I have just discovered that there has been a mass shooting at a gay club in Oslo, Norway which left two dead and over 20 wounded. According to police, the gunman was a radicalized Muslim who had a history of mental illness. No one need me to tell them what an awful tragedy this is. The fact it took place at a gay club is of little matter. Only on the grounds that homophobia was the motive behind the shooting.
What sent my anxiety levels to high levels when I heard about the shooting was the fact that my future daughter in law, Eline, comes from Norway and lives in a suburb of Oslo. However, when I What’s Apped my daughter, she informed me that Eline isn’t even in the country at the moment but on holiday with her family in the Azores. I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard that.
As always, let us send our thoughts and prayers to the people of Oslo, especially to the victims and their loved ones.
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.
Last week, after watching a presentation on Facebook on how in the US, you have to be 21 to drink alcohol and 25 to rent a car, but you can buy a gun at 18, I stated that I found this aspect about America rather embarrassing. Note: I am NOT embarrassed to be American and I love the country I was born in. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have jumped through flaming hoops at the US Embassy in London to keep my American citizenship when I naturalized as a British citizen back in 1990. I’m digressing as usual but I pointed this out on that Facebook presentation and I got a lot of stick from right and left about it.
Naturally, I got the predictable redneck responses telling me that I was embarrassing and to move to Canada. It’s a bit late for me to do that. The main theme of responses was that owning a gun is a constitutional right while drinking a beer isn’t. One person pointed out that children have been using guns since guns were invented. My response is: Does that make it okay? As I told people on that meme, I am not for repealing the Second Amendment, which gives Americans to right to keep and bear arms. However, because it’s a constitutional right doesn’t mean it’s a good thing. Look at the fact that there have been ten mass shootings across the US over the past weekend. That is why I stick by my belief that the age of gun ownership should be 21 unless you serve or have served in the armed forces. Then it should be 18. After all, the US military is a well regulated militia and in my view, my belief does not conflict the the Second Amendment.
Of all the insults hurled at me, the biggest one came from the left where one stated “Brilliant Einstein.” This person wrongly thought that I wanted to lower the drinking age to 18 so young adults ages 18-20 could get drunk and go out and buy a gun. I pointed out that I wanted the opposite, the gun age raised to 21 but he didn’t come back on that one.
It’s very tempting for me to go off on a tangent about the gun debate and I could easily do so. The point I want to make is that even with a hot potato topic such as guns, where there are many differing opinions, we should be able to state our case without any patronizing, name calling or just plain abuse. The problem with social media is that there is a cloak of anonymity about it. Chicken shits can be as abusive as they want and say things to people they wouldn’t dare say in public and get away with it. I think that is wrong. Here on Peaceful Rampage and on my other blog, 80smetalman, I welcome everyone to voice their opinion, even if it’s unpopular or even illogical. You can start here if you like.
Shameless link to my book: There are instances in “He Was Weird” where Mark does offer an unpopular opinion or a point of knowledge and the bullies come down on him for it. Since the book is linked to my own experiences, it is one reason why I feel so strongly about it. No one should be attacked for putting forth an opinion or point of knowledge.
I thought by now, I could get my Asperger’s riddled head around what happened in Texas last week. Once again, another school shooting, this one in Texas left 19 children and two teachers dead., I have listened to some of the speeches both for and against gun control on social media and have even commented on Facebook at some. Still, I find the whole thing really depressing.
First, I am not for repealing the second amendment. I believe that people have the right to own guns as long as they can show they are responsible. Furthermore, I heard that there are enough gun laws on the books to adequately control guns but these laws aren’t being properly enforced. Maybe we can start there. However, as an American living abroad, I find it embarrassing to be from a country where you are legally old enough to buy a gun before you are legally old enough to buy a beer or even rent a car. That is my first proposal to the problem, raise the age of legal gun purchasing and ownership to 21. Don’t worry, I am already hearing the “You can go into the military at 18 and use a gun” argument being screamed at me, at least in my mind. This is true, but when I served in the US Marines, we didn’t have our rifles with us in the barracks. We had them in the armory where we had to march to and hand over a rifle card to draw our rifles out. Furthermore, Marines had to take two weeks out of every year to qualify with their rifles to prove they are proficient with them. That sounds like responsible gun ownership to me.
