A mindless act

The world was recently shocked and saddened by the massacre of innocent students and teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Connecticut, USA.

But before the tributes and the commiseration activities for the victims were completed, the public was subjected to a barrage of illogical ranting and ravings from Mr. Wayne La Pierre, the Executive Director of the powerful American gun lobby and conservative advocacy group known as the National Rifle Association (NRA).

Some of the quotes from the U.S media coverage, described Mr. La Pierre’s press briefing as being delusional and mired in lunatic paranoia. I happen to agree with these depictions.

One of Mr. La Pierre’s “recommendations” was that armed guards be placed in schools and other areas of the public domain. Arm yet more people as a means of getting rid of arms?

This point of view, when combined with the NRA’s latest jingle that boasts that “the only thing to stop a bad guy with a gun, is a good guy with a gun”, smacks of a simplistic mindset and dated tradition that reverts human development back to the days of the celebrated ‘Gunfight at the OK corral’, that took place in the untamed Wild West in Tombstone Arizona in 1881.

Encouraging this type of thought process is akin to endorsing a general ‘eye for an eye’ policy as a method for settling differences. A problem-solving recipe that I imagine would lead to global blindness, eventually.

Maybe the intention of the right to bear arms advocates, is that we should eventually cultivate a society where our bartenders, our drivers of public transportation, our pastry chefs and even our ministers of religion should strap machine guns onto their backs as they mix cocktails, drive their buses, bake delicacies or preside over Sunday mass. How reassuring!!!

But this is the type of sensationalism that is a typical example of how the NRA and like-minded organisations postulate.

Instead of working together with other civic groups and government agencies towards finding solutions bent on curbing recurring problems like gun control regulation, they focus on finding someone other than themselves to blame. Because, in their world, maintaining the status quo is comforting, whilst change is a daunting imposition t­hat must be avoided at all costs.

The answer to gun proliferation is prohibition. The U.S authorities have to get serious about denying civilians the rights to purchase AK-47 or M-16 type assault rifles, over the counter.

The process required for gun sales transactions in some states in the U.S.A today, is almost as easy to comply with for a would be buyer, as the effort required to purchase a bottle of aspirins at the corner drugstore.

Why should the unrestricted freedom of a few mal-adjusted people be sanctioned, over and over, when those actions often result in the denial to someone else of that other basic freedom called the right to life, that every living human being should enjoy?

I also saw a ridiculous facebook posting this week by a ‘right’ thinking individual, sadly a fellow Grenadian, who blamed Barack Obama for the Sandy Hook tragedy. For emphasis, the poster went as far as to display Mr. Obama’s photograph in a photo gallery line up alongside Stalin, Hitler and Attila the Hun. Well, well.

I wonder whether this Obama basher ever heard of the Columbine high school disaster in Colorado USA where two (2) students went on a rampage murdering twelve (12) other students and one (1) teacher, using guns? This tragic event occurred back in 1999. But then again, I suppose that the culpable Mr. Obama must have clandestinely orchestrated the Columbine operation remotely.

I do not subscribe to tarring everyone or any group with the same brush. But I am amazed at the hypocrisy practiced by some conservatives, who blithely use cell phones and computers on a daily basis, and engage the services of jet aircraft to travel, instead of persisting with the use of donkey carts and vessels powered by sail for their transportation needs.

Historically, the attempts to make advances in the fields of medicine and technology, or for that matter, all the other avenues on man’s developmental march, were frowned upon by conservative thinkers, whilst open-minded people who were blessed with vision pressed on boldly with their ideas for a better world.

Yet, the very same benefits resulting from the efforts of those who were not afraid to upset the status quo, are enjoyed by these same conservative minded people today.

Conservative America, pay heed to the clear message that the recent defeat of your Presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, should have brought home to you by now. The stark reality…. that your country, like mostly every where else on our planet, is ever changing.

The frenzied shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary school’s deed, was both an indiscriminate one and a sign of the times. I am sure that his victims came from households that subscribed to both the left and the right sides of the political spectrum. Yet, they the innocent ones, all suffered the same fate.

The NRA advocates need to face up to the reality, that the existing flawed and mal-regulated across the counter arms transactions process, cannot be ignored, with the hope that the problem would go away by itself. It has to be seriously addressed and fixed.

So in the interests of all, the NRA could use their widespread influence to co-operate with and help the relevant authorities to change the existing gun control system in the USA, now.

Because the next time an appalling act like the one that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary school, occurs, God forbid, children’s lives would again be randomly endangered.

Only this time, it may be the NRA advocate’s children who are the ones lying in harm’s way.


Roger Byer

Morne Jaloux

St. George.













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