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carlrodd
October 10, 2006, 08:09 PM
We, too, have culpability for school shootings in the US
Harry Reid

The evil that came to a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania on Monday was the latest in a long and lamentable litany of school killings in the US. The most notorious recent atrocity came at Columbine High School in Colorado seven years ago. But even in the previous seven days there had been two other incidents of school killings in the US.

Whatever terrible demons came into the diseased mind of Charles Carl Roberts, for us in Europe a particularly horrendous – and peculiarly American – aspect of the Amish tragedy was the grotesque personal arsenal of weaponry that this sick man had been able to accumulate legally. One of our responses, here in Europe, to the intolerable and continuing catalogue of school killings in the US is to ask how Americans can go on tolerating a gun-carrying culture that is rooted in theconstitutional theorising that accompanied the birth of their nation away back in the eighteenth century. Even worse, the culture reflects the simplistic myths of the frontier, which seem imbued in the American psyche.

I have, over the past 48 hours, heard many people point out that after the ghastly events in Dunblane 10 years ago, an inquiry under Lord Cullen was quickly set up and as a result access to guns was made more difficult. Thus people in Britain are not just appalled by the frequency of school shootings in the US; they are understandably indignant about the indifference to calls for tougher gun control in that country.

Certainly I find the idea of an armed citizenry abhorrent. But before I get too indignant, I have to reflect: does the European response to yet another school shooting in the US not, as so often, contain at least some element of
hypocrisy? The world is awash with weapons, many of them small arms, and many of them come from Europe. Millions of tonnes of weapons are moved around the globe in a frenzied and enormously lucrative clandestine mass industry, and much of this grisly trade is rooted in Europe.

The total global spend on arms is about 15 times more than the sum contributed for international aid. More money is being spent on weapons than at the time of the Cold War. And at least the Cold War was, in a sense, regulated. The world arms industry is now wholly globalised and largely privatised, with weapons and parts being cannibalised and reassembled and shipped round the world, and, as often as not, ending up in the hands of systematic and serial abusers of human rights.

Amnesty International has done sterling work in exposing the secretiveand byzantine nature of this traffic in arms. For example, it tracked partially hundreds of thousands of weapons, and millions of rounds of ammunition that were moved, allegedly to Iraq, from Bosnia, but then simply became "lost". UK interests are often involved. Last year huge shipments of explosives and ammunition were transported by a UK carrier from Brazil, en route to Saudi Arabia. The shipments, which included 1.6 million rounds of ammunition, were intercepted by South African agents before they reached their destination.
The global arms trade – and this, of course, includes the transporting of small arms around the world – is utterly out of control. Rogue entrepreneurs, including many Europeans, make huge profits from international arms-trafficking. As a nation, the British, as with most others in the developed world, are for the most part complacently indifferent to thisterrible trade, partly because the evil consequences are generally visited on citizens far away from our own shores.

Obviously a few conflicts are well publicised, including the recent war in Lebanon. But many other ongoing conflicts are hardly publicised at all, and in many parts of the world the freelance and disorganised, but intensive and persistent, abuse of civilians is part of everyday life, and death. One of the problems is that, as the arms trade has gone global as never before, the operators are often not governments (though they may have, at one or two removes, government sanction) but private businesses, backstreet "brokers", international crooks with scant regard for borders and international regulations, and even legitimate logistics firms and freight transporters.
In other words, human rights abusers, who are everywhere, have increasingly
easy access to ever more powerful tools of abuse, and these weapons are as often as not manufactured or transported by Europeans.

