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The Time Is Now, America

Throughout history, there have been moments in time which have shaped a nation. Think JFK’s speech about sending a man to the moon or Dr King’s speech about race and equality and more recently think the terrorists attacks on September 11, 2001.

Well, now there is a time to make history in the United States and today, Friday, December 14, 2012, is that day.

Today, 26 innocent victims, 20 of which were children aged just 5 to 10 years of age, paid the ultimate price for that nations lack of gun control when a gunman, at a school in Newtown, Connecticut, opened fire and shot them.

I know that the US constitution, written over 200 years ago, allows the right to bear arms, but at what cost? How many more children must die due to a lack of gun control?  Die, due to a lack of empathy?  Die, due to a lack of action?

President Obama is about to commence his final term as US President.  Under American law, he cannot go for a third term anyway.  His presidency has been dogged by financial issues due to the ever worsening economy.  He needs to lead his country into a new era of gun control and this must be his legacy.  It won’t be a popular decision and he alone cannot make the law and amend the constitution.  That will be up to the lawmakers to do so but it must be lead by Obama himself.

It will be a hard sell.

Many of the pro guns crowd, led by the NRA, will argue that they have a right to protect themselves.  Well guess what?  It’s not working? It’s never worked.  It will never work.

I’ve never seen this headline:

 “Armed Citizen Saves The Day At Public School By Killing Heavily Armed Gunman”

or

“Hero Civilian With The Right To Bear Arms Kills Gunman At School Before He Tried to Kill Everyone”

The reason we don’t see these headlines is because it doesn’t happen. The headlines we do see are like these:

“Madman Kills 28 in School Rampage”

or

“Horrific”

or

“Another Mass Shooting”

And if the politicians can’t or won’t do it, then it is up to the people of the United States.  If you are a member of the NRA or are pro gun, show some true leadership and set an example that enough is enough and lay down your arms and encourage everyone to do so as well.  People power can be so powerful.

For those who say guns don’t kill people. People kill people. I agree, but why make it so easy to get access the guns?  Make it as hard as possible.

We did it in Australia.  After the Port Arthur Massacre of 1996, then Australian Prime Minister, John Howard changed our gun laws and it wasn’t an easy process.   There were a lot of people who didn’t want to give up their guns, mainly farmers and people from the bush.  But the law was changed and guess what?  Not one mass shooting since in almost 20 years.

This can be the future for the United States.  If enough people are finally outraged by today’s horrific events.

President Obama, it is time to make history.  This is the time when future generations will look back and see that someone was courageous enough to make a change.  That someone was influential enough to make a change.  That someone put their own self interests aside and just made that change.  This is your legacy.  It is your time to make a difference.

Daydreaming

When I was a kid in high school and while sitting in the amphitheatre for school assembly, I use to imagine the school was getting attacked by terrorists and it was up to me to save the day.

I remember how I would do it and the small spaces I would climb through and the ledges I would jump off to get to my position of advantage to take out the bad guys, one by one.

I can’t recall whether these daydreams started before or after I had seen Die Hard for the first time.  Most likely before as Die Hard came out when I was in year 11 and I am sure I had rescued the school and all of the teachers and students a hundred times before then.

It was definitely before Sean Astin saved his school from terrorists in 1991’s Toy Soldiers, which is well before he became a hobbit.  I still think that the producers of that movie tapped into my daydreams and stole my idea, though I didn’t have Louis Gossett Jr. in my daydreams which is a shame because he was so cool back in the 80’s and 90’s.

So back to reality and fortunately or unfortunately, depending on which side of the fence you’re on, I have never had to face off against terrorists and save the day.  I did once chase down a bag snatcher which you can read about here, but other than that, my heroic days have been few and far between.

I wonder though what I would do in such circumstances.  Have I seen too many movies where the good guys win and save the day? Does this really happen in real life?  How many reports do we see on the news where the day hasn’t been saved?

The attacks on 9/11 and Bali prove that sometimes terrorists get what they want and even if John McClane or Casey Ryback or Jack Bauer were real and available they probably would have been able to do bugger all about it.

Yet we do hear of good news stories where terrorists do get stopped but it is generally by the agencies responsible for keeping us safe.  The Mosman Bomb Threat is one recent example even though it was only an act of terrorism against one person.

I would like to think that if there was no one else specialised to do it, that I would stand up and fight against anyone trying to cause harm against my fellow man.  Perhaps if more people stood up and said no to crime, the world might be a little better place to live in.

Luckily terrorism in my neck of the woods is rare and we live in relative peace in Australia.  We have criminals as does every society but I think the major crime saving days will still be on the big screen with the score conducted by James Horner or Hans Zimmer and the credits roll at the end.

I’m not ready to prove that what I think is a reality of me saving the day in my mind is actually a one way ticket to that giant bug fluffy cloud in the sky with my last thought being, “you dickhead, did you really think you could make a difference!”

But if that day comes though, I will try and make that difference.  For now, I’m quite content to daydream about it.

What about you.  Did you ever daydream of battling terrorists at school or have you had these daydreams as an adult?  Would love to hear from you.