Image via wired.com.
British people realised some time ago that guns in the wrong hands are dangerous. Over the last few decades, we’ve made it our business to insist that successive governments gradually relegate those who enjoy killing things for fun to parts of the island that no one really cares about or would think to visit.
Mainly sink estates in London, Birmingham and Manchester and the countryside.
Well, it’s very nice, but can I get cable on it? Image via sigsauer.com.
Despite (or probably because of) this, we’re hugely fascinated by the ease with which it is possible to obtain guns in the United States. Indeed, far from frightening us, recent coverage of a number of fatal shootings in the US has piqued our interest and we can’t get enough of how the National Rifle Association has bitch slapped successive governments to the point where it’s now possible in certain states to legally obtain and own enough firepower to blow a hole in the sun.
That doesn’t mean they should take the piss though. Even our notoriously unreliable crap radar will emit a warning thunk when the story of Seth Horvitz passes through it’s beam.
In case you haven’t heard, Washington D.C. resident Seth ordered a TV on amazon.com a few weeks ago but when the package was delivered, he was surprised to find it contained a semi-automatic Sig Sauer 716 patrol rifle. Luckily, Seth isn’t a madman, so instead of picking up said gun, loading it and nipping out to blow his neighbours to smithereens, he calmly phoned the police who came to collect it. Presumably he then went out to buy a TV from an electrical store, which, under the circumstances, must have seemed safer.
Both presidential candidates are currently avoiding the issue of gun control like the plague. This would have seemed odd given the recent high profile incidences of gun crime. But they’re right to do so. How is it possible to keep a straight face and use the term ‘gun control’ when things like this can happen in the same bloody state as the White House?
One thought on “America’s Oxymoron Sets Off UK Crap-O-Meter. No One Killed.”
Wow. Just… wow. (Although the 716 is being described elsewhere as an “assault rifle”, which it isn’t; as you pointed out, it’s semi-automatic; that means you have to aim and pull the trigger for each and every single bullet, you can’t just stand around and spray it indiscriminately Rambo-style; but that subtlety would not matter if you were the one who was shot).
As for the “countryside” jibe, you might be interested to note that when I posted photos online of an airgun cardboard & clay target shooting party – in my old cottage back-garden which faces out onto fields with no footpaths – the police came round and questioned me. That was for *AIR* guns which are legal over 21. It swiftly became apparent that Plod was particularly worried over photo of a female holding a gun; he seemed to assume that women couldn’t possibly know how to handle guns properly; but ironically the lady in question grew up in Africa and well used to handling proper firearms in the savanna, not just mere air weapons.
The idea that guns are freely available in the English countryside is a myth. My father-in-law, who has a shotgun licence, has to have his gun cabinet inspected by the police every year and his doctor has to write a note every year to the police certifying him sane! It is extremely difficult to get hold of proper firearms in the British countryside. Even air guns can’t be sent mail order anymore.
I gave up my semi-automatic pistol when I moved to the suburbs, as it was far too powerful for use in a suburban garden. I still have another low-powered single-fire break-barrel air pistol with which I intend to teach my children gun safety – in particular, never to point a gun at anyone even if you think it’s unloaded, how to unload a gun and how to turn the safety on. The point is: Kids really should be taught gun safety at school, everyone should know how to make a gun safe. If you discover an unattended gun, can’t just toss it in a bin, you need to know how to make sure it doesn’t go off.