Orlando Police keep residents away from
the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on Sunday, June 12, 2016. (AP
Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
this point, it has clearly become an annoyance to watch the news and see
Americans contort themselves into a pretzel in anguish over the latest
mass killing in the United States. The anguish is genuine—there is no
doubt about that, but the gun-related rampages happen so frequently that
the question foremost in the minds of people's from across the globe is:
"why don't you do something about it?"
The National Rifle
Association (NRA) today holds a lot of clout only because a large number
of Americans believe in its pro-gun agenda. In most countries across the
globe gun-related killings are just a small fraction compared to that of
the U.S. (click on this
a NY Times article on this).
Ironically, in the
latest shooting rampage where 49 innocent lives were taken by a single
gunman with an assault rifle might not have happened if tougher gun laws had been in place. Instead U.S. gun laws have been
relaxed, thanks to the NRA's dogged efforts to remove any and all
restrictions on gun ownership.
In 1994 the Federal
Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) authored by California Senator Dianne Feinstein
was signed into law by then President Bill Clinton. What passed was a
watered-down version of Feinstein's original bill thanks to relentless
lobbying by the NRA. And many say the bill managed to become law simply
because it contained a sunset provision that allowed the ban to expire
after 10 years.
Had the AWB still been
in place today, the Sig Sauer MCX weapon used by the Orlando shooter
would have been banned. Instead it is currently available for the next
deranged individual to purchase—in addition to the Colt AR-15, TEC-9,
MAC-10 and other once-banned, but now legal, assault-style weapons.
For many non-Americans
across the globe who are not steeped in the "Wild West" "cowboy" culture
of America, the need for ever-more-powerful firearms, is baffling—as is
the iron grip the NRA has on American legislators. And the argument that
an armed populace will prevent a tyrannical government from abusing its
power seems rather silly nowadays. Given the tremendous firepower and
technological superiority of a government's military, no militia—even
one armed with heavy weapons—will be able to stop a determined
government from imposing its will. This isn't the seventeen hundreds any
more; welcome to the reality of 21st century warfare.
That being the case,
the current distorted interpretation of the 2nd Amendment to the U.S.
Constitution is nothing but an exercise in futility. The NRA and its
members need to move beyond their "cowboy" mentality and turn their
vast collection of weapons into plowshares—so to speak. When that
happens, mass killings will likely stop, and Americans will be welcomed
with open arms by the rest of the civilized world.