Friday, January 14, 2011

The Violent Culture in the USA -- 1


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The cartoon depicts the gun-loving culture
of the Americans

Cartoon courtesy: Michael de Adder

Published in Metro (Toronto: Jan. 12, 2011)

The United States of America (USA) is in mourning now. The mourning is for the January 8 shooting and killing of six persons who have been shot dead at close range when attending a political event organized by Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords near the Safeway supermarket in Tucson, Arizona. There is also anger for these senseless deaths as well as 13 other people, at the same venue, who have been wounded.

Jared Lee Loughner (22) went to the venue and without any warning began to shoot first at Gabrielle Giffords and then at others with his 9mm Glock multi-bullet-holding pistol. He fired 15-20 rounds of bullets before he was overcome and arrested.

Among the dead were Federal court judge John Roll and a 9-year-old school girl Christina Taylor Green. Congresswoman Giffords, although fatally wounded in the head, is very likely to survive. Her husband, Mark Kelly, is now in the space station as the NASA shuttle commander.

President Barack Obama condemned the shooting terming it as an "unspeakable crime." He also said: "This is a tragedy for Arizona and a tragedy for the entire country." Local sheriff Dupnick blamed the toxic and violently-charged political environment of Arizona for this tragedy.

Gun Violence As Old As the Country

The USA was born through the use of guns. Thirteen colonies in the eastern part of the USA were under the British. The colony-dwellers, mostly Europeans -- of British and some other country origin, were unhappy at the treatment they received from the British authority. As a result, discontentment started. The colony-dwellers declared independence in 1776 and finally won the war. The newly-independent country was named the United States of America (USA).

Guns Needed to Protect the Newly Independent Country

From its birth, the USA needed guns and weapons to protect its citizens from the defeated British forces who were still present in their Canadian possessions in the north, the Spanish in the south-east and west, the French in south and the so-called "Red Indians" -- the original inhabitants of this country, and also from wild animals.

Later they also needed guns and weapons to expand their territories. The "Wild Wild West" stories, that you see in the American movies, are stories of their expansions. They expanded their territories later by defeating the Spanish.

Guns Available Like Corner Store Lozenges

Guns and weapons have been available in the USA for purchase and sale like corner store lozenges and treats. Anyone can buy and sell them. This situation, with some restrictions, is still valid. Their easy availability in the USA is affecting Canada, too, in spite of its stricter laws. Criminal elements in Canada acquire these in the USA and smuggle them to Canada for illegal sale and distribution. Canada, in the last few years, has been experiencing an increased gun-related crimes. Most of these guns were illegally acquired.


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