Is US democracy disabled?

Image result for Bump stock rifles

The appalling killing of so many in Las Vegas still shocks even to those that are hard-core believers in owning killer guns. At least 10000 American citizens are killed by guns yearly. Another 59 victims hardly makes a difference to the yearly statistics. What baffles many who stand away from this strange behaviour, is a law (constitution) actually allowing this murderous killing to continue with nauseating regularity. They all know the mass killing will continue and in fact condone it by not altering this silly law of everyone allowed to own and carry guns.

The answer seems to be that the action of a lone madman should not hinder owning guns. It seems that the gun lobby, the NRA overrules the majority of US citizens who do want to limit and change the constitution. They, the NRA, are so powerful and continue to cower behind this constitution rule as if set in concrete. Is America so powerless that changing a bad law can’t be achieved?

The Second Amendment declares:

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”.[5][6]” 1689

The assertion that those mass killing are done by madmen seems to have struck a barrier. So far the killer seems to not conform to ‘madman’ diagnoses. His girlfriend and family members describe the man as a ‘normal caring guy’. He did love gambling, but in the US gambling is almost seen as a sport practiced by many  virtuous  people, the same like going to a church.

The only facts that have been established is his sanity. Throughout his life Stephan Paddock collected guns but that is a practise that millions of people do. This is normal. Everyone has the freedom to do that with little restrictions. In some states kids can buy guns. Mums take children to shooting ranges, teaching the little ones to shoot.

The only certainty we have is that the killer had total freedom to do what he did.

The guns gave him that freedom.

The abnormality and madness is within a society whereby a minority, albeit powerful can dictate , not allowing changing the constitution by a majority of law abiding citizens, for those dreadful bump-stock  improved machine guns and rifles to be taken out of society.

It is killing US society, and it is NOT normal.

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41 Responses to “Is US democracy disabled?”

  1. DisandDat Says:

    Saw a comment on this issue recently. In most states of the USA, its much easier to legally obtain a gun or guns than…… drivers licence, passport, medical insurance, credit check and more. In most states your (criminal) background is not even looked at. Makes one wonder who condones more violance the North Koreans or the USA ? Who has more missiles all over East Asea pointing due west.

    Liked by 5 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      There are other countries with high gun ownership. Just look at Finland and Switzerland.
      The difference is that Scandinavia including Finland use guns for hunting and the guns are locked away in cabins or vacation homes, very prevalent in Scandinavia.

      In the US, the guns, especially handguns, are in kitchens, bedrooms and in cars. A dispute in the bar or after a night out, the Finn isn’t going to drive a hundred kilometres to get his gun from the cabin on the lake, to settle the dispute. In the US, the gun is there and ban- bang, the deed is done.

      Trump seems to be the master in irrational and impulsive behaviour, the perfect candidate for future mass shootings. I fear him more than N Korea.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Therese Trouserzoff Says:

    Gez and Friends,

    Trump said that “this is not the time to discuss gun control” – OK, no more ridiculous than all his other moronic rubbish, but that merely proves IMHO, the incredible power of the gun industry and the industrial military complex on the larger scale.

    As you quoted in the second amendment, Gez – the key phrase is “well-regulated” – which it certainly isn’t. And to even think that a three hundred year old “get out” clause is still considered useful is stupid beyond belief – but apparently difficult to fix.

    I don’t understand why enough American cannot challenge the regulation of the militia and the right to bear arms through the US Supreme Court. The evidence against “well-regulated” lies in pools of blood all over the streets of America.

    I have felt, since Bush got elected that we (i.e the rest of the planet) are the unwilling witnesses to the decline of the American Empire – only temporarily slowed by the stymied Obama administration.

    On one level, it’s good to see the downfall of such a profligate, massively ignorant and self-centred nation. But on another level one shudders to think what might replace it – a Putin dictatorship, or more likely a China first superpower – already building strategic military bases off shore and dragging its feet over effectively dealing with the other fuckwit de jour Kim Jun.

