I use this blog as a soap box to preach (ahem... to talk :-) about subjects that interest me.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Kill, kill, kill!

In memory of Emilie Parker, one of many.

The second amendment to the US Constitution says:

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.

It was adopted on 15 December 1791.

Today, we wouldn’t place a comma between subject and predicate, but grammar is not the only thing that has changed over the past 221 years.

In 1791, the USA had been independent for five years and counted fourteen states (Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia), plus the District of Columbia, two territories, and land disputed by Spain in the South and the U.K. in the North.

According to the 1791 census, the population of the fourteen states was 3,723,418, including 681,850 slaves. The current population of the 50 states is approximately 315 millions.

Much has been said about the American citizens’ right to bear arms. I only want to make a couple of points.

Firstly, the US doesn’t need a militia, as it was perhaps the case in 1791. They have federal, state, and local police, whose work is actually made more difficult and dangerous by all the weapons that are in circulation (an average of almost one per person).

Secondly, assault automatic weapons, contrary to what the lobby groups like the National Rifle Association claim, have nothing to do with sportsmanship. Cheap weapons designed for high fire power to kill at short range might be suitable for criminals, but have nothing to do with a civilised society.

I say: ban all automatic weapons, standardise and enforce registration laws, and make it difficult to buy ammunition.

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