Saturday 15th December, 2012
What terrible news to wake up to this morning. Another mass shooting in the US, but this time the victims were young children aged between 5 and 10 years old. Apparently 20 children were shot dead and 6 adults (including the gunman, who took his own life). This shooting happened in Newtown, Connecticut at an Elementary School. Here, we would call it a Primary School.
When you drop your child off to school each morning you would think that they would be relatively safe. To find out that your child had been shot dead would be a parent's worst nightmare. I shed tears for the families who lost a child while reading about this, this morning. My heart goes out to them and I pray that they will find some comfort knowing that millions of people from around the world are feeling their pain.
After Australia's worst mass shooting, which happened at Port Arthur, Tasmania in April 1996 our government banned the sale of guns to people unless you could legitimately prove that you needed one eg a farmer, member of a gun club, a collector etc etc. If you were granted permission to have a license to own a gun, then the gun had to kept in a secure and locked cupboard.
Admittedly we still have shootings, but these are usually carried out by underworld figures and criminals. As far as I am aware we have not had another mass shooting. No government can ever ban guns completely while there is a criminal element around.
Who are we to tell the Americans what to do? It says in their Constitution, that it is the right of every American to carry and bear arms to defend themselves. They have a very strong pro gun lobby group. The same argument gets brought up every time........."it's not guns that kill people, it's people that kill people". My response to that is, "don't let the people have such easy access to guns." Too many innocent lives are being lost with all these mass shootings.
I believe the problem goes deeper than just being able to get hold of a gun. We have seen an enormous increase in mental health, which I believe in part is due to illicit drugs (and don't get me started on that).
Also many people are living in troubled times and can find no easy way out and so life gets too overwhelming for them. For some reason they "snap" and go ahead and do the unthinkable.
What is the attraction to go out and shoot at innocent people? Notoriety perhaps, knowing that their name will always go down in history as being a mass murderer. Obviously they intend on killing themselves as most end up turning the gun on themselves, so why don't they just do that in the first place. So many less people would be affected by it. In a case like this and the ones before it's not a few lives that are affected but many hundreds.
Let's hope, that out of this devastating tragedy, President Obama and the American government can come together and legislate for tougher control over the ownership of guns.
The eyes of the world will be watching!