Henry Porter, like me, can’t believe the U.S. populace puts up with its gun insanity epidemic, and wonders whether the rest of the civilized world should put up with it:
That’s America, we say, as news of the latest massacre breaks – last week it was the slaughter of 12 people by Aaron Alexis at Washington DC’s navy yard – and move on. But what if we no longer thought of this as just a problem for America and, instead, viewed it as an international humanitarian crisis – a quasi civil war, if you like, that calls for outside intervention? As citizens of the world, perhaps we should demand an end to the unimaginable suffering of victims and their families – the maiming and killing of children – just as America does in every new civil conflict around the globe.
Sounds a little hyperbolic, right? Oh, come on, right? He even calls it a kind of undeclared civil war:
There have been fewer than 20 terror-related deaths on American soil since 9/11 and about 364,000 deaths caused by privately owned firearms. If any European nation had such a record and persisted in addressing only the first figure, while ignoring the second, you can bet your last pound that the State Department would be warning against travel to that country and no American would set foot in it without body armour.
One of the complicating factors of this novel take on our gun problem is that it’s simply not the same situation from state to state or city to city. I would wager that pretty much any part of Syria is a bad place to be right now, but I know I’m for all up intents and purposes in no danger of death-by-firearm in Vermont or Montana. But Los Angeles? DC? Forget it. (My own attackers may or may not have had a gun, but I was never given a chance to see them. They hit me with something, though.)
There are countless crises that America has inflicted upon itself, any number of which would warrant intervention from a benevolent coalition of the willing. The rampant poverty and the uninsured sick come immediately to mind. Imagine an invasion of Western European nations, but rather than bringing tanks and artillery, they bring clinics and MRIs!
But taking our guns away? I could see that. Any intervening force that tried it better be ready for a real fight. Of course, they’d probably shoot at the folks bringing medical aid, too. Because, you know, something-something socialism, something-something sharia.
Ah, we’re all fucked.