could carry a gun on the Strip if I had one and chose to do so. However, I would likely be questioned by the police. Once they were assured I was a law abiding citizen, they would wish me a good day. However, walking among the tourists, I would attract a lot of wary and suspicious eyes. Nowadays, many people have a weapon in their vehicle, but, as a recent incident in St. Paul, MN made very clear, you have to be very careful with your hands if you’re stopped by the police for, say, a burnt out taillight. It’s also true that many women carry a small handgun in their purse for self-protection. Anyone who owns a gun should be willing to use it, and know how to use it, should the need arise.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. toritto

    Hi Pete- starting to remind me of the 1960s. We will see the rise of another Malcolm, the resurgence of the Panthers and another Move movement unless we address the issues of racism and guns head on. I recall laughing when Ronald Reagan signed tighter gun control legislation – he did it when the Black Panthers showed up at the California state house legally bearing arms. What’s good for the goose…………Regards.

    Liked by 1 person

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