Another school shooting in America – but this kind of thing now seems to be embodied in the American psyche, and sad that of its young people. We badly need to know why apparently sane young boys decide suddenly to shoot a class-mate (in this case a girl, so possible pubescent love of a fatal kind). As to adults, of course some idiot is always going to be able to obtain a gun and go on the rampage – but the point is that it’s much too easy to do so, and the idiots of the N.R.A. are intent on making it easier still. They are clearly not rational people with whom it is possible to argue, or they would see that ‘the right to bear arms’ is not a phrase which should be permitted to remain in the constitution – that those that inserted the phrase had in mind only the historical situation at the time when the constitution was written. (This is clearly illustrated by the attitude to constitutional government: the authors would have been appalled that anyone should think that the phrase ‘government of the people’ might apply to people with black skins.) A country’s constitution should not be written in stone.
No country is free of idiots. In Australia for instance there are Members of the N.S.W. Parliament who represent the Shooters’ Party, one of whose main objects is to preserve the right to shoot in the National Parks, to the considerable danger of those who think the parks a good place for a quiet picnic. Time for just one sandwich, then a bullet in the back of the head. And drug-related gangs preside over drive-by shootings which have injured innocent men, women and children. The problem isn’t a simple one. But don’t tell me that making guns a great deal more difficult to get and keep – and prohibiting civilians fro m owning military weapons – wouldn’t be a considerable help.