And once again the lemmings have hurtled themselves off the cliff. I’m hereby referring to yet another school massacre in the US of A. Just like the lemmings it seems American society is prone to these disasters every so often and quite as often come the manufactured responses of “thoughts and prayers” rolled out by the politicians. The need for change is usually talked about for a few days then it’s back to business in the gun trade. This time, with 17 high schoolers being slaughtered by some discontented nitwit, high school students in Florida are taking to the airwaves and roadways for their plight to be heard. Not even a week after this massacre the Florida State Assembly met and refused to even discuss any motion, much less propose any laws to curb the gun violence plaguing the country. Everyone is appalled at this apparently insensitive and indifferent attitude, but the problem is, no one is addressing the white elephant in the room. It is all about money.
The little white elephant is the NRA (National Rifle Association). This group, powered by gun manufacturers around the country, maintains that it is the constitutional right of each US citizen to own firearms, from a handgun to an anti-aircraft gun. There are gun shows in some states that sell guns like vendors sell mangoes in Stabroek market. Anyone can purchase a gun. If for some reason one cannot pass the punitive checks to qualify for purchasing a gun, one can have a qualified friend purchase it on one’s behalf. It boggles the mind to think what one hunts with an automatic gun that fires high calibre rounds at 30 per second. It’s not like animals are growing thicker hides. Shooting any animal with such a gun would render the meat useless; one is likely to get lead poisoning. The NRA is not about to have lower returns on its gun sales locally. They reserve the right to offer Americans the best and most destructive automatic weapons at a price, regardless of the resulting carnage.
The larger white elephant is the bribery system which stymies any effort to introduce meaningful laws to avert these disasters. This system is called lobbying. The NRA lobbies politicians to ensure no laws are passed to hinder gun sales in the US. So what if a few people are shot up from time to time? Business must go on. It’s all about money. US politicians would never vote for a ban on guns because they are all munching at the money trough of the NRA which makes them impotent in relation to making any positive moves to curb the availability of guns.
As long as the lobbying system remains, politicians will remain in the pockets of the NRA and absolutely nothing will be done about keeping guns out of the hands of those who should not have them. This shooting will be in the news for a week or two, then it will move on, probably to something dumb tweeted by the “smartest” president ever (according to him). To borrow from Britain’s famous literary son, PG Wodehouse, this president has just enough intelligence to open his mouth when he wants to eat, but certainly no more.