I like America. I like it a lot. The fact that in terms of surface area I have only ever visited a very small percentage of it does not detract from the affection in which I hold most of it.
If at any point in my life I get both the time and the funds, I have every intention of visiting lots of different bits of it. This is a recognition that the bits I’ve been to are the sugar-coated, freshly painted tourist ready facades, but still, as a country it is on my list of things I like a lot.
Of course, like anything with positives it has some negatives too. Jimmy Saville did quite a lot for charity, but seems to have blotted his copybook somewhat by the small matter of also being the most renowned and prolific sexual predator in UK history. On balance then the negatives win in that case.
Despite my affection for the US, I feel I should probably bring up the fact that America is pretty much almost certainly politically corrupt. This is most likely a negative!
For example, if your brother runs a state where the election results might be a bit close, it seems it can be arranged that you actually win that state, even when you didn’t really. The fact that the real winner should have been Al Gore, who would have implemented massive mounts of green policies, and thus upset nearly all of the massive conglomerates who need to keep killing the planet to make their profits is just another coincidence surely?
Even when you get elected president it seems you are not safe. Should you be a really popular young handsome president who happens to make a few decisions that go against the grain, then the good old authorities are not averse to having you bumped off on National television just to smooth the running of the world.
So this country of glamour, glitz and of course fabulous holidays has a few flaws then. However, all of those are pretty insignificant when compared to the fact that there is actually a law that pretty much insists that you own a gun. In fact, the lower your IQ, or the higher your depressive EMO tendencies then the more you are encouraged to own multiple firearms.
This is of course every “Americuns” right, to defend their home. So having six fully automatic rifles to keep the marauding hordes out of your one bed apartment is A-OK. Daft, quaint things like burglar alarms, decent locks and maybe even a dog are just old-fashioned ideas that those funny folk across the Atlantic persist with.
So all this pithy build up is a prelude to a very unfunny scenario that of course happened earlier this week. I have to say that I don’t know all the details of the killings that happened in an elementary school, as I could not bring myself to watch the news. I know that around twenty children were gunned down along with about ten other teachers and other adults.
For a country that is so advanced, in so many ways, that gives the world so many great things, and of course that has given me and my family some of the best experiences and memories we’ll ever have, how can it be that in 2012 this global giant still allows any knob head to stock up on guns ready for the day that something doesn’t go their own way.
If this were a one-off, like of course our own tragic Dunblane, then we would mourn it as that, and put all our efforts into those affected. But these things are regular events, and how many do they need to get the hint that something needs to change?
So come on Barack, I suspect you are a decent sensible chap, even though I have never met you. Sod the rednecks who will piss and moan and sort out your gun laws. There are several children somewhere in America right now who will owe you a massive debt of gratitude if you do, but then again if you do, they will never know you saved them.
Till the next time…..