March 13, 2018
Don’t hold your breath that President Trump will restrict gun ownership in the USA in the wake of the killing of 17 students in Parkland, Florida. And banning the semi-automatic assault weapons that are the weapon of choice in mass shootings? Forget about it.
President Trump supports the National Rifle Association, and the NRA is vehemently opposed to a ban on assault weapons. Apart from some initial vacillations on gun control, Trump’s tweets say it all: “What many people don’t understand is that the folks who work so far at the NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our country and will do the right thing.”
Oh yes, and Trump is hardly impartial – he has a concealed carry permit for the two handguns that he owns. Although as revealed by the web magazine, Politico, Trump said he didn’t talk about his guns before talking about them.
Trump’s solution to preventing more school massacres is, yes, it’s more guns. Arm and train the teachers, he says, But the biggest problem, of course, is the USA gun culture itself and the ease of obtaining weapons.
Other people are proposing other solutions. These proposals include bullet proof backpacks and even bullet proof school clothing.It’s an amazing culture where kids going to school need to think about taking more than just their books and their lunch.
Presumably a backpack that stops bullets from assault weapons will be next. Although a simpler solution could be to carry rubber door wedges to prevent a gunman from opening school doors. But then the doors would need to be bullet proof, too.
Many schools in America also run regular drills to train children what to do when a shooter enters their building. But while the shootings continue, and the death toll rises, the main problem itself shows no signs of going away. This problem is the easy access to guns in the USA, even military grade assault weapons, and the right of just about anyuone to own them.
Watch out American school kids. So far, in 2018 alone, there have been 9 school shootings in the USA. The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention report that shootings killed or injured at least 19 children each day between 2002-2014, with boys, teenagers and blacks most at risk.
So when will another deranged, disgruntled former pupil be stalking the next school corridor with an assault weapon he bought legally?
Trump will soon be gifted another pistol for his collection – a 24-carat gold inlaid and elaborately engraved Colt .45. This pistol is hand-crafted and has “Donald J. Trump” engraved in large letters on one side, and “45th President of the United States of America” on the other. .45, 45th President, get it?
If I were a betting man, well, I wouldn’t bet against Trump enthusiastically accepting this gun. The Man with the Golden Gun. It’s all so, so, American. It’s so Trump.
- Dr. Mike Mineham is Dean, School of Graduate Studies, The University of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. The views expressed in this article are strictly his own.