I used to play cowboys and indians. I’d get up each morning, slip into my jeans, check my waistcoat, put my cowboy hat on my head and strap on my twin holsters and guns. How I loved those guns with their silver bullets – kpaow, kpaow, bang, bang, you’re dead. Hi -Yo Silver awaaaaayyy!
Of course it was all play. I just wanted to be the Lone Ranger for a few hours. Nobody really got killed; there was no blood, no agony, no grieving families and friends to attend to. I defended my camp with boyish enthusiasm, but my guns were just toys, as lethal as a stick of liquorice or a sherbet dab bought from Smedley's corner shop.
Now, I look back on those days fondly, but also with a sense of unease. I spent so much time tracking down and shooting my baddie and goodie friends in play I wonder what would have become of me if, later in life, I’d had access to real guns. Would shooting people, killing them even, have seemed perfectly reasonable, particularly if they had encroached on my territory or been bad, giving me reason to shoot?
I read about the spree killings in
frequent that they hardly register any more, and dismiss them with a shake of
my head in dazed bewilderment. How so great a country, a country purportedly
built on freedom and respect for others, can allow these massacres to keep
happening over and over and over again is almost unbelievable.
Today is the 7th of January. To date, just seven days into a new year, 147 people have been killed by guns in the
and in the last 10 years 280,024 (well over a quarter of a million people) have
been killed by guns in the USA.
To put that in perspective only 24 Americans have been killed in the same
period by terrorists. It would seem that America
has a much more deadly enemy that ISIS and all
the other terrorist organisations intent on destroying them, and that enemy is
Of course these deaths include suicides, but without access to a gun – so much easier than that bleeding to death in a bath or jumping in front of a moving train – I wonder how many people may not have taken their own lives.
It seems that nothing will ever change. So many Americans totally believe in their right to bear arms, so many of them want guns in their homes and want their children to know how to use them. Just how many Lone Rangers are there in
and how many baddies are there for them to kill, and are they really baddies?
One person’s bad man can be another person’s saviour. It’s all about what you
believe and think.
Looking at the gun situation in
America and knowing that it isn’t
going to change, is probably only going to get worse, I’m horrified. No wonder
the president of the USA
sheds tears at his hopeless inability to make any real difference. How must he
feel as a leader? How must he feel as a father and a human being?
I have no answers, I have no wisdom to impart, all I can do is sit on this tiny island of ours and pray to any god that will listen that it never comes about that my neighbours will one day all have guns in their homes. With the state of parking on our road it would only be a matter of time before the shooting started – and no, I’m not joking. It doesn’t take much to light a fire in a man's mind and a man with a gun... well suddenly you have kpaow, kpaow, bang, bang, you’re dead and Hi -Yo Silver awaaaaayyy!