We are rightly determined to make the availability of guns more difficult in this country. We deplore the idea of armed citizens freely roaming our streets and our country lanes. The slaughter of innocent young girls by a lone gunman in a remote rural schoolhouse horrifies us as an unusual act of repellent wickedness. But, in the context of what is happening all over our planet, it is not at all unusual or aberrant. Because such events so rarely occur in Britain, we must not think glibly that they are somebody else's problem.

http://www.theherald.co.uk/features/71448.html

puke-worthy rhetoric most assuredly. it's all been said before, but frequently we need to be reminded of what many in the world would like to see happen to our rights and our country. i hope you read this and it makes you frustrated and sick, and helps to fuel your fire when it comes to ANYBODY misrepresenting and attacking the one right that ensures our freedom.

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kevin davis
October 10, 2006, 09:44 PM
This is the typical euro PC thinking, which denies that gun violence by criminals is increasing there every day. If we get rid of the guns, nothing bad will happen. School killers in China used swords and knives. The British medical society wants to ban sharp steak knives, since they are used in so many home disputes and are a pulic menace. Blame the gun, not the nut that used the gun or his mental problems. This guy would have ended up in Auschwitz or a gulag or a reeducation camp in other times, or else would have run the camps for us "gun nuts".

Standing Wolf
October 10, 2006, 09:55 PM
We are rightly determined to make the availability of guns more difficult in this country. We deplore the idea of armed citizens freely roaming our streets and our country lanes.

Another communist useful idiot heard from.

MachIVshooter
October 11, 2006, 01:12 AM
The total global spend on arms is about 15 times more than the sum contributed for international aid.

Always amuses (and horrifies) me that they will contort figures like this to mislead the reader into believing that this applies to privately owned small arms, when it is actually the sum of over 200 militaries arming themselves with all matter of weapons from knives to nukes.

F&$#ing socialists.

Headless Thompson Gunner
October 11, 2006, 01:47 AM
This article isn't written by the same Harry Reid that serves as Senate Minority Leader, is it?

Cacique500
October 11, 2006, 08:45 AM
One of our responses, here in Europe, to the intolerable and continuing catalogue of school killings in the US is to ask how Americans can go on tolerating a gun-carrying culture that is rooted in the constitutional theorising that accompanied the birth of their nation away back in the eighteenth century.

And how quaint to still have Kings, Lords, & other misc. royalty - isn't that a little bit of throwback to yesteryear? I didn't hear them screaming no more guns during WW2 - do they remember Lend-Lease?

K-Romulus
October 11, 2006, 09:36 AM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/10/08/ngun08.xml

We are struggling to cope with gun crime, say police
By Tom Harper
(Filed: 08/10/2006)


Police chiefs have admitted they "lack the co-ordination and intelligence" to deal with Britain's gun crisis, sparking fears that thousands of crimes are going unsolved.

Senior firearms officers have told The Sunday Telegraph that, due to time and cost pressures, forces currently analyse fewer than half of all guns recovered, to see if they have been used in previous crimes, or keep a forensic record of them for future investigations.

They also say that they "do not know" how many guns are entering the country, intelligence is "piecemeal" and some rural police forces are forced to "guess" at the true nature of gun crime in their areas.

The admissions come amid a series of high-profile gun crimes across the country. There were 13 serious shootings in the past month alone, including two 17-year-olds shot in a packed McDonald's restaurant in Brixton, south London. Nathan Williams, also 17, was gunned down in Nottingham, where three years ago the murder of Marian Bates in her family's jewellery store brought the rise in gun crime to national prominence.

Yesterday, it emerged that police investigating the shooting of 15-year-old Jesse James, who was gunned down in the Moss Side area of Manchester last month, were using the popular video-sharing website youtube.com to appeal for information. A one-minute video clip, which includes a tribute from Jessie's mother, Barbara Reid, has been posted on the site.

One senior police source said that police forensic operations are currently outsourced to several different companies. He said: "The resulting lack of cohesion and high costs mean we only keep a forensic record of about 40 per cent of the guns recovered.

"It is common for guns to be re-used within the criminal fraternity - after a shooting in one city the gun may turn up in an incident at the other end of the country. If the police do not have a record of that weapon being used in the first place, then many previous crimes may be going unsolved."