    It’s small comfort to be so far away from the major players, but I do think that we should enjoy what’s left of Australia while we still can.

    Liked by 4 people

    • berlioz1935 Says:

      We won’t be able to enjoy Australia as it is, or once was, much longer as our government is turning it into “1984”-type surveillance state.

      Liked by 3 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Amazing, Berlioz,

        that without a whisper Australia is now on the road to detain a fortnight without charge, possible suspect terrorists, or the increase in using Meta data, instant face recognition and other scary ‘Brave New World’ methods of control in pursuing this ‘ terrorism’ mania. Finally we will end up cowering behind our locked doors, and the misty walk along the creek or in the forest will cease.

        Australia has seen fit to keep thousands of refugees in detention now in its fourth year on Manus and Nauru islands without charge. Last week another refugee committed suicide.

        Australia too is slipping and that is so sad.

        Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, In Australia we seem nicely distant from much of the world ailments, Trouserzoff.

      But standards are slipping here too. I noticed that freedom of the individual is getting squeezed. Fear is used effectively to push us tighter into submitting to whatever the political parties want. The fear is not used to garner social justice. No, the opposite!

      A plan is in the making to hold suspects of terrorism for a fortnight without charge. We know that statistically our risk of getting harmed by terrorism is less than a shark eating us.

      Fear is used to achieve the opposite, to become less tolerant and more suspicious of neighbours or anything away from the accepted norm.

      Like

      • happy go lucky Says:

        This new fearmongering by what seams like all polys and states is absolutely mad. It flies in the face of what we value so much – freedom. Face recognition technology in every square inch of our lives. The future looks more worrying by the day. Where is the door. ?

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Carrie Rubin Says:

    It’s so frustrating and heartbreaking to witness this insanity, and I constantly wonder how some of my countrymen and women can’t see how something needs to be done. You’d think after school children were shot, that would do it. But nope. It leaves so many of us feeling so hopeless.

    Liked by 4 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, democracy seems to have taken a strange turn, Carrie.

      The majority want gun control and who would not, seeing the horrific numbers. Guns are opposite of freedom. Why not have an excess of flowers, and give vent to music, love and wondrous words?
      The Noble price for literature has just been announced. That soothes the spirit.
      Kazuo Ishiguro thought it was ‘fake news’ when he was told he was the winner

      Liked by 1 person

  4. berlioz1935 Says:

    The BBC reported: “All shootings: Some 13,286 people were killed in the US by firearms in 2015, according to the Gun Violence Archive, and 26,819 people were injured [those figures exclude suicide]. Those figures are likely to rise by several hundred, once incidents in the final week of the year are counted.”

    The American society should be deeply ashamed allowing all this to happen.

    Liked by 5 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the love affair of the US with guns extends itself not just locally but around the world. The invasion of Iraq by Bush knowing there were no Weapons of Mass destruction was an act that reverberates today.
      This from Wiki;
      “In a January 2003 CBS poll, 64% of Americans had approved of military action against Iraq; however, 63% wanted Bush to find a diplomatic solution rather than go to war, and 62% believed the threat of terrorism directed against the U.S. would increase due to war.[26] The invasion of Iraq was strongly opposed by some long-standing U.S. allies, including the governments of France, Germany, and New Zealand.[27][28][29] Their leaders argued that there was no evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that invading the country was not justified in the context of UNMOVIC’s 12 February 2003 report. On 15 February 2003, a month before the invasion, there were worldwide protests against the Iraq War, including a rally of three million people in Rome, which is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest ever anti-war rally”.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. jennypellett Says:

    You’re right, Gerard, it’s not normal. If the majority of Americans supposedly think like we do, why the **** are they not doing something about it.
    But I don’t agree that Paddock wasn’t in some form mad – he planned this with utmost precision, getting his girl friend out of the country. This wasn’t a moment of rash hysteria. I do believe that she probably didn’t have a clue.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Paddock’s deed was well planned and organized beforehand. It is just that ‘his madness’ wasn’t discovered and even today his motive is missing.
      Many sociopaths are the hardest to diagnose and can present ‘normality’ throughout their lives. The main thing that sets them apart is that their social conscience is missing.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. leggypeggy Says:

    Not at all normal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The normality is the nation’s love of guns and its associated violence. The abnormality is lacking the determination to change and make things better and less violent.

