NEWS BLOG (WSAU) Whenever there’s a tragic shooting, the anti-gun crowd sees an opportunity.
If anything, the ban-the-gun argument has been somewhat muted since the Aurora, Colorado shootings. In the U.S. there may be resigned acceptance among gun control advocates that the second-amendment is indeed the law of the land.
No so in Europe, where the Colorado tragedy is also big news – partly because a certain Paris movie debut was cancelled because of it.
In 2007 I did a radio interview with the BBC. It was the morning after the Crandon shooting that left 6 people dead. I was on-air with two morning news hosts in London. This was a standard tell-us-what-happened interview. They asked about Tyler Peterson’s shooting rampage. I did my best to tell the story.
The interview ended with this question from my London-counterpart: “Will this shooting help to change America’s gun laws?”
“No,” was my (obvious) answer. And I tried to give some context to our UK listeners. “Crandon is hunting country. Almost every household up there has a gun in it. Almost everyone knows how to shoot. In this case, if the gunman hadn’t taken his own life, the most likely ending would have been someone else putting a stop to it by shooting him.”
The interviewer let out a disgusted, bewildered sigh – as if the solution was so obvious, and the obtuse Americans just don’t get it.
Actually, we should be forgiving of our British friends. Their laws and traditions are different than ours. The right to bear arms isn’t enshrined in their founding documents. They live in a country where most police don’t carry guns. The idea of people with firearms is foreign to them.
And for people in the U.S. who think our country would be better if people didn’t have guns, here’s a suggestion. Change the constitution. Seriously. “That’s impossible,” you say. No, it isn’t. It can be done. It takes a sustained majority that’s very dedicated. That it won’t be is because that isn’t the mood of the country – even after an unspeakable massacre. Rights, once people have them, are not so easy to take away.