Later this month, Keith Bristow, head of gun crime for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), will launch a "radical" new nationwide firearms strategy. It will include a new police forensics unit, to be run by internally by the police, with sites in London, Manchester and Birmingham.

There will also be a multi-million pound "ballistics intelligence" database, to
record the distinctive characteristics of all guns recovered by the police. The police are still installing the complex software needed to run the programme, however, and admit it will not be online until 2008.

Former Asst Chief Constable Bob Golding, who heads operations for the database, said: "If we currently have less than half the picture that is not good enough vital intelligence possibilities are being missed."

Last year, there was a 16 per cent increase in serious gun injuries and a 10 per cent rise in robberies at gunpoint across the country. Crimes involving handguns and shotguns each rose seven per cent.

Mr Bristow admits there is "a lot of work still to be done" and says a weakness in intelligence is one area he wants to address. "We need a clearer picture," he said. "We need to know more about the people who are causing most harm in our communities." A senior source close to the development of the strategy said: "There is little hard intelligence on where the guns are actually coming from."

To combat this, Acpo is forming a specialist unit which will focus on the top 200 most dangerous gun criminals in the country.

Mr Bristow also believes that Government agencies need restructuring to help forces ill-equipped to deal with the problem. The spread of guns to rural areas means some forces are dealing with gun crime for the first time.

Under the new strategy, three groups, each including people from the Home Office, Prison Service, Serious Organised Crime Agency, Crown Prosecution Service, HM Revenue and Customs and the police, will be set up to combat flaws in prevention, intelligence and enforcement. Each will be headed by an assistant chief constable, reporting directly to Acpo.

Mr Bristow said: "The new structure will have clearer divisions of responsibility which will increase accountability."

44AMP
October 11, 2006, 07:36 PM
How nice of the gentleman to acknowledge that Europe contains the biggest arms dealers in the world. Oh, wait, he didn't. he only said that Europeans are part of the problem.

I can understand the emotional response of many Europeans about people being armed. I don't agree, but I can understand it. After all, they have had several wars (and the communist revolution) on their home soil since the last time we had a war on our home soil. WWI and WWII were particularly nasty for ordinary folks over there.:rolleyes:

With a couple of exceptions, Europeans have a thousand year tradition of the peasants being unarmed, and the nobility in control of the arms, and everything else. They have a history of doing what they are told, we don't. But we are getting there.

Ironic that, when the English Crown (government, not the Royal Family) didn't make a big deal about ordinary folks owning guns, and having the legal right to defend themselves, that England was a fairly peaceful place, and English police didn't carry guns (with rare exceptions). Today, after banning nearly all private ownership of anything beyond a double barrel shotgun, and making those difficult to posess, that suddenly they are awash in guns and crime. Add to that the fact that people who defend themselves (with or without a gun) wind up doing more time in gaol (jail) than their attackers, and you can see where they have gotten. And, in the true spirit of misery loves comapny, they want us to hurry up and join them!

Perhaps there is something to genetics, after all. With huge numbers of the men who had the spirit to defend what was theirs killed in wars, with those bloodlines ended, you can see what was left to breed, and what that has brought them to. Sheep, indeed.

Cromlech
October 11, 2006, 08:10 PM
In response to the contents of the post by K-Romulus:

Of course, as we all know, these gangland shootings are carrried out with double barreled, clay-pigeon shotguns, Holland & Holland rifles and semi-automatic .22LR firearms, all of which are legal in the U.K! This must be stopped! No one needs something as overpowered as a .410 shotgun!

:D

Wesker
October 11, 2006, 11:25 PM
This guy should take a look at Englands knife culture. I saw a surveillance video of two blokes minding their own, when suddenly there were assaulted by three knife wielding kooks, one of the victims was killed as a result.

What if one of the British youths had a gun of his own? Had he the fortitude to recover from a sucker punch to the head he could have saved his life and the life of his chum.