      Liked by 3 people

      • urbanliaisons Says:

        In Germany we have a strict weapons control what I think is very good and necessary! So in the last 20 years the total number of murdering was never higher than ca. 600 cases per year. Chicago alone had 762 murderings in 2016! This is totally unbelievable and unacceptable for me.

        Liked by 1 person

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        The common thread in the killings in the US is that the Constitution enables the killings and encourages it. You cannot reasonable expect a peaceful outcome when having guns is an almost obligatory and patriotic part of living the American life.

        Like

  7. GP Cox Says:

    I do not believe that strict gun control will curb the insanity going on these days, but there should be a central control that limits the amount of guns you can own. The Vegas nutcase was flying below the radar, looking cleaner than you or I, but he purchased guns in 3 different states and got away with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      The Vegas ‘nutcase’ is a description I have trouble with if referring to a person with mental sickness. My brother is a chronic schizophrenic diagnosed when in his teens.

      He had a terrible time in Australia. He is being looked after in Holland where mental sickness is treated. Unlike in Australia and I guess in the US as well, jails are often used as de-facto mental hospitals. Many just wander the streets.

      My brother is still alive. I doubt he would be, if he had stayed in Australia. Worse, he might well have ended up harming others.

      Liked by 2 people

      • GP Cox Says:

        Those that go and become diagnosed I have all the sympathy in the world for. But someone who purposely flies below the radar to commit an act like this man did – can be called anything anyone wishes to call him, in my book!
        I am very sorry for what your brother goes through and I hope you didn’t think I could be as insensitive as to call a mental ill person names. I believe our Vegas guy had what he considered a valid reason for his actions, we just don’t know what it was at this point. We do know he had an escape plan and other sites he wished to shoot up, but his location was compromised too quickly.

        Liked by 2 people

      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Here is an article that points at what mass killers often adhere to.http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-06/stephen-paddock-mass-killer-profile/9023340
        It purports that a common thread amongst mass killers is failure, but Paddock was a millionaire! In one swoop it is assumed that having made money is a sign of success and achievements.
        I would have thought that a love of playing pokies and gambling is a fairly mindless pursuit and a clear sign of personal failure.

        Like

      • Dis and Dat Says:

        I don’t know if his success in aqquiring $ millions was from pokies or other gambling ? Can someone confirm. If not, maybe it was from trading in guns.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Big M Says:

        Evidently he made money from wise real,estate investments, plus downsized to a fairly modest two bedder in the country. He was a licensed shooter, but was thought to have one or two rifles. He was a pilot and owned a small plane. He had been a forensic accountant for the IRS, and had worked for various miltsry contractors.

        He was a pretty serious gambler who was reported, retrospectively, as being weird. There seems to be new information every day, second shooter, mismatching shell casings, machine gun like noise in the soind track. It seems to go on and on.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Robert Parker Says:

    Mr. O. – (writing to you from the U.S.)
    There will be no significant gun controls enacted after the Vegas massacre, or the next one. Regulating “bump stocks” is of course a token gesture. The U.S. accepts private use of semi-auto assault rifles, large-capacity semiauto handguns, large-capacity “bullpup” assault shotguns, “derringers” and other easily-concealed pocket pistols, silencers, and large caliber sniper rifles like the Barrett Light Fifty, which can send a bullet 2.5 miles.
    Many “2nd Amendment believers” do not, in fact, believe in a “well regulated Militia,” or at least, not as a prerequisite for gun ownership. They believe the “right to keep and bear Arms” is separate and distinct from participation in a community-based citizen militia.
    You may have already read his books, but there was a Yale professor named Robert Dahl, who described “polyarchy,” and I believe he provides a more accurate and comprehensive description of the government of the U.S. and Europe, and perhaps Australia, than many of our simplistic conceptions of “democracy”. Wikipedia actually has a very decent summary of his theories. And I think it allows us to see very clearly why, as you said, a minority could continue to prevail over a majority, even if in fact, a majority of Americans desire a significant change in gun control.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. gerard oosterman Says:

    Thank you, Robert for your input. I haven’t read Dahls’ books but just now looked him up. I copy a short summation of his work.

