Problem-solving, Non-US style

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Credit: Mark Baker/AP

In the wake of the recent, tragic mass shooting by an Australian white supremacist terrorist in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the resolve, voiced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Attorney General David Parker, to drastically tighten gun laws, there has been a predictable outpouring of defiance and incredulity from across the Pacific, the Second Amendment zealots presumably seeing in such pragmatism an erosion of their constitutional rights to totemise their collective fear responses, and to hell with the consequences.

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The Dark Side of Biculturalism: A Different Take on Omar Mateen

“[Omar Mateen’s ex-wife] described him as mentally unstable and traumatised”. So said Suzanne Moore, in her article yesterday1 in the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

It’s just one word, but it raises an interesting question, one that the author doesn’t address at all in the article: If Mateen was traumatised, then by what? By whom?

I don’t think it was by the sight of two men kissing, which is what the media seem to be suggesting was what enraged him and galvanised him into action. The traits and behaviour thus described by his ex-wife predate the tragic events in Orlando.

Perhaps the following may come

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“The state of gun violence in the US” (Vox video)

Great clarity and perspective.

The only shortcoming for me here is that this account is purely statistical, and doesn’t give even a passing mention to the demagogic profiteering of the pro-gun lobby, or to the wilful misinterpretation by lobbyists of the Second Amendment as a pretext for said profiteering, which is in turn accepted unquestioningly by a credulous public.

But I suppose the video aims to be descriptive rather than prescriptive, and as such, it’s very informative.