Newsflash: George W Bush is stupid and US democracy is broken

Australian Martin Bryant still holds the record for the world’s worst gun rampage, when he killed 35 people at Port Arthur, Tasmania in 1996. A dubious honour, to be sure. Prior to this, Australia had a fairly strong going-postal tradition: Milperra in 1984, Hoddle Street and Queen Street in 1987, Strathfield in 1991 and the Central Coast in 1992*. After Port Arthur, in a display of political bravery and farsightedness that proved to be as rare as it was uncharacteristic, the Howard Government passed tough gun laws and collected and destroyed more than half a million weapons.

Since 1996, here are some sobering statistics*:

Country Massacres People killed in massacres
Australia 0 0
United States 9 93

The US has had Jonesboro in 1998, Columbine in 1999, Wichita in 2000, Red Lake in 2005, Goleta, Capitol Hill and the Pennsylvania Amish school in 2006, Trolley Square earlier this year and now Blacksburg*. Australia has had none*.

That’s just gun massacres folks. Guns, sorry PEOPLE with guns, kill at least 30,000 people in the US each year. In Australia, it’s more like 300, most of which are suicide. Yet opinion polls consistently show that Americans believe poor parenting and violent movies and video games are greater causes of gun violence than gun ownership.

More guns = more dead people. It ain’t rocket science.

But President Bush took time out from consoling his country to assert that he continues to believe in the “right to bear arms”. From memory, every time a gun massacre has occurred in the US (that’s six* so far during Dubya’s presidency) he has immediately come out to reassure the NRA nutjobs that even though a whole bunch of people were just killed by guns, sorry, people with guns, he won’t make stricter gun laws.

What would make a politician do something so abjectly undiplomatic, insensitive and idiotic as to stand up in front of a bunch of people whose loved ones were just killed with guns (people with guns) and say “We support people’s rights to own guns”?!

The only possible answer is that Dubya and all US politicians live in absolute fear for their political lives instilled by a power-mad lobby group that represents the views of its insane, stupid and myopically self-centred members all too well, to the obvious and ongoing detriment of American society.

*(Lists and statistics collected from Wikipedia. May not be complete, accurate or true.)

11 Comments Add yours

  1. thepigs says:

    i see a contradiction between this post and the post “bitter msyognynst fuckwits are the problem”. in this post you make repeated reference to people not being the problem and guns being the problem. while in the “bitter” article you make repeated reference to people being the problem and “web 2.0” not being the problem. how is it you draw the distinction between peoples actions being at fault in one case and not in the other case?

  2. Josh says:

    I suppose if I were being entirely consistent with this philosophy, I should advocate either gun ownership or some sort of licensing scheme for computer ownership and internet use.
    You’ve laid a clever semantic trap for me here, because if I say guns are harmful and computers aren’t, then why should it matter if people say mean things about each other on blogs?
    But my point here is, the NRA formulation that people are responsible, not guns, assumes some fantastic utopia where people who are raised properly and not exposed to violent movies always use guns responsibly. This is a very optimistic view of human nature.
    However, it deliberately avoids the obvious: PEOPLE WHO HAVE GUNS kill people. If you take away the guns, they have to stab you or poison you or push you in front of a train, and that’s hardly worth the effort most of the time.
    And in this age of pre-emptive wars and detaining people indefinitely just in case they might know something about someone who might commit acts of terrorism, I see no problem with the idea of taking away guns to prevent the potential crimes that may be committed if they are used irresponsibly – which they inevitably are.

  3. G says:

    Hello! (Still new at this blogging/comment thing so bear with me.–and Im not trying to say anything mean in anyway) You make some very valid points–thank the Great Spirits for freedom of speech is the country! I also believe that guns do not kill people…people kill people. I am an NRA supporter, not some freak with a zillion firearms, I dont even own a gun, but I believe in the right to keep one if you are a law abiding citizen–criminals and sickos are not law abiding. (Please note: Law Abiding. As a law abiding citizen, there should be no concern that they would be irresponsible in their care. Heck, even our own military can be irresponsible!) Goodness, a spork, a nail file even a computer keyboard can become a weapon. (I guess I didnt get the one comment comparing web2.0 and guns being remotely similar–so i cant –and im not–really commenting on that one.) Banning guns wont stop angry, hateful, creepy, sick will only give criminals the upper hand (they wont obey the law so they will have guns or at least find a way to get guns) and give the creepy sick people the opportunity to find other ways to wack off the masses in more ingenious and probably more hideous ways. You imply that it would take too much time and energy with out a gun, but I dunno..I think if the person was psyco enough and gung-ho about it, it wouldnt matter how long it took, they would still do it. One way or another. Thank you for letting me comment on your blog. It really was interesting and does have some good points too. 🙂

  4. thepigs says:

    he he he “wack off the masses”

  5. Josh says:

    G, sorry to be the one to break it to you, but everything you believe is wrong.

  6. thepigs says:

    i agree with vealmince here G. Your arguments are in general fairly poor. I liked the initial ‘right to free speech’ thing, implying vealmince likes some civil rights but not others, but it went downhill after that. In Africa, the warlords practice a method of gun control that I find appealing for Americans like yourself — don’t ban guns, just cut the hands off of people who want them.

  7. G says:

    Sigh…Everyone is going to believe their side no matter what and I dont and didnt mean to even try to change your thoughts/beliefs. Or even argue..honest. (we are humans after all–well most of us >>grin>ick

  8. Josh says:

    That’s all very kind and well-meaning of you, but the way you put it implies that both sides of the argument have equal merit and there’s no real harm in believing one way or the other.
    The pro-gun argument is fundamentally weak and deliberately distorted, not just by you but by everyone who thinks that way. It’s like a mass mental retardation that makes American NRA nutjobs unable to see what is plainly obvious to everyone else.
    Furthermore, continuing to believe what you believe has drastic negative consequences for your society that you (and the rest of your society) refuse to own up to.
    All the negative consequences you claim would happen as a result of gun control must be weighed against the deaths of 30,000 people each year that are the direct result of having all the guns! Can the “freedom” to own guns be worth such a terrible cost?
    Even if you only (only!) saved 15,000 lives a year by reducing your “freedom”, wouldn’t it be worth it?

  9. thepigs says:

    i thought americans only needed guns to shoot the injuns anyway. aren’t they all dead?

  10. thepigs says:

    also, do you often sigh during arguments on gun ownership? i’d probably see someone about that.

  11. G says:

    LOL I had a rough day yesterday and I sighed alot. It just came through in my writing. I guess I just always try to make everyone happy by trying to see both sides of an argument. (and no, the Native Americans are not all dead..they unfortuntely got the short end of the boom stick after it was all said and done and live on reservations.) Can you tell that I never did well at debates in school? 🙂

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