Friday, January 14, 2011

It doesn't Happen Here

I was going to do a post on our New Year's eve activities, but the pictures are presently in Limbo. My Dell craptop with the break-o-matic lid and Vista inoperation system has taken a hard right off a cliff, along with most of my pictures of this year. Hopefully the data can at least be recovered, and who knows, maybe someone can make it run again. Meanwhile, I have my very trusty eeepc mini with good old XP, so I can keep a bloggin.
When you live in a foreign country it gives you an interesting perspective on your home turf. When a tragedy happens like the mass shooting in Tucson this week, people all over the world talk about it. We get occasional mass killings here, like the nutbags last Spring with big knives in the schools, but nothing quite compares to the big shootings that go on the USA. Since personal firearms are all but banned here, people ask me about them a lot, especially after such a horrendous episode. One man said, "Hasn't your government done something to restrict firearms?" Well, no. He was amazed to hear that you can buy a gun at Wal Mart, and that any adult with no criminal record can buy quite the legal arsenal. We both agreed that we were quite content with Chinese gun laws. I'd hate to see what kind of mischief this many people could cause with firearms. Just watch any John Woo film.
Approximately 80 people a day are killed with guns in the US every day. That's an impressive body count from over here, but doesn't even raise eyebrows back home. Not really a problem or a threat, I guess. On the other hand, the US is spending trillions, most of which is borrowed from my host country, to do battle against terrorism. 3,000 people died on 9/11, but around 29,000 died at the hands of fellow Americans last year and nothing is done about it, except the purchase of more guns.
I've owned and enjoyed guns in my life, and I'm not calling on any ban on most guns, but we could do a much better job of regulating weaponry and who can get their hands on them.
I'm looking forward to Spring Festival (Chinese New Year). There will be fireworks galore, rockets and firecrackers in the hands of the masses. I will be trying to explain to people how in the US you can buy a Glock with a 30 round magazine, but you can't buy firecrackers.

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