A poker game organised by students of the University of Oregon have given the winners guns, only two months after the massacre in nearby Umpqua Community College.
A day before heading to Burning Man I realised that my bike rack was not going to fit the RV. I was in Los Angeles. I walked into a Walmart store to buy a replacement. I couldn’t find one. I did have the option to purchase an array of firearms.
As a resident of the UK, I was dumbstruck. Walmart had a firearm section. It was next to the biking section. It was not that far from the children’s toy section. What was unreal to me, was normal for those around me.
When you have a child, everything changes. Suddenly, you are not thinking of your safety. You think about the safety of your child. You close your eyes and see them falling out of trees, getting beaten to death and stabbed through the heart. I have never once closed my eyes and seen him shot to death by a young man in combats striding through the halls of his school with chilling intimacy.
There have been two gun massacres that I recollect in the UK during my time. When I was 13-years old Michael Ryan killed 16 people, wounded 15 more and then shot himself, in the town of Hungerford. When I was 21, Thomas Hamilton killed 16 children and their teacher at Dunblane Primary School.
In the wake of the Dunblane Massacre the UK severely restricted ownership of firearms. I haven’t even seen a policeman walking down my street armed with anything more than a truncheon. I never worry about my son getting shot. If anyone breaks into my home, I will kill them with my feather duster. Even if I owned a gun, I am not too sure the killer would wait for me to open my safe to retrieve and load it before he rammed a semi-automatic up my ass and pulled the trigger.
I am angry, but not surprised, that the campus group Young Americans for Liberty, at the University of Oregon, recently held a “Liberty Poker Night” for the sole purpose of raising the profile on gun rights. That’s ok; students were raising awareness to apply enough pressure on Congress to introduce laws banning guns.
Not this lot.
They wanted to raise awareness because they believe the laws are too tight. They want the legislation to change to allow students to carry firearms while on campus. There were even suggestions on their Facebook page that the change in gun laws would enable them to fire back, and protect themselves, should a killer go on the rampage at their school.
If you think that’s lunacy, you will love this.
It’s illegal for the tournament organisers to offer cash prizes. So they convinced the Oak Grove Gun Shop, and Mazama Gun Shop, to donate two firearms as prizes. An unnamed student in Oregon is now the proud owner of a .40S&W Sig Sauer handgun and a Vanguard 243 Rifle with a Simmons Scop 3.5-10/40.
It’s the same state in mourning after Chris Harper Mercer shot and killed nine people (eight students and one teacher) and injured seven to nine others at Umpqua Community College barely two months ago.
Barack Obama has taken the podium to give a speech in the aftermath of a gun spree killing on no fewer that 15 occasions since taking up the Oval Office. An article written by The Slate’s Christina Cauterucci and Greta Weber showed evidence that of 11 mass shootings they investigated, eight of the killers purchased their firearms legally, at least one of them from Walmart.
Speaking in the aftermath of the Umpqua massacre, Obama said, “We are the only country on earth that has these mass shootings,” before continuing, “It cannot be this easy for someone who wants to inflict harm on other people to get their hands on a gun.”
Well, it is.
You can now win them in poker tournaments.
Obama went on to talk about the trillions of dollars spent on the war on terror and asked the media to put the numbers of Americans killed by terrorism up against those gunned down in their own backyard.
I thought he was the most powerful man in the world?
Here he was seemingly impotent against the threat his country faces on a daily basis. They invaded Iraq to remove their weapons of mass destruction, and yet they are unwilling to give up their own. It’s hypocrisy of the highest nature. It’s a mindset that I don’t understand. It’s a poker game that I never want to play in.