Following the recent tragedy in Lafayette, Louisiana, Rebel Wilson took to Twitter with a message of resigned frustration.
She is not alone looking at the United States and wondering why the leading liberal democracy in the world would allow the ongoing slaughter of its citizens by gun-wielding maniacs.
It seems not a month goes by in the US without another mass shooting, yet Americans love, and I mean love, their guns. Each year, three times as many Americans are killed by other Americans with guns than the number of Americans who died in the 9/11 terrorist attacks. America has the highest per capita number of gun deaths among advanced industrial societies.
The current state of guns in America is an inexplicable and unparalleled cultural phenomenon, in which the mere mention of gun control sends a large portion of the US population into hysterics.
An outside observer can’t help but notice American conservative politics of fear-mongering are at the core of the paranoid attitudes that prevent sensible policy discussions about gun violence in the US.
But it’s not just outsiders who question America’s gun culture. My grandmother, who lives in South Carolina, is not a great fan of guns, and America’s gun culture, either.
In America it’s never the time to discuss gun control. Well, Rebel thought otherwise:
It’s not the first time someone suggested America should look at Australia’s post-Port Arthur massacre gun laws, which is widely considered to be one of the best in the world – if you prefer not to be the victim of random gun violence.
Or the worst, if you are a gun-loving American.
Even President Barack Obama noted America could learn from Australia on the subject of gun control. Of course his views count for little in a country where an entire State is under the impression their President is planning to use the army to ‘invade’ their State, and intern undesirables in Walmart stores turned internment camps. Yes, seriously, that’s the kind of mindset American gun control activists are up against. That attitude was amply illustrated in an error-riddled piece on Australia’s gun laws titled ‘Australia: There Will Be Blood‘, in America’s 1st Freedom, a publication by the National Rifle Association (NRA). Of course one wouldn’t expect anything else from the NRA.
The US Constitution contains the well-known Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights, which serves as the foundation of all pro-gun arguments:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Many argued over the decades, fruitlessly, that the amendment was passed in 1791 at a time in US history, following the American Revolution, when a realistic fear of military intervention from the United Kingdom still existed, and the memory of the 1775 battles of Lexington and Concord, arising from British military efforts to confiscate military equipment from American revolutionary militias, was still fresh.
On the face of the text, the people’s right to keep and bear arms was always intended to ensure the existence of ‘well regulated Militia’ for the protection of the freedom of the United States from the dubious intentions of the King of England.
Unfortunately, in modern America that’s not how the amendment is interpreted by many. Rather, it is seen as the source of an unfettered, inalienable and unquestionable right to own and carry guns by individual citizens.
The reality is you have to be brave or crazy to take on most Americans over their guns, especially as an outsider, and the responses to Rebel Wilson’s tweets highlighted this. Admittedly, all the pro-gun responses you will see below have been well and truly debunked time and time again.
Many of the responses to Rebel Wilson would be quite amusing if they didn’t hide a death toll in the tens of thousands …
There were the predictable ‘mind your own business’ and ‘go back where you came from’ tweets:
Then, there are those who think criminals would disregard laws aimed at guns, and as such legislation would be useless:
There is the ‘it’s not the guns, it’s the bad, and the mentally ill, that’s the problem’ brigade:
And there are the ‘cars are also dangerous, why not outlaw those,’ geniuses:
There are also those who just lie outright, such as pretending Australia’s gun laws were a ‘failure’, and as such there is no reason to try anything to curb guns, and those who have just completely fallen to NRA propaganda on the subject:
And finally the literal, ‘it’s our constitutional right’ chorus:
And this was perhaps one of the most ironic Twitter responses of all, considering how many liberties Americans have given up over the past decade or so in the name of national security:
I believe it’s fitting to end with a tweet containing a message from Sandy Phillips, whose daughter Jessi was one of the 12 people killed in the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater massacre in 2012: