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Celtic-End Singer BS: RE-visiting 'Bowling for Columbine' (118* d) RE: BS: RE-visiting 'Bowling for Columbine' 23 Sep 03

My own view is that the US has a "violence problem" rather than a "gun problem". It is well documented that there are many countries in the world where gun-ownership is of a similar level to the US but where the incidence of killings and woundings by firearms are very much lower.

I live in England in a legal environment where it is probably more difficult to legally own a gun than almost anywhere in the world. However I don't believe the AVAILABILITY of firearms is significantly less than in most other countries. If you have the money it's very easy to get possession of almost any firearm you like. The Irish experience shows that if you want to you can get assault rifles, machine guns, whatever you want. Shootings are very much on the rise here too, but from a much lower level.

I think the whole concept of US gun control is a redundant topic for discussion and Americans should get realistic about that fact. Even if there was the political will (and there isn't) how could you possibly get the guns off the people who have them now and how could you stop new guns getting in? The drugs prohibition debacle shows that it is not possible to prohibit a commodity for which there is a demand.

Aside from this, even if it were possible I think Americans would just knife each other or hit each other with baseball bats to a similar level of mortality as exists today.

Unfortunately the US has become a society where life is quite literally "cheap". There are huge belts of absolute poverty the like of which simply does not exist in any other developed world nation, neither in its depth nor its breadth. Another point to note is that there is now significantly LESS social mobility (people rising up the income ladder by work, education etc.) than in Europe. There are 20 million Americans who have abandoned all hope and as civilisation has abandoned them, so they have abandoned civilisation.

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