Maybe that's why repugs are so hysterically frantic about bombing everybody everywhere forever: they are trying desperately to compensate for their infantile attachment to guns.
When the world's other frontier nation calls you a bunch of muzzle-sucking babies, it's time to grow up.
In 1996, a gunman opened fire at a popular tourist destination on the Australian island of Tasmania. Using a semiautomatic rifle, he killed 35 people.
Australia responded by reforming their gun laws. High powered rifles and shotguns were banned and uniform gun licensing requirements were imposed for the guns that remained legal. The country also implemented a buyback program which resulted in the destruction of more than a million firearms.
In the last 19 years, there have been no mass shootings in Australia, defined as five or more people being shot.
The effort in Australia was not particuarly partisan. It was led by John Howard, Australia’s very conservative Prime Minister. Rather, the gun control measures were seen as a matter of basic humanity and common sense.
After a string of gun massacres over the last 3 years that have left hundreds dead and thousands injured, the United States has had a much different response. America has done nothing.
In the wake of Oregon mass murder, Australians are disgusted and perplexed by the American response.
Writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, Michael Pascoe blasted American society as immature and unable to take basic actions to save lives:
In his very fine speech this morning, full of sorrow and frustration, President Obama made a mistake: Australia is not like the United States. We decided not to be.
We decided to grow up instead and become a more reasonable, rational society that explicitly values human life and prefers to think the best of people, rather than the worst.
The US is too immature a society to be allowed to play with guns. It has never shed its Wild West mythology. Americans still use their courts to kill people, which sends a message in its own way… It’s a country that values property more than life.An editorial in Brisbane Times castigates America’s inaction on guns:
At Oregon last week, four guns were recovered – three pistols and a semi-automatic rifle. Did Mercer have the right to bear those arms? Yes, he did. From that question and answer flows the grim crimson tide. And from that flows, as always, the arrant nonsense from the NRA, and those of like mind, that guns are good, that guns are not the problem, that the president is politicising the issue. He should be, indeed he has been, with limited success. However, such is the web of lobbying, money, political support and sway, interconnected with the myriad legal jurisdictions, that we despair of seeing radical progress.Yet we must condemn. America prides itself on being a light in the world for democracy and liberty. Yet within its borders it is armed to the teeth. This is a tyranny, borne on a historical anomaly, that must end. Surely, if the phrase “land of the free” stands for anything, it is the embracing of the freedom not to have to live in fear of the gun.SNIP
The disgust is not limited to Australian shores. The New York Times struck a similar note. “Mass shootings have become an unsurprising part of American life, with lame public rituals in which politicians express grief and then retreat quickly into denial about this scourge,” the paper’s editorial board wrote Friday.