The Sandy Hook School massacre of 20 young and innocent children makes it impossible not to address the gun laws in the United States, no only for the sake of people of all ages but the wildlife and we mustn’t forget the cats.
There is a connection between the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and the welfare of cats which is why I am justified in writing about guns here.
The English Bill of Rights of 1689 is the forerunner of the 2nd Amendment, which was adopted in 1791 as I understand it. The exact date does matter that much. That fact that it is about 220 years old does. And the English law goes back 100 years more.
“That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law.” – extract from English Bill of Rights of 1689.
The right to bear arms in the US is a very old, almost ancient tradition. It is outdated. In the modern world it is more sensible to say that less guns means less gun homicides rather than saying we need more guns to defend ourselves from the guys with guns. The latter cranks up gun crime. The former subdues it. The figures support that (see below). No disrespect to Venezuela, but do Americans want to have a similar standing to Venezuelans on the matter of the number of homicides by firearms?
Number of homicides by firearm 2007-2012; average per year (source: Law center to prevent gun violence).
|Number of homicides by firearm 2007-2012
Gun homicides rate per 100,000 citizens:
|Rate per 100,000 citizens
The gun lobbyist quote the same sort of clichéd arguments that the veterinarians do when supporting the declawing and devocalisation of pets. They wheel out the old one about “it isn’t the gun but the person”, which more or less means that in the right hands guns are good as they provide a form or defence.
However, this argument fails to address the fact that a lot of people are emotionally unsuited to having a gun. Nothing new is happening to reduce the emotional problems of people in the USA. If something was being done about that you might be able to justify selling a lethal product such as a gun over the counter to just about anyone in some states of the USA. I realise, by the way, that the laws vary from state to state – the ten states with the highest gun death rates are (by abbreviations): AK, MT, WY, NV, Az, NM, LA, MS, AL and TN.
The only way forward is to control gun ownership more tightly. I have never had a need to own a gun. I would bet that if you asked the English people whether they needed a gun 99% would say No. Yet in the USA 47% of people have at least one gun at home. They obviously think they need a gun. They need a gun because the neighbour needs a gun and his neighbor and so on. They all know it only takes one of them to be bad for a potential life threatening situation to occur because they possess guns.
Finally, in England when a person takes pleasure from shooting a cat, he does it with an air rifle. In the USA he has a .22 rifle (a bullet with a calibre of .22 inches). It does not take much imagination to realise that a lot more vulnerable stray cats are killed in the USA than in England.
Then there is sport hunting. The widespread sale and possession of guns in the USA promotes sport hunting – taking pleasure from killing beautiful animals. I can do no better than re-quote Sir Patrick Moore, a great and kind Englishman who said that he had
“a deep contempt for people who go out to kill merely to amuse themselves.”
Likewise me. It is uncivilized and cruel. The time is far overdue for us to start learning to live with our fellow animals rather than eradicating them from the face of the earth. In the name of 20 innocent and beautiful children, please change the law.
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