    “Dahl argued that the US Constitution is much less democratic than it ought to be, given that its authors were operating from a position of “profound ignorance” about the future. However, he adds that there is little or nothing that can be done about this “short of some constitutional breakdown, which I neither foresee nor, certainly, wish for.”[9].”

    Like

  10. petspeopleandlife Says:

    This is an excellent post and wonderful input from your commenters. I have guns but they are not carried out of the house and locked away and not for show. These are guns my husband hunted with and one gun my dad kept on the farm. I used to carry a pistol in my vehicle when I had to drive home from work at midnight and this was after I had been tail gated by a would be killer/rapist. Now if I must drive alone at night I take one of my guard dogs with me but that is very rare and would be only if I had to take a very sick pet to the emergency clinic.

    That aside I am in total agreement with all that has been said here. Americans are nuts for guns and cite the 2nd amendment as reason for owning a gun. Most of the gun crazy folks don’t hunt nor are they skeet shooters and or go to a shooting range. They just own a gun and are happy to flaunt the fact.

    Now, this I am 99.9% sure, that the GOP law makers are so heavily in debt to the NRA for getting all their crooked selves elected that there will be no changes made in gun laws except to nix the bumped up thing that allows for rapid and repetitive firing of a gun. That alone does little to zero good for anyone. Well perhaps some.

    Last buy not least and of virtual no consequence, the Las Vegas shooter made his millions from dealing in real estate. He retired as multi millionaire which enabled him to play high stakes video games- I think it was cards but don’t remember exactly. He made money playing at that too. Apparently he was good at numbers and had for a time worked as an accountant when much younger.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Often cited is the fact people want to be armed in case they meet up with ‘a sicko,’ or ‘nut-case.’ But with millions having arms are there also an equal amount of mentally deranged?

      Is the US so full of mentally ill, and if so do they get treatment?

      After our own mass shooting many years ago, the Prime minister of the time passed a law for all guns to be REGISTERED AND $500.000.000 TO BE USED TO BUY UP GUNS FROM THE PUBLIC.
      Australia became a much safer place.

      “The Port Arthur massacre in 1996 transformed gun control legislation in Australia. 35 people were killed and 23 wounded when the gunman opened fire on shop owners and tourists with two semi-automatic rifles. This mass killing horrified the Australian public.

      The massacre occurred six weeks after the Dunblane massacre in Scotland.[9]

      The Port Arthur perpetrator said he bought his firearms from a gun dealer without holding the required firearms licence.[14]

      Prime Minister John Howard took the gun law proposals developed from the report of the 1988 National Committee on Violence[15] and convinced the states to adopt them under a National Firearms Agreement. This was necessary because the Australian Constitution does not give the Commonwealth power to enact gun laws. The proposals included a ban on all semi-automatic rifles and all semi-automatic and pump-action shotguns, and a system of licensing and ownership controls.

      The Howard Government held a series of public meetings to explain the proposed changes. In the first meeting, Howard wore a bullet-resistant vest, which was visible under his jacket. Many shooters were critical of this.[16][17][18] Some firearm owners applied to join the Liberal Party in an attempt to influence the government, but the party barred them from membership.[19][20] A court action by 500 shooters seeking admission to membership eventually failed in the Supreme Court of South Australia.[21]

      The Australian Constitution requires just compensation be given for property taken over, so the federal government introduced the Medicare Levy Amendment Act 1996 to raise the predicted cost of A$500 million through a one-off increase in the Medicare levy. The gun buy-back scheme started on 1 October 1996 and concluded on 30 September 1997.[22] The government bought back and destroyed over 1 million firearms.[23]

      Liked by 1 person

      • petspeopleandlife Says:

        Yes there are mentally ill folks in everyday society and they go undented for years. Furthermore, the government does not give a fig about mental illness. Lawmakers prefer to give tax breaks to the super rich and are beholden to the NRA,

        What Australia accomplished is exemplary bub that will never happen here All the elected officials can only go to Washington and make asses of themselves. Little is accomplished except to undo worthwhile health benefits for women, the poor and those in need of medical help.

