Thinking about the Gun Lobby

The recent shootings in the US of 20 school children and 6 adults is both shocking and baffling, and I extend my heartfelt commiserations to all in that community.

But I am listening with interest to the debate we are having here in the UK around what we see as an unnecessary tragedy. We talk about the Gun Lobbyists and how political the debate has becomes. The gun manufacturers use their wealth to back the politicians, in a country where there is a limit to how much any one group can ‘donate’ to a political party we find this buying of political power hard to understand, the result, there will be no change the gun lobbyists themselves feel may harm their image or income. An acceptance of any restriction feels to them a precedent, a first step down a slippery slope. But the American people do believe that change must come, eventually.

How to find a compromise, something the gun lobbyists can see as a positive? Perhaps restricted sale of automatic guns is a compromise that could be borne. Upholding someones “right to own and bear arms” (2nd Amendment to the Bill of Rights) would not be rescinded or quashed by a change in the law that states that automatic weapons cannot be owned by anyone outside of the military/police force without a special license. and a renewal of that license would have to be applied for every few years.

Without exception the mass killings of the nature seen in Connecticut are carried out with the use of automatic weapons, where the depression of the trigger releases not one bullet but numerous, not one wound inflicted but many, not one death but many.

The experience of the use of a gun is important to contemplate. The physical act of holding a gun, the weight of it when carried, the cold metal, the feel of the depression of the trigger and the kick as the gun fires does have an effect on the user. In turn the act of reloading, of looking at the victim on each occasion and pulling the trigger will have an effect on the gunman each time.

Conversely the effort in keeping a trigger depressed and spraying bullets is very different, something ‘held’ in place allows the user the sensation that it is the weapon that is doing the killing rather than themselves. Releasing and re-depressing a trigger though seemingly only fractions of a second is an act the brain makes, a decision to do something on each of those occasions a bullet leaves the barrel.

Something to think about, I know many both here and in the U.S. think a great deal on this matter.

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