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Stop the madness, Mr Obama

December 15, 2012 Leave a comment

An email to the President of the United States…

From: Paul Carson
Date: 15 December 2012 11:44:43 Eastern Australia Time
To: president@whitehouse.gov
Subject: Please consider gun control

Dear Mr President,

I awoke this morning to read news of the terrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. This is the first time I have ever felt the urge to write to someone who holds elected office.

I am not a US voter, I am not even a citizen of the United States. I am Australian. Despite my lack of proximity to your country, this massacre has compelled me to write to you.

We have some of the strictest gun laws of any liberal democracy on Earth. In 1996, a gunman went on a rampage in Australia and killed 35 people, wounding 21 more. Our Prime Minister at the time, John Howard, a Conservative, enacted a series of gun law reforms that saw the banning of military-style weapons along with semi-automatic rifles and shotguns.

Australia has suffered no such incidents of mass shootings since this time.

I’m not a Conservative, sir. Far from it. But I am grateful that Mr Howard showed leadership in this matter, and has spared my country from such tragedies that seem to befall the United States all too frequently.

I understand that the circumstances of our countries are different, and the way in which they came about are also different. But I would hope that it’s also obvious that the world is a different place now than it was when the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791. I would also hope that it’s apparent that few people who have weapons in their homes or carry them for self-defence are a part of any militia at all, let alone one which is “well regulated”.

I am Australian, Mr President, and therefore not a constituent of yours. But I am also a human being. I wept when I read of what happened in Newtown on Friday. I have a niece and a nephew of elementary school age. The thought of them suffering a similar fate breaks my heart, but I am also comforted by knowing that such a thing is unlikely here.

I hope that there is no cause during the remainder of your term for you to be forced to address the United States due to yet another firearms massacre.

After these incidents, people often say that it’s too early to talk about gun control. I worry that it might be too late.

Please stop this madness, sir.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Carson
Sydney, Australia