Somebody on Facebook came back with the argument that if you can’t drink or buy a gun till your 21, then you are too young to vote. I can concede that fact and this is my solution: The legal age for drinking, voting and gun ownership should be 21, UNLESS you serve or have served in the US military. In the military, you will be taught to be responsible for your weapon. For drinking, a young person can join the military, get stationed in Europe where the legal drinking age is 18. So, having served their country overseas, should be allowed to legally buy alcohol at 18. As for voting, if you are old enough to go to war for your country at 18, then you are old enough to vote for who is going to send you there.
Something else which I said on social media which many people supported and a few people ripped on me for, (one called me a ‘liberal idiot’), was when I pointed out that some Conservative politicians think it’s perfectly fine for a teenager to have a gun but won’t let them read books those politicians don’t agree with. I am totally against banning of ANY books. After all, I’ve written two and wouldn’t want them banned. If I don’t think I’m going to like a book, then I simply won’t read it. However, I won’t tell anyone else they shouldn’t read it nor would I make any attempts to stop from doing so, it’s their choice and I have to ask: Letting a teen read or book or have a gun, which sounds more dangerous? I have to agree with comedian Samantha Bee on this point.
In 1996, the UK experienced its own school shooting when a gunman went into a school in Dunblane, Scotland and killed 14 children and a teacher. Almost immediately, Parliament passed laws banning hand guns and stricter gun controls. There hasn’t been a mass shooting in the UK since. Gun control legislation can work. One person, I don’t know if he was American or British, tried to argue that because of the UK’s stricter gun control, burglaries and various forms of street crimes have risen exponentially. Yes, the crime rate has risen but this person provided no evidence linking the rise in crime to strict gun control. Fact, even before Dunblane, most people in the UK didn’t own guns.
Finally, there’s the argument for arming teachers. Being one myself, teaching his difficult and thankless enough without the added pressure of giving them firearms training. Teachers are supposed to teach, not act as some sort of paramilitary force. On a more morbid note, say there’s a teacher, who is armed, who is experiencing a lot of grief from an unruly child or class. The result could be a school shooting of a different kind. A teacher’s job is tough enough without adding this to it.
You know, I feel a lot lighter having written this. Some of you out there might not agree with me and you are welcome to tell me so here. Unlike many people on social media, I won’t start hurling insults at anyone who doesn’t agree with me. However, one thing I do ask is that if you don’t agree with me, please tell me your solution to the problem.
My blood is boiling. So much so that it is sending my Asperger’s mind in 100 different directions at a similar speed. Yesterday, there was a terrible shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas which left, according to some reports, as many as 21 people dead! Many of those killed were children under ten. I would like to write more but my mind is spinning too fast. All I can do for the moment is once again, share two songs I would have hoped that I would never post on here again.
I am always saddened to learn of a mass shooting, whether it be in a school or other public place, no matter where it happens. However, what annoys me as an American living in the UK is that when it happens in the US, the British media is all over it with stories about ‘gun crazed Yanks’ but when a mass shooting happens in any other country, the UK media is relatively silent about it.
A few days ago, there was a school shooting in Germany but almost nothing out of the media. If this had happened in the US, all of Britain would have heard of it. I only learned about it is because I had ‘School Shootings’ as a Google Alert. This is not because I have some sort of warped fascination with them, I have it because it was a main topic in my book “He Was Weird.” Anyway, back to the fact that it happened and fortunately, only one person, a female teacher was injured. To read the full story, click the link:
One point about the article, I feel I must talk about is the fact that Germany has very strict gun laws yet it still happened. I can hear some Americans using this to shout, “Gun laws don’t work!” This is a myth. Germany has the fewest shooting incidents in the world. Just saying.
To buy He Was Weird, go to: amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?crid=36I8I1G32U0R4&keywords=he+was+weird&qid=1653159501&s=books&sprefix=he+was+%2Cstripbooks%2C148&sr=1-1
Yesterday, there was a school shooting at Olathe East High School in Kansas. Fortunately, there were no fatalities but the principal and a schools resource officer were wounded. The resource officer managed to return fire wounding the shooter before he was arrested. In view of this, I have decided that song “New Normal” by Cade Thompson would be more appropriate. My thoughts are truly with the people of Olathe this evening.
Following the Michigan school shooting, I have come to the decision that every time a school shooting occurs anywhere in the world, (school shootings don’t just happen in the US), I will post the song, “Thoughts and Prayers” by Will Hoge. I hope one day, I will never have to post this video again.