        Things of upmost importance are not addressed or swept under the rug. Nothing will change but I wish, with all my heart that it would.

        Like

  11. Patti Fogarty Says:

    Somehow i don’t think this is what the founding fathers had in mind when they wtote that 2nd Amendment …..

    Liked by 1 person

  12. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    It all boils down to greed Gerard.. The NRA pours money into government coffers and everybody knuckles down. If I could answer your title in one word it would be “YES”. Everything is changing.
    Great post and comments.

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      It could well be greed, Kayti.
      I noticed Mr Paddock was credited with being a multi millionaire and that that was somehow seen as a reason not to be a killer.
      Mr Trump is a multi millionaire and is irrational, impulsive, throws fits, threatens countries with total annihilation.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. sandshoeblog Says:

    I met a bloke once who had no conscience and if I had not, I might still not have an iota of real understanding there are people who have no pick up on realising the impact of their conscience-lessness on others. Thankfully the one I met was a kind of petty no-conscience mucker upper, mind you he couldn’t shoot a gun which is a thankful thing possibly given he had a physical disability that scotched that. He however used my name and my address to order a ‘Soxtel’ sub for the roof of my property and when I found out when an installer arrived I had one devil of a job getting ‘Soxtel’ to back down and back off and take it down even though I was not the party that ordered it. Other institutions get involved. However, I find myself faced with considering that not having a conscience suggests not having other conscious capacity to identify with another person. Why, I wonder, did this dude give his girlfriend a hundred grand to buy a house and you have to suppose he figured this out more than weeks and weeks and then some in advance. The other bit I don’t get is he’s described as a gambler. Where the hell did he get his apparently obscene amount of money from?

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Shoe. I really don’t know. What about if the motive is that Mr Paddock felt empty? I mean, sitting in a casino gambling would have to be a most spiritually draining and damaging past-time. I don’t mean in a religious sense.
      The gaping emptiness, the sudden insight he might have had. An empty shell. The terminally suffering capitalist with his millions, but the horror, the horror of it all!

      Like

  14. TheGirl Says:

    yes, our democracy is disabled.

    Like

  15. ifyoucareyouvote Says:

    This is a really interesting perspective on how the current democratic system is in part to blame for gun control in America. How much do you think this limit placed on democracy in America is to do with the lack of civic participation from people with gun control sympathetic views ie: young people?

    A lot of people (Pro gun control) are coming at this debate from very different perspectives but coming to the same conclusion, the NRA has too much control over politicians. Wouldn’t the key be to motivate those who believe in gun control to be aware of who the NRA controls and use their vote and voice to make change?

    Do you think this is the best approach for real change, if not how do you think the NRA’s influence can be curtailed?

    Like

  16. kertsen Says:

    Once the gun becomes widespread it becomes a necessity for many and the more cases of spree killings we read about the more people are afraid for their own safety. We didn’t have a wild west in England but the movies depict a society ruled by the gun. As society breaks down so the problem becomes worse since people quickly perceive more danger in every day life. The media latch onto a story and hold on until all the juice is squeezed out and our perception of reality is created partly by journalists. The gun makes the weak strong and the strong weak, it levels the playing field of violence and that means keeping up with the latest in weaponry. In England we now have a new menace acid attack by throwing in the face and it is on the increase. The police are being trained on how to deal with it among all the other violent crime they have to face. There are many psychopaths around according to Robert Hare but we are all capable of violent activity which depends on the provocation. Road rage has become quite regular and some have been killed as a result.

    Liked by 1 person

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