Killings will go on as long as it’s as easy to buy a rifle as it is a loaf of bread

Gun Rights

ONE sentence stood out for me in the wall-to-wall coverage of yet another mass shooting incident in America.

Parents submit DNA samples to help ID shot children.

The single-most powerful reminder guns cause catastrophic damage.

Can you imagine the horror and devastation of being forced to give swabs because the rounds from an AR-15 rifle mutilated your child so badly it was the only way to ID them?

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Does that shock you as much as it shocked me?

I hope so, because we shouldn’t look away just because it feels somehow distasteful to spell out the destruction guns can cause.

A sign showing former U.S. President Donald Trump, who will be speaking at the NRA-ILA Leadership Forum

It’s unfathomable that you can buy a military-grade weapon as easily as a loaf of bread but you can only buy two packs of paracetamol.

A quick scroll through social media told me the AR-15 is described as a “cool American icon that signifies core American values – freedom, might and self-reliance”.

Oh it’s very mighty to walk into a primary and shoot helpless children screaming in terror for their lives.

Tell the parents of Uvalde, Sandy Hook, Columbine, Parkland and the nine other mass school shootings in the US since 1966, that the AR-15 is a cool status symbol to covet.

It’s anathema to me that children as young as four are being taught how to protect themselves in the event of an active shooter in their classroom.

Guns are now the leading cause of death for children in the US and preparing for an assault by an AR-15 is no big deal among lessons and playtime with their friends.

This is not how the rest of the world goes about their daily lives, yet in America it has become part of the everyday.

Not for the first time parallels have been drawn between the Uvalde shooting and Dunblane. Both small towns and both suffered a horrendous loss of life.

That’s where the similarities end because in this country, when evil visited, the parents and anti-gun campaigners lobbied so hard they got handguns banned and there hasn’t been a mass school shooting since.

Gun control does work but the lessons are not being learned in America.

The NRA lobby and too many citizens cling on to the second amendment of their constitution – words written in the 18th century with no place in the modern world – to the detriment of their children’s safety.

It’s staggering. A shocking 146 adults and children have died in school shootings since 1966.

What’s even more astonishing is that to date this year there have been 248 mass shootings and 250 dead.

It would be naive to assume we have a moral high ground as far as guns go but we are sitting at historically low levels for firearms offences in Scotland.

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Crimes involving guns are rare and usually confined to gangland shenanigans.

Gun control doesn’t prevent crime, shouts the NRA and its supporters, but that’s just the shameful staunch response of a lobby which fears any legislation that will restrict their “right to bear arms”.

To rid themselves of the plague that has scarred their country, Americans must lay down arms instead of allowing children to lay down their lives. z

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