Written on: 10. 8. 2022 in the category: Uncategorized


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The news that Madison County, North Carolina, will equip all its schools with breachers – door-busting equipment  –  and AR-15 rifles, the Armalites of IRA fame, is the dystopian fantasy of Donald Trump of last spring coming hideously to life even before summer’s end. A few days after the Uvalde massacre in Texas, he told the National Rifle Association AGM in Houston in that same state that every school in the USA should have a single point of entry, strong fencing and metal detectors, with “a police official or an armed guard at all times.”

He then added the brainless rodomontade: “The existence of evil in our world is not a reason to disarm law-abiding citizens – the existence of evil is one of the very best reasons to arm law-abiding citizens.”

Firstly, law-abiding citizens cannot pre-empt a terrorist act, only the police can do that. Secondly, there is no such thing as a single armed guard, who without armed back-up is the merely the tasty hors d’oeuvre before the shooter moves onto the main meal of the children, plus the odd awkward teacher or two. Thirdly, far from protecting children, Trump’s proposals militarise childhood and indoctrinate infants in the ubiquity of fear, the very opposite of what education should be achieving. And fourthly, Trump’s proposals, to be effective, would impose impossible obligations upon American society.

Allowing for toilet and meal breaks, every school would need at least three armed guards. The 131,000 schools in the USA would require some 400,000 guards, making the National School Guard of the USA the eleventh largest army in the world, and greater than the armies of Germany, France, the UK and Spain combined.

The 5,300 college campuses in the US, with their many exits and vast residential populations, would require another army at least the size of the National School Guard. That’s nearly a million armed, and probably hyper-corpulent and hyper-bored warriors defending probably equally corpulent students, namely the obese embodiment of barking madness. Naturally, Trump unveiled his vision in Texas, where in 1963 President Kennedy was murdered, as soon afterwards was his assassin. It was also in Texas, three years later, that the phenomenon of the mass-shooter emerged in the form of the sniper Charles Whitmore, who probably was deranged by the prescription drugs that are so often a factor in these wholesale slaughters, He managed to kill sixteen people and wound another thirty from the library tower of – where else? – Austin University.

Academies and firearms seem to have a curious affinity for one another in the US: and no, I have no idea why. It is certainly not intrinsic to the Second Amendment of the USA, which was an assurance of the right of individual states, under arms supplied by the citizenry, to prevent unlawful intrusions on their sovereignty by the federal government. But this expired with the arrival of the Civil War, federal income tax, interstate highways and, conclusively, the Civil Rights legislation. To be sure, many social habits outlive their original purpose in both human perception and formal institutions, so assuming a dynamic of their own, as with Halloween, Guy Fawkes night and American gun-ownership. However, there is such a huge body of literature on this last subject that any outsider can only ask: are you completely mad to be endlessly (and angrily) discussing the continued utility of a concept that has brought so much misery to hundreds of thousands of people?

One common culprit in fashionable (and especially feminist) campus assessments of why is that the white man’s defeat of the local indigenous Indian peoples created a cultural template that today’s shooters are merely emulating. This school of theorising owes its existence entirely to modern political requirements. The popular highpoints of the cowboys ‘n’ injuns fictions in American culture – the 1930s and the 1950s in which the young were routinely entertained by filmic massacres of Indian warriors – were periods without mass-shootings of the innocent. Popular culture, therefore, would appear to be innocent of responsibility for the present blight on American life,

Very noticeably, this blight does not exist in Canada, though people there eat the same food, watch the same television and talk almost identically. The Canadian polity was largely created by Tory loyalists who detested Yankee fundamentalism  and fled Northwards in the 1770s. So, can it really be possible that a tiny kink in a people’s cultural genome, occurring nearly a quarter of a millennium ago, is having such enormously diverse effects today? Well, is not identity often about small differences? The generally detestable Justin Trudeau was spot on when he said that it was the duty of the police, and not ordinary citizens, to protect society, an observation which was predictably treated with widespread scorn by the gun-lobby in the US.

In Ireland, we should be reluctant to lecture, hector or scold the Americans about anything, especially since we seem about to elevate to government the unrepentant people who gave the world Bloody Friday, Claudy, Birmingham Kingsmills, Enniskillen, et alia. But in personal conduct, the Irish are the very opposite of our own Armalite brigade: only about 2% of Irish homes have a gun-licence and in Dublin, under 0.3%. For all the popular ambiguities towards IRA fascism, the Irish people have an instinctive knowledge that guns do not make you safe, especially if you have a taste for alcohol.

In other words, we, like the Canadians, have inherited the British concept of firearms, which are to be held on licence from the monarch or state. Not merely is this a legal fact, it is a cultural one. The comic-opera of the National Rifle Association of Canada came into existence in 1994, and instantly began to wither on the vine, finally expiring in 2015. Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association of the USA, which lives on a different planet from the rest the world, seems to go from strength to strength. Just days after the slaughter at Uvalde it was able to attract thousands of delegates to its annual jamboree where Trump outlined his Alamo blueprint for American schools, for which the insane Madison project is clearly the prototype.

