The carnage in the good ole US of A where the gun culture rules supreme continues apace ... who can fail to be horrified by the cell-phone footage of a black driver shot and killed by a policeman in front of his wife and child while reaching for his driving license. Words are hard to describe the situation where five police officers and killed in Dallas and another seven wounded by a lone black man seeking revenge for ..........
In Chicago alone a person is shot every two hours and 12 minutes ... in the year to date 309 have been shot and killed and a further 1763 shot and wounded ... and it's not going to stop any time soon.
Americans seem wedded to the second amendment to the Constitution which guarantees the right of a person to keep and bear arms. It had its origins in English common law and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights Act 1689. Sir William Blackstone described this right as an auxiliary right supporting the natural rights of self defense, resistance to oppression and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the State.
The second amendment was enacted at a time when the US possessed little in the way of a standing army and where local militias were raised in accordance with the Militia Act of 1792 which provided for the conscription of every free, able-bodied, white male aged between 18 and 45 into a local militia company and required them to bring along a musket, a bayonet and belt, two spare flints, a cartridge box of 24 bullets and a knapsack.
While the second amendment right has been challenged at various times including the United States vs Cruikshank (1876) and the United States vs Miller (1939) the US Supreme Court has, as recently as eight years ago, ruled that the amendment protects the right of the individual to possess and carry firearms in District of Columbia vs Heller (2008).
The genie is well and truly out of the bottle. It will be nigh on impossible to stuff it back in. The forces opposing change are too powerful ... ffs, even Bernie Sanders, champion of the 'progressive' left, is opposed to meaningful change representing, as he does, Vermont which is a largely rural, pro-gun, State.
American citizenry will remain well placed to repel the alien hordes when they sweep down from Mongolia or Mexico or wherever and in the meantime they can hone their shooting skills by practising on themselves. The mayhem will continue. I'm just glad I live in NZL.
April 25 in history
3 hours ago