Wednesday, April 18, 2007

We the people...

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

The recent shootings here in the US has kick started the guns debate.


I was reminded of a chat I had with an Arizonian pawn shop owner when he was showing me a Magnum 44 handgun he had behind the counter. I said to him "back at home, we don't have crazy big guns like this.. ", he said to me "yeah. your government's really screwed your country up by taking away your rights". Ok then.. Whatever you say crazy man with big gun. To their credit, the Howard government, as much as they are a pack of wankers, did the right thing with tightening the gun laws in Australia after Port Arthur. But people shouldn't need to be shot dead to inspire leaders to act in this way. Nor will the 1996 changes to Australian gun laws mean that there will never be another shooting in Australia.

I see gun laws like I see bike locks. If someone really wants to steal my bike; they will, no matter how big the lock holding it to a Stobey pole is. But simply putting the flimsiest of locks on it acts as a deterrent to every Tom, Dick and Dirty Harry that thinks "I think I might bugger off with this untethered ride". That said, I still think the person who pinched my bike from uni three years ago should be shot, but this is where the analogy gets itself lost in the woods, only to emerge 3 years later, shooting classmates and postal workers.

So what does America do? Would a government which led the charge in disarming its citizens be taken down just as the constitution predicts? What about the media's role in this? Replaying the footage over and over (ala 9/11), could inspire copycats. Sure, guns act as a great plot device, dramatic focus and fancy looking prop in the movies, but movies aren't real. In reality when you fire a gun at someone, they often die. I love action movies. They are so distanced from reality and based in a world of adrenaline fuelled fantasy that the violence experienced vicariously through them is a pornography of sorts. So ridiculous that it can't be real. Sure, everyone has sex, but when does it occur with minimal, pool cleaning related dialogue, with a group of plastic breasted lesbians, living in a frat house all wearing high heels and bikinis? I should be back in LA pitching that idea to someone.

Next time you go to the movies or video shop, take a look at the posters promoting the latest action, adventure movie. You'll probably find some handsome/muscle-clad guy with a panting beauty hanging off of him, while he's pointing a gun somewhere out of the frame. Just think. That gun is pointed at someone with the intention to kill them. Lucky it's all make-believe. I remember the big deal made about cigarettes appearing in movies, leading kids to believe that it was cool to smoke and all that. Have you watched many Australian movies from the past few years? The Proposition. Two Hands. Chopper. All fairly violent, gun happy movies - but still Australia has low gun related death rate.

Hey America. Less guns = less people being shot.

By the way, the American Constitution shares centre stage with the Bible for contradicting itself and being interpreted in many different ways here in the States. All I want to know is, what happened to the "well regulated" bit of the second amendment?

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