This creates the paradoxical situation that the people I despise most in the US, the liberal-left are on the same side as me on this issue – but not for the same reason. They take sides because it makes them feel good about themselves, whereas I choose whatever works, regardless of my own emotional responses. I actually rather like the idea of would-be muggers, burglars and rapists being shot dead, but the world seldom works like that. There are too many accidental discharges, too many mistaken shootings in the half light, too many children unlocking gun cabinets: what is perfect policy in the abstract in our real and most imperfect world invariably becomes Porkchop Hill by instalments. Nearly five hundred people are killed annually in firearms accidents in the US, though most of these are not really accidents. The Second Amendment of the Constitution has apparently created the lethal binary of humans and firearms, the fingers of the former sitting nicely over the triggers of the latter, especially after half a quart of bourbon.

There is no simple way out of this hideously complex crisis, for there are more privately-held guns in the US than there are people. A ban on all weapons sales would still leave some 350 million guns in private hands, creating the world’s largest gun black-market. Contrary to folklore, the base of gun-ownership in the US has been shrinking. In 1970, 45% of all families owned a firearm, whereas the figure today is 32%, but few of those families own just one gun. Add to this the vast arsenal of illegally-held guns in the US; Chicago, for example, has the strictest gun laws of any American city yet has the most gun-violence, averaging roughly 500 murders a year. Most of both the killers and the killed are black, with murders now increasing because of the idiocies of the Black Lives Matter movement. Police numbers in the city have fallen dramatically to 13,000, while organised gangs now have around130,000 members, and yes, someone’s actually counting. As they say in the US: do the math, or better still, ask the ’hood – all polls show that black population of the city overwhelmingly oppose defunding the police.

If you want to get a sense of the underlying madness, find, if you can, a video clip of Johnny Cash addressing a concert audience. “I thank God for our freedoms,” he intoned in that infuriating fake-gravitas voice of his. “I cherish them. We’ve even got the right to burn the flag. Shhh,” he says, to some dissenting voices. “We’ve also got the right to bear arms.” He pauses, and lowers his voice before promising…”And if you burn my flag, I’ll shoot you.”

Such adolescent braggadocio, quivering with bogus sincerity, would have been met with hoots of laughter anywhere else in the world: but his American audience exploded in joyous, almost hysterical approval. Furthermore, this is not just some hillbilly disorder. Advertisements for employment in the IRS, the internal Revenue Service cite as expected duties the willingness to work a minimum of 50 hours per week, maintain a level of fitness necessary to effectively respond to life-threatening situations and to carry a firearm and be willing to use deadly force.

This is for the creature we used to call the “taxman”.

You might expect more from  the FBI, and would would not be wrong. See the following clip of an FBI raid in early 2022:  How CNN captured video of the Roger Stone raid – CNNPolitics.

Nobody has suggested that Stone, an ally of Donald Trump, is a terrorist: he is a high-profile public figure who could easily have been arrested at any time at his office or home. That before dawn a dozen FBI men with body armour and assault rifles raided his house shows how deep the gun-dementia is in America.  Moreover, that there was no political outcry over this crude state-terror indicates how far down the slope towards chaos the USA has gone – and I say state terror deliberately. Why else was CNN waiting at the house to film the arrest than to create a fear of the state? Who else has the ultimate authority over that state than President Biden? And was not Biden a keen supporter of the terrorist insurgency that destroyed the centres of at least twenty American cities two years ago?

Count the harvest Joe: so far this year, 12,400 Americans have been shot dead, and the USA has undone all the solid police work of the past quarter of a century, as murder figures are back to what they were in the 1990s. Which doesn’t stop Biden manipulating the truth. One Biden-supplied statistic apparently reveals the scale of the national illness, though in fact it reveals the dishonesty that is almost endemic on both sides of the firearms-debate in the US. In the first twenty years of the 21st century, he said, 42,000 American “children” were killed by gunfire, which is more than the US death toll from enemy action in Vietnam. But we’re really back to the old saw of lies, damned lies and statistics, for Biden was deftly massaging that figure of child-deaths upwards by including eighteen-year-olds. Over 90% of the 2,000 or so of that cohort were blacks murdered by other blacks using illegally-held weapons, which most emphatically lack the constitutional-protection that is central to the NRA’s philosophy and which Biden was trying to attack. Either way, we can probably agree that not many of the gang members are also members of the NRA, and it’s not just because of their race, for Whoopi Goldberg is an NRA member, and no, I can’t explain that either.

Across the US tonight, like every other night, half a dozen deranged young males will be on the internet, wondering how they might emulate the martial splendours of Uvalde. Some of them – poor devils! – probably can’t even afford the measly $800 to buy an AR-15. Listen lads, here’s a clue from the oh so useful scenario laid out by Donald Trump. Firstly, break into your local primary school, secondly…..

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