Like so many other people, I’m stunned by the latest (publicized) shootings in the United States — two men killed in separate incidents by police officers, and five officers killed in an attack by a lone gunman in Dallas.
I shouldn’t be surprised, of course: shooting deaths by citizens and police officers have long been a sad norm in the U.S., and mass shootings by “demented” individuals, to borrow a word from President Obama, are becoming the norm as well.
Looking in from Canada, it seems like the United States is a nation of armed citizens on edge, including some jittery poorly trained police officers.
Sure, everyone agrees, in principle: #BlackLivesMatter. #AllLivesMatter.
But not enough, apparently, for legislators and the people who sell ammunition to bring in an effective #GunControlNow. It seems some people in high places, who could do something about this, are content to live in a shoot ’em up society. They are enabling the misuse of firearms by incompetent officials. They are enabling “demented” individuals to commit mass murder.
So, the killings will go on and on and on . . .
The two black men killed by police last week would still be alive today if police had used stun guns instead of bullets — though, in both cases, it doesn’t appear that any sort of weapons were needed at all, because neither man was aiming a gun at officers. There are ways of subduing people without shooting them, especially at close range. Here’s a thought: we can subdue a wild animal with tranquilizer dart — why not humans, too?
I can see only one way to stop the rampant gun violence in one fell swoop: make the sale of ammunition to the general population illegal throughout the country, and recall all the ammunition already out there.
Second, look to the United Kingdom (England, Scotland and Wales) for advice, where the majority of police officers do not carry guns, and then disarm most of the cops in the United States, save for those specially trained firearms officers.
So, maybe we need to start a couple of more hashtags: #BanAmmunitionNow. #DisarmPoliceNow.