Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Orlando: a total disconnect






I am trying to get my mind off this, because I just got home from a terrific Little League game in which my grandson's team SMOKED the competition and won the trophy. I guess I shouldn't have watched the Dateline I recorded from last night, because the scheduled show had been pre-empted by coverage of what happened in Orlando. 

The show had been thrown together in a hurry and the seams showed, but what really irritated me was the utter, total bafflement and bewilderment everyone expressed at the "causes" of all these mass shootings (not just terrorist-related ones, but ALL of them - the whole litany of them, they kept going over and over them, even showing little flags stuck on maps).






Everyone talked around and around the issue, and there was a lot of hand-wringing as well as a lot of bombast about holding our heads high and not being afraid of evil, etc. etc. (and subtle, though denied fingerpointing at Muslims), but NOT ONCE did ANYONE mention gun control and the fact weapons are so unregulated and ridiculously easy to attain in the USA. They kept droning on and on about America's atrocious record regarding mass shootings, but STILL did not make the connection to lack of regulation of firearms and a "gun mentality" based on the ludicrous notion of a "second amendment". In fact it was a complete and total disconnect. 





What do mass shootings have to do with gun control? Those concerns are for the PBS crowd - rarefied intellectuals who don't know enough to keep a gun in their bureau drawer (and another one in the closet, and another one in the refrigerator, and a few out in the garage and in the basement) for "home defense" and "security". Those concerns are for people who are basically out of touch with reality. The only way to fight gunfire is with gunfire! If all those people in the nightclub had been armed, by God. . . 





I don't know how it is for the average American, if there is such a thing, but I have to tell you that I don't think I have ever seen a gun, not in person. I've certainly never touched one, and the only person I've ever known who owned guns collected antique rifles that he never fired. Thus, to me, a Canadian, guns should be relatively invisible. 

But it's the other way around.





By the end of the Dateline special my head was spinning around and around. Their mentality existed across a very deep, wide gulf of misunderstanding - in fact, a yawning chasm - and these were *news* people, seasoned reporters like Keith Morrison and Tom Brokaw, and terrorism experts who have even written books about the subject (and thus know everything about it). I swear to you, they looked directly at the problem, stared it right in the face, and didn't see it.





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