Sunday, May 25, 2014

Dear America,

Preface:  I am so sorry for the families of the victims in this latest shooting in California and the families of the victims in all the attacks that proceeded it.  My heart aches for you.  I cannot imagine your pain. You have my deepest sympathy.

Dear America,

Hi.  I'm going to be visiting the United States soon, so could you maybe lay-off the mass shootings until I'm gone?

Yea, I know: I'm one of you.  Born and raised in America and lived there most of my life.  The thing is that for the past few years I've been living abroad in countries that are much safer than the United States and I have grown accustomed to that.

I've gotten used to living in the UK and Singapore which both have very strict gun laws.  These countries also have far less violence per-capita than the United States. There is probably a direct correlation there. That doesn't matter because facts, figures, and analysis aren't things that Americans like to do when talking about guns.  So that's fine, I'll let that go.

See:  Annual murder rate per 100,000 people (from Wikipedia)
Singapore: 0.3
United Kingdon: 1.2
United States: 4.8

Oops, sorry, facts and figures there.  I'll move on.

But recognize that I actually am safer at my homes-away-from-home than I am at my home-at-home.

So, America, if you would be so kind, please just lay-off the mass killings for the month of June.  I know I can't change your opinions or take away your guns, so I won't try. I'm just asking you to chill for a few weeks while I'm around.

Once I'm safely back on the other side of the Pacific then knock yourself out (and each other).  I know you will.  Hell, if you haven't changed anything after Columbine and Aurora and Sandy Hook then there's no reason to think you will change anything now.  Whatever.  I guess freedom means that crazy Americans get to kill a few other Americans from time to time.  If that's what America wants (and clearly it is) then that's what America gets.  Personally, if it were up to me, I would maybe try and change something.  But it isn't really up to me.  All I can do is vote, yell, and write offensive blogs.  I also don't want to get the crazy Americans pissed off at me personally because I'm unarmed--I've been living for three years in countries with strict gun laws.

Who knows, maybe after a month you'll realize that not-randomly-killing-people isn't all that bad.  Maybe you'll want to continue even after I've returned home.  Maybe you could go for two months without any mass murders.  But that's up to you.  I can't make that decision for you.

So keep your guns.  Just please lock them up while I'm visiting.

Let me come and go in peace.

Kind regards,

PS:  To the responsible gun owners who may have said something like "I wish I'd been there with my gun because there would have been a lot fewer victims."  I ask if you are trained to handle that type of situation, and I sincerely hope you are.  I'm not sure "Hero-with-gun stops Villain-with-gun" plays out as cleanly and succinctly in real life as it does in your head or in the movies.  Even if you are completely successful in stopping the Villain's rampage; at that point you then become a person with a gun in public who has just taken a human life.  I hope "Hero#2-with-a-gun" who was standing 30ft away can correctly assess the situation and recognizes you as Hero#1 and not Villain#2.  I also hope you don't miss the villain and hit something or someone you didn't intend to hit.  And I hope that nothing else goes wrong, because things can always go wrong.  Even if you happen to be the most feared American sniper in Iraq things can still go wrong.
Let me come and go in peace.

1 comment:

William C Bonner said...

It looks like the violence was saved up till you got here. First a Canadian went crazy, then the local gunman at Seattle Pacific University.