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.