2UE’s John Kerr is retiring Guns are not the problem – the attitude of people who use them for evil purposes is the problem

The US Shooting – some thoughts, but not debate right now

December 16th, 2012 at 02:29am

An email to 2UE’s John Kerr. Respectfully, I think it is too early to debate US gun laws. This email does not do that. If you wish to engage me in debate on the subject, please note that I will not reply until later in the week. Nothing can be gained out of debating this at this moment when the emotion of the horrifying shooting largely obscures logic.

Good morning John,

The shooting in the Connecticut school is truly horrifying, and it is disturbing that anyone would ever be of a mind to inflict harm on innocent children, or the adults who were harmed for that matter. Many families will never be the same, and that is a terrible tragedy.

This is clearly the work of a mad man, possibly even an evil man. It is horrifying and I am very sad for everyone who is involved.

I must say though, I am quite disgusted by the people in the US who are using this tragedy to try and score political points on the gun control debate. That may be an important debate, but surely they could at least let the families get their heads around the tragedy, and allow law enforcement officials to figure out what exactly happened, and why, before passing judgement on what laws they think should or should not change.

The debate about gun laws is one better held when the emotion of what has happened has subsided, so that any decisions which are made, are based on facts and not a natural emotional knee-jerk reaction. Evidence of that, to my mind, is the fact that Connecticut has some of the stricter gun laws in America, and this is mostly being overlooked at the moment by people who are engaging in debate on the subject.

And for the people in this country who believe that a blanket ban is an obvious answer which should have been implemented years ago, I believe it is important to recognise the cultural differences between Australia and the US. Our laws work here for the most part because our country was founded peacefully and we therefore do not have as defensive a mindset. The mindset in the US is very different, and while something may need to be done, simply applying our laws to their country will probably do more harm than good as people will, for lack of a better term, cling to their guns, and violently so, if their government tries to outlaw guns. I should also note that, while we don’t have mass-shootings here, when people want guns in Australia, they find them, as evidenced by the spate of drive-by shootings in Sydney in recent years. It worries me that people in this country immediately decry American laws without giving any thought as to why they have them in place. I think that the views expressed in this country would have more effect on the US debate if more thought was given to those views.

Out of respect for the families of the fallen, I will not engage in a detailed debate of the intricacies of the US gun laws this morning, however if this is still of interest next weekend when the emotion of this awful event has subsidied, I would like to discuss this with you and get your input.

I hope you have a very nice week.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart

Entry Filed under: General News,Samuel's Editorials,Talkback Emails

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  • 1. frank83  |  December 17th, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    I am quite disgusted by the people in the US who are using this tragedy to try and score political points on the gun control debate.

    Are you quite disgusted John Howard did the same in the wake of the Port Arthur massacre?

    Does his behaviour disgust you?

  • 2. Samuel  |  December 17th, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Hi Frank, good question.

    I don’t agree with what John Howard did. I believe that Australians, for cultural reasons, were more willing to comply with a gun ban than Americans ever will be, but I don’t think that made it the right thing to do.

    To more directly answer your question, if I had been John Howard and if I had gone down the same path, I would have waited before making that decision. At the time, it didn’t disgust me as I was a child and didn’t really understand it. Now, I think the action was rash. It’s not often that I find myself in disagreement with John Howard, but this is one of those times.

    Incidentally, there was a time when I believed in gun control. Then the Virginia Tech shooting occurred and I started to discuss the topic more. It forced me to re-evaluate my position and consider more views. I eventually came around to my current viewpoint.


December 2012

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