Believing in the notion that all Americans are fat and stupid is a sign of stupidity, a form of racism, classifying the exponent as a worthless waste of time and space. Yet how come 300 million people cannot see the obvious when it is staring them in the face? And is Trump afraid of the NRA? America, you have a problem.
For those who say I do not know what I am speaking about, I can share that I had military training and fired just about every type of firearm imaginable, from pistols, to rifles, to semi-automatic weapons, to machine guns, heavy and light. I can also share that I finished my course as a first-class marksman and I can further share that I understand the thrill of releasing a magazine full of bullets into a target, so close together that many of the slugs enter the same hole.
In my case, that is where it stopped. Innate responsibility in most of us dictates that you follow the rules when on the firing range (The Three Sierras - short, sharp and shit-hot) and training and discipline means you follow the rules of engagement on the field of battle, some self-respect and code of honor dictate that you treat your adversary with the due respect and in accordance with the norms of international law governing conflict.
Many are those, however, who giggle when trying to hit a flag-post above the firing range instead of aiming at the target; many are those who get a thrill out of firing at the tires of passing vehicles beyond the (large) protective wall behind the targets; many are those who will fire an air rifle at a passer-by through a telescopic sight when they are in their early teens.
Many of these cases mentioned in the paragraph above will grow up to be responsible citizens, will forget their irresponsibility on the firing range and will spend the rest of their days wondering how the driver of the passing car never filed a complaint. A few will not. They will have become hooked on the adrenalin rush that comes with firing a gun - especially those who have fortunately not witnessed the horrors of a live round entering a body and leaving it with a gaping, gushing, pulsating hole for those silent seconds before the victim starts screaming, writhing around in pain and then projectile-vomiting a torrent of blood. Shooting and being shot ain't pretty.
And others will have become victims of the average 100,000 scenes of extreme violence witnessed by American kids before they reach teenage years, on television, quite apart from the video games which teach you how to take aim and fire.
So it comes as no surprise to learn that in the United States of America, there have been countless massacres since the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1770 when the British opened fire on the "natives" and slaughtered eleven civilians. Going back a few decades, we find a horrific list of examples of mass shootings which produce figures close to those of a civil war, quite apart from other incidents involving firearms up and down the country which makes the figures of mass shootings pale into insignificance.
In 1982 there was the Miami shooting (8 killed), the same number as the incidents in 1989 Louisville, Kentucky, 1993 San Francisco, 2007 Omaha, 2009 North Carolina, 2010 Virginia, 2010 Connecticut, 2011 Seal Beach California; 9 were killed in 1990 in Jacksonville, Florida, 1991 Arizona, 2005 Minnesota, 2015 South Carolina, 2015 Oregon; 10 dead 2009 Alabama; 12 dead 1999 Atlanta, 2012 Colorado, 2013 Washington Navy Yard; 13 dead 1949 Camden, New Jersey, 1982 Pennsylvania, 1983 Seattle, 1999 Columbine Colorado, 2009 Binghampton New York, 2009 Fort Hood Texas; 14 dead 1986 Oklahoma, 2015 San Bernadino; 18 dead 1966 Austin Texas; 21 dead 1984 San Ysidro California; 23 dead 1991 Killeen Taxas; 26 dead Sutherland Springs Texas, 27 dead 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school Connecticut; 32 dead 2007 Virginia Tech; 49 dead 2016 Orlando Florida; 58 dead 2017 Las Vegas.
And President Donald J. Trump says that the latest incident was about mental health issues and not about guns? So how did this nutjob in the church and the others before him kill their victims? By brain waves? It is by now patently obvious that the one with mental health issues is President Trump himself and it is patently obvious that the NRA, the National Rifle Association, is a sniveling, miserable failure as a body, as an organization and as an organism because it is incapable of addressing the problem that the United States of America clearly has for all to see. It is an association of bigots for imbeciles demonstrating a total absence of responsibility. In short the NRA is the greatest danger to American society today.
Clear for all to see? Yes, except the Americans themselves who collectively continue to bury their heads in the sand and pretend there is no boogeyman amongst them. How many more families are going to be left crying by the graveside with their lives destroyed? No guns, no problem.
Dream on, President Trump, dream on. America, you have a problem!
*Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey has worked as a correspondent, journalist, deputy editor, editor, chief editor, director, project manager, executive director, partner and owner of printed and online daily, weekly, monthly and yearly publications, TV stations and media groups printed, aired and distributed in Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Guinea-Bissau, Portugal, Mozambique and São Tomé and Principe Isles; the Russian Foreign Ministry publication Dialog and the Cuban Foreign Ministry Official Publications. He has spent the last two decades in humanitarian projects, connecting communities, working to document and catalog disappearing languages, cultures, traditions, working to network with the LGBT communities helping to set up shelters for abused or frightened victims and as Media Partner with UN Women, working to foster the UN Women project to fight against gender violence and to strive for an end to sexism, racism and homophobia. A Vegan, he is also a Media Partner of Humane Society International, fighting for animal rights. He is Director and Chief Editor of the Portuguese version of Pravda.Ru.
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