The end of America
American gun laws are killing off its future and I don’t see this ending any time soon
I hope you clicked play on the video at the head of this article.
It’s the music I am writing to — the mournful, at times uplifting, but ultimately soul-wrenching Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber.
It is my requiem to the dream that was America.
I’m listening to it as my heart aches at yet another school shooting, this time in Denver Colorado — one dead, at least eight injured and an entire school community forever emotionally burnt by the gunshot of two human beings, also students, with guns in their hands and hate in their hearts.
I cannot imagine what the family of the dead teenager are going through right now.
Can any of us?
And if we could, would this latest killing have even happened because surely if we understood the pain such brings guns laws would have long ago been changed and so many lives would have been saved?
…the violent actions of two human beings, also students, with guns in their hands and hate in their hearts.
Instead, all the murder victim’s family have is a dark hole of pain to bathe themselves in that will never fully heal.
A devastating hole of sadness left behind with the murder of this person, that, if it were me at least, would at some point be replaced with a burning frustration and anger that my country and its governmental cowardice around gun laws — hiding behind the ragged, bloodied petticoat of an outdated and unneccesary consitutional freedom — had betrayed me.
Except…it’s not my country.
My country — Australia — dealt with this issue twenty years ago after our worst massacre, the Port Arthur shootings.
And it was dealt with by a conservative Priminister in John Howard, no less, who, for his many other faults, at least has this legacy to his name.
…governmental cowardice around gun laws — hiding behind the ragged, bloodied petticoat of an outdated and unnecessary consitutional freedom
This is not to say there have been no killings at the hands of violent individuals in Australia since. We’ve had our share of pain as recently as 2017 when James Gargasoulis went on a killing spree through the middle of Melbourne’s CBD, killing six and injuring many others.
But as horrific as this was, one can only imagine how much worse it might have been if it had not just been his vehicle he had at his disposal to wipe out the innocents he did but also a firearm.
Before you come at me for not being an American and this issue having nothing to do with me — to mind my own business because I don’t understand that the right to bear arms lays at the bedrock of American society, let me remind you of the simple facts…
Take a read of this April 2019 CNN piece “Deadliest Mass Shootings in Modern US History Fast Facts”.
Without drilling down too far into the exact list of people killed in each incident noted, while of course noting that each and every victim lost is a tragedy, of the 37 incidents the CNN report lists, 24 involved children, teenagers or adults under 25 as either the victims OR the shooter or both.
This is horrifying.
Even worse are the stats more broadly on gun-related deaths of children — as the ‘Since Parkland’ site points out, over 1200 deaths have occured since that horror day (amongst so many others involving deaths at the hands of those holding guns) in American history.
How can any legislator over the past 50 years in the USA live with themself knowing that this obsession with the right to bear arms is directly connected to the murder of everything from unborn children to young adults?
People vanished out of history by gun violence who might have been the next Einstein, Curie, Mother Theresa or Ghandi?
Young lives never even given the chance to fulfill their potential as humans.
And no doubt over the coming days we will see more hand wringing from US politicians (or tweets in the case of the Tweeter in Chief) about this latest incident.
Those same hands, the hands of America, have blood on them.
And on their faces and arms, spattered across them like some pattern of guilt.
America is a country awash in the blood of its children.
A country shooting itself through the heart by not doing something to prevent the ongoing slaughter of those who are its future.
And, maybe most horrfiying of all, I don’t see this ending any time soon due to a lack of courage by those in power to take on those for whom wielding guns far outweighs the desire to save lives.
I’ll close with a more uplifting tune in the hope that sometime America will head off to look for itself again…
…and find something worth saving…