You can talk until you're blue in the face, but it's this kind of socialist dogma that forced our puritain ancestors to flee a country of oppression. Were guns illegal in the US, a psychotic man hell bent on murder WILL find a means to carry out his deplorable agenda, even if he is forced to use sharp sticks. Try telling these anti-loonies that it is not the unthinking, inanimate tool that is the killer, it is the WILL that kills.

Art Eatman
October 11, 2006, 11:29 PM
Wesker, one of the largest single events of mass murder in U.S. history occurred in New York City. 1960s/1970s? A guy poured five gallons of gasoline into a crowded night club and set it afire. Some 85 people (+/-) died.

Art

C. Rabbit
October 11, 2006, 11:41 PM
So is this guy the Senate Minority leader? I'm leaning towards no, as he speaks as though he lives in Europe.

Certainly I find the idea of an armed citizenry abhorrent.

But of course. They're just too stupid and violent. We can't trust them.

CR

DRZinn
October 12, 2006, 09:34 AM
We are rightly determined to make the availability of guns more difficult in this country. We deplore the idea of armed citizens freely roaming our streets and our country lanes.We? Who's this "we"?

Keith Wheeler
October 12, 2006, 09:41 AM
We? Who's this "we"?

The ones who are "more equal", unfortunately.

carlrodd
October 12, 2006, 10:01 AM
i don't want to get this too far off-topic, but this is who you're dealing with, with the likes of harry reid. take a quick read. his views on censorship are very telling of why he would have such views on the ownership of firearms. the problem is, he's an editor of a huge newspapaer, and people pay attention to him. in one breath he states the value of news media being impartial, and then in the next sentence he resumes telling people how to think.

http://www.theherald.co.uk/features/58908.html

orangelo
October 12, 2006, 10:27 AM
Eurotrash should mind their own damn business. Don't they have some ramadan riot fires to put out?

In the UK the bobbies aren't even allowed to chase bad guys anymore because the criminal might hurt himself trying to escape. :barf:

How did a fairly gun liberal state like Nevada elect such a piece of trash for senate like Harry Reid?

JohnBT
October 12, 2006, 10:51 AM
Well, it seems his friends like him. ;)

"In fact there could have been no wiser choice than Harry Reid. A distinguished editor of The Herald, he knows Scotland and its people better than most. Blessed with a keen, analytical mind and an enthusiasm to debate issues heatedly and pointedly (as his friends, of whose number I am one, will readily testify), he has all the qualifications to undertake the investigation of a searching moral and ethical problem, namely the very existence and future aspirations of the Church of Scotland."

Creeping Incrementalism
October 12, 2006, 11:10 AM
How did a fairly gun liberal state like Nevada elect such a piece of trash for senate like Harry Reid?

The person who wrote this piece is not the Senator from Nevada.

DonP
October 12, 2006, 11:29 AM
The smug superiority of these people continues to astound me.

First, they overlook the simple fact that "their" governments in Europe over the last 100 years have been responsible for wholesale slaughter of tens of millions of their own citizens.

For some reason the state executing a million or more of its own citizens is acceptable but regrettable. A whack job here shooting 6 innocents is a tragedy calling for fundamental change in our constitution and way of life.

Second, they forget that every American that went ashore against Hitler's Fortress Europe in 1944 came from that "abhorrent" violent gun culture. Good thing for these pinheads they knew how to use those Garands and Springfields.

Third, they always omit the mention of all their other civil rights violations. In the UK and most of Europe you can be held without an attorney present and questioned for an indefinite period of time. Habeas Corpus, as we know it does not generally exist. While we argue about wiretaps on offshore calls, they routinely wiretap domestic calls and it's all admissable in court. Miranda style warnings in Europe, not going to happen.

Thanks Harry, you keep your afternoon tea, I'll keep my M4gery and we'll both be happy.

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