Orlando

The recent atrocity in Orlando is just another event by which to reflect on how awful guns have been for America and yet, we continue to make their ownership commonplace and cultural. Don’t bother with your thoughts and prayers: try acting for a change.

Obviously the events of Saturday night were horrific and devastating.

But what do we do with all of that? We might be quick to offer “thoughts and prayers” to those involved, or to comment on how tragic, scary and senseless it all is.

However in a week, America will get bored of hearing about it and our drive to do something about it will have all but vanished.

I think people resort to offering “thoughts and prayers” out of a numbness and an acceptance that “this is just what happens here. It’s bound to happen and there’s no way to solve it.”

The point gets worse when politicians jump on the “thoughts and prayers” bandwagon when they themselves are the ones in the pockets of the National Rifle Association – the industry body that fiercely lobbies to ensure that Americans can retain and purchase weapons with great ease, even if they are meant for the battlefield and not the house.

The fact remains that the USA has a serial problem with mass shootings: a phenomenon present nowhere else in the world. A large sect of the population seems to readily accept that these occasional massacres are just the price you have to pay for your second amendment rights.

Obviously, some people really want change and to do something about the senseless violence that plagues this nation but with such a cultural and economic powerhouse behind ensuring that military-style weapons are readily available, the nation refuses to come to an agreement about how to fix things.

And so the cycle continues. It saddens me to think that I’m raising children in a world where on any given day, there will be a mass shooting and they could be in the wrong place at the wrong time. When is America going to get a backbone, get out of the pockets of the NRA and do what the rest of the world and indeed, much of its own people, acknowledge is the right thing to do?

It’s this sort of arrogance and selfishness that puts lives at risk week after week. Things are at a breaking point. This is unsustainable. It’s a tough decision but the American cultural cornerstones that put so many guns in the homes of everyday Americans and that make these murders and executions a part of everyday light need to be torn down.

The examples set by the UK, Australia, Sweden and Switzerland should serve as examples of nations that experienced horrendous gun violence, decided enough was enough and actually acted upon that, or nations were gun ownership is high, but gun violence is extremely low.

So in the aftermath of Orlando, I remain hopeful that one day America will see sense and collectively agree that something needs to be done. However past experience, American culture and American attitude lead me to believe that there will continue to be routine executions in our schools, malls, cinemas and clubs.

Author: Dave

Dave is many things. Most importantly, he's a husband and a father to Ellie and Jack. Almost as important, he's British (though he lives in Florida). Following on from there, he's a WordPress developer and civil engineer, has an unhealthy love of hummus, is vegan, likes cider, wants to travel to Iceland and Japan, loves solving puzzles and is a realist.

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