Michael Forman

Michael Forman
Author, Singer, Actor, Photographer. This is where I scratch out things between writing books.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Orlando Massacre, Thoughts on the

Orlando Massacre: Oh what are you doing to yourselves America?

Once again, the news turns to America and yet another mass shooting within it's community. A lone gunman has entered a public building where people had gathered for a night of dance and music. He fired magazines of bullets from a high powered weapon into helpless, innocent victims and then kept shooting until someone from the outside had shot him down with a gun of their own. It was the biggest mass murder in the US since September 11th.

And while anger and the attention turns to what caused the shooter to flip: Islam, homophobia and all things that are sprinkled in hatred, one thing we know is that gun laws in the US have to change.

I know the ongoing argument: US people reserve the right to bear arms. Isn't that just the biggest chest-thump? Disarm the community and they instantly become vulnerable - so let's go the other way, keep arming them! It's a right to be armed!

I come from a community where arms were removed. The Port Arthur massacre was Australia's worst gun tragedy. Our Prime Minister moved quickly and decided that it was good idea to remove guns from the suburbs. It makes sense. We're not overthrowing a nation or protecting from being overthrown by outsiders. We're all practically neighbours here. There is no need for neighbours to be shooting at each other. Domestic laws are for dealing with territory and property issues. Americans say that we're worse off for not having guns. Australians living in Australia think otherwise, in a big way.

The thing is, the people in that Orlando nightclub weren't being protected by any of America's laws. They didn't stand a chance with them or the shooter's bullets. They were unarmed but a shooter was. The only way the tables would've turned would've been if everyone could shoot back. Nice. That's a wonderful NRA dream - bullets flying this way and that, sell and trade weapons using fear to promote security... but there is another way - no guns at all.

Here's a thought: If the NRA believes everyone would be far better off armed with guns then let them lobby the government in ways that'd enable everyone to have a free gun of their own. Better yet, make it an automatic one, like an assault rifle, with several magazines and plenty of rounds to fill each of them. Encourage the community to carry them around with them; to the shops; to the movies; inside nightclubs and let them dance with their guns slung over their shoulders, just in case somebody bursts in and tries to spoil their night. If it does, let hell break out and let the chips fall where they lay. Let Law protect this 'Right to Bear Arms' order instead.

I'd like to see an America armed to the teeth with automatic weapons. I wouldn't visit the country if this happened but I'd send a drone over it to see the outcome. I reckon ten years into it, half would be dead and the other half would be barricaded inside well-armed compounds, fighting over little things with their big weapons but forever using words like 'Liberty' 'Rights', and 'Protection' to justify the absurd use of all three.

Sometimes the picture is very simple: Take away the guns. Take away the future victims of shootings.

I know you can't stop the nutcases from having a mind-meltdown but you can stop them from having a gun in their hand when they do it. At the very least, you can stop them from having an automatic or a semi-automatic one pointed at you, your family, all your neighbours and taking everyone down at once. High powered weapons of war are for that - war, not nightclubs, schools, factories or the streets.

Guns of all types don't need to be in the hands of a community at all.

We destroyed all our guns and the mass shootings stopped. The picture was only as complicated as we made it and we solved the problem by simplifying it. The result now